Then, there were two. The BBC has announced that the shortlist of potential Eurovision host cities has been narrowed down to two candidates: Glasgow and Liverpool.
These cities have satisfied the BBC and EBU’s criteria for a host city, including:
- Possession of a roofed venue with a capacity of over 10,000.
- Strong hotel availability.
- Suitable locations for a press centre and Eurovision Village.
- Sufficient finances to contribute.
- Excellent transport infrastructure.
The BBC also stressed the importance of “showcasing Ukrainian culture and music” through the city’s cultural landscape, on and off-screen.
Back in July, when the United Kingdom was confirmed as the host of Eurovision 2023, this commitment to a Ukrainian contest was immediately emphasised. Martin Österdahl, Executive Supervisor of the contest, remarked: “Next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
The BBC reflected this commitment, with its Director General Tim Davie adding, “the BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.”
Glasgow hopes to welcome the Eurovision Song Contest back to Scotland for the first time since 1972. Back then, Edinburgh hosted on behalf of a victorious Monaco — Glasgow officials hope to mirror history, this time hosting on behalf of Ukraine. Glasgow hopes to host the contest in its OVO Hydro Arena, notable as having featured in Netflix’s ‘Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.’ The city also boasts excellent airport access: Glasgow International Airport is only 20 minutes removed from the OVO Hydro.
Liverpool has never before hosted the Eurovision Song Contest — a fact it aims to change. The city’s musical history is apparent by the name of its busy airport, the Liverpool John Lennon Airport. Public transport is ready to send fans straight from the airport to the M&S Bank Arena. In an interview with Variety, Liverpool’s director of culture Claire McCulgan argued that the city is the perfect fit: “As a UNESCO City of Music, Liverpool is filled with joy, color and exuberance which would be a perfect match for Eurovision, and we would take the opportunity to pay tribute to Ukraine.”
Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield will now be bowing out of the race.
The two remaining cities will now be further considered by the BBC and EBU. Per the BBC, the government of the United Kingdom may be consulted on the decision, but ultimately the choice lies entirely in the hands of the BBC and the EBU.
The final announcement of the host city for Eurovision 2023 is to be expected in the next few weeks.
What do #YOU think of the final two candidates? Are you excited for these cities, or disappointed for those that have missed out? Let us know in the comments below, on our social media @ESCUnited, our forum, or our Discord server!