Following the news that Ukraine and UA:PBC will not be hosting the 2023 contest on June 23rd, even more UK cities and towns have considered a bid to host the contest. It appears that members of the Welsh government are calling for Wales to submit a bid, adding Eurovision to the growing list of large-scale events held within the country as of late. While Wales has never hosted the contest, the UK has selected Welsh artists for Eurovision such as Mary Hopkin (1970), Jessica Garlick (2002), Bonnie Tyler (2013), and Lucie Jones (2017).

The conversation appeared during the Welsh Senedd’s plenary session on June 29th, when Darren Millar proposed motion NDM8042 that acknowledged the EBU’s statement, expresses regret about Ukraine’s inability to host, and calls upon the Welsh Government to engage with the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union regarding hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Wales.

The debate in the Senedd

Numerous members advocated for the country’s ability to host – in fact, the word “Eurovision” appears in the meeting’s minutes a total of 53 times during the 25 minute discussion. Member Tom Giffard mentioned that a Welsh hosting of Eurovision would bring a large amount of tourism to boost the country’s economy, share the great nation with the world, and mentioned that the new Swansea Arena could be a potential host venue. He goes on to say that: “As the land of song, I couldn’t think of anywhere more fitting to host Eurovision – let’s welcome the world to Wales”.

Many members also spoke about Cardiff serving as the host location for the Welsh bid, and Cardiff has indicated that they would be interested in hosting the contest. The bid has the support of both the Principality Stadium and the Cardiff council, and is mentioned in debate as being “the only venue in Wales capable of meeting the specifications for the event.” However, there may be some challenges for Cardiff to solve in order to host such as the quantity of hotel and lodging arrangements available and transportation systems throughout the city.

Plaid Cymru Spokesperson for Culture Heledd Fychan argued that Wales should be campaigning hard for Eurovision to end up on Welsh soil, especially since the contest has been hosted once in Scotland but never in Wales. “It’s about time that Wales had the opportunity to host and [reap] the international benefits of that.”

She also brings up the Conservative party’s 2021 call for Wales to participate in the contest seperate from the UK, which cannot happen as long as the BBC holds broadcasting rights or Wales remains as part of the UK. The prior is the reason that Wales was permitted to compete in Junior Eurovision in 2018 and 2019, as the BBC did not return to the contest after 2005. An amendment for Wales to fight for competition rights at Eurovision was tabled during the debate.

The motion was agreed upon

When discussion ended, the body voted on Darren Millar’s motion 40 in favor, 10 abstensions, and none against, meaning the motion was agreed upon. While this does confirm that Wales will submit a hosting bid for 2023, it does signal that a Welsh host city would have the support of the country’s government.

To date fifteen cities have expressed their interest in hosting the 2023 contest – with at least one city interested from each of the four countries that comprise the United Kingdom. The following cities have expressed interest in hosting:

  • Aberdeen
  • Belfast
  • Birmingham
  • Brighton
  • Cardiff
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • London
  • Manchester
  • Prudhoe
  • Sheffield
  • Sunderland
  • Wolverhampton

Where would #YOU like Eurovision 2023 to be hosted? Make sure #YOU tell us on social media @ESCUnited, on our discord, or on our forum page!

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