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Everything we know so far about Eurovision 2023 and how the host city will be chosen

·5 min read
Ukraine will be celebrated throughout the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)
Ukraine will be celebrated throughout the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. (AFP via Getty Images)

The UK will host Eurovision 2023, it has been confirmed, as Ukraine is unable to host amid the conflict in the country.

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 song contest, while the UK’s Sam Ryder was the runner up.

Now, the UK will host the Eurovision song contest for the first time since 1998.

However, organisers have already said that Ukraine will be honoured throughout the contest.

“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor.

“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that 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.”

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, said: “It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.

“The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity. The BBC will now begin the process to find a host city to partner with us on delivering one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”

Find out everything we know about Eurovision 2023 below–and what we know about how to get tickets to Eurovision 2023.

Which UK cities have already hosted Eurovision?

The UK has hosted Eurovision more than any other countries, having hosted the song contest eight times.

In 1960, Eurovision took place at London’s Royal Festival Hall, followed by the BBC Television Centre in London in 1963.

In 1968, London’s Royal Albert Hall was the host, while Edinburgh’s Usher Hall hosted the contest in 1972.

Brighton Dome was the venue in 1974, while the contest returned to London in 1977, when it was hosted at Wembley Conference Centre.

In 1982, the Harrogate International Centre hosted Eurovision, while Birmingham is the UK’s most recent host city, as the contest took place at the National Indoor Area in 1998.

UK Eurovision performances over the years - In pictures

Sam Ryder (2022) (AFP via Getty Images)
Sam Ryder (2022) (AFP via Getty Images)
James Newman (2020) (Victor Frankowski/Eurovision)
James Newman (2020) (Victor Frankowski/Eurovision)
Michael Rice (2019) (SplashNews.com)
Michael Rice (2019) (SplashNews.com)
SuRie (2018) (EPA)
SuRie (2018) (EPA)
Lucie Jones (2017) (PA )
Lucie Jones (2017) (PA )
Engelbert Humperdinck (2012) (Getty Images)
Engelbert Humperdinck (2012) (Getty Images)
Blue (2011) (Getty Images)
Blue (2011) (Getty Images)
Jade Ewan (2009) (BBC)
Jade Ewan (2009) (BBC)
Andy Abraham (2008) (BBC)
Andy Abraham (2008) (BBC)
Scooch (2007) (AFP/Getty Images)
Scooch (2007) (AFP/Getty Images)

Where will Eurovision 2023 be held?

A number of cities, including Bristol, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Leeds have offered to host Eurovision 2023, while representatives from a number of other cities have informally expressed their interest, such as Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

Bristol

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees announced the city’s bid to host next year’s competition at the brand-new arena Brabazon Hangars.

Speaking at a Pride event, the mayor said: "As a global and diverse City of Sanctuary, Bristol can be the caretaker of next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. We’re working in partnership with YTL Arena Bristol on a bid to bring Eurovision to the Brabazon Hangars.

"Bristol has the perfect site where we can custom build the perfect Eurovision Song Contest. We’ve got the Space, Man. You’ll see what I’ve done there.”

Glasgow

In June, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said that Glasgow’s OVO Hydro Arena would be the “perfect venue.”

On Twitter, she said: “We wish Eurovision could be in Ukraine but understand that in circumstances this isn’t possible. However, I can think of a perfect venue on [the] banks of the River Clyde!!

“[The Scottish government] is happy to discuss with BBC, [Glasgow City Council], [European Broadcasting Union] and others.”

London

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also suggested that the capital city should host, as he said: “We’re ready to step up and support Ukraine by hosting a contest that pays tribute to and honours the Ukrainian people, and also celebrates the very best of Britain too.”

Eurovision moments - In pictures

Swedish pop group Abba performs their song Waterloo during the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest (AFP/Getty Images)
Swedish pop group Abba performs their song Waterloo during the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest (AFP/Getty Images)
1981 Eurovision Song Contest winners Bucks Fizz (Getty Images)
1981 Eurovision Song Contest winners Bucks Fizz (Getty Images)
Jedward from Ireland perform in the grand finale of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest 2011 (Getty Images)
Jedward from Ireland perform in the grand finale of the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest 2011 (Getty Images)
Cliff Richard in a display of enthusiasm outside the Royal Albert Hall, London ahead of the 1967 Eurovision song contest (Getty Images)
Cliff Richard in a display of enthusiasm outside the Royal Albert Hall, London ahead of the 1967 Eurovision song contest (Getty Images)
Lucie Jones performing the UK's 2017 Eurovision entry 'Never Give Up on You' (PA )
Lucie Jones performing the UK's 2017 Eurovision entry 'Never Give Up on You' (PA )
Glasgow born pop singer Lulu (Marie MacDonald McLaughlin Lawrie) performs 'Boom Bang-A-Bang', the British entry at the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest in Madrid (Getty Images)
Glasgow born pop singer Lulu (Marie MacDonald McLaughlin Lawrie) performs 'Boom Bang-A-Bang', the British entry at the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest in Madrid (Getty Images)
Finland's Lordi performs the song 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' during the 2006 Eurovision final song contest (AFP/Getty Images)
Finland's Lordi performs the song 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' during the 2006 Eurovision final song contest (AFP/Getty Images)
Conchita Wurst of Austria performs on stage during the grand final of the 2014  Eurovision Song Contest (Getty Images)
Conchita Wurst of Austria performs on stage during the grand final of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest (Getty Images)
Pop group Jemini of United Kingdom - the 2003 entry for the Eurovision song contest (AFP/Getty Images)
Pop group Jemini of United Kingdom - the 2003 entry for the Eurovision song contest (AFP/Getty Images)
British singer Sandie Shaw receiving the winning trophy for the 2967 Eurovision song contest (Getty Images)
British singer Sandie Shaw receiving the winning trophy for the 2967 Eurovision song contest (Getty Images)
Scooch - United Kingdom's entry to the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest (AFP/Getty Images)
Scooch - United Kingdom's entry to the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest (AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester

Following the news that the UK would host Eurovision, Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig tweeted: "Manchester will be bidding to host Eurovision.

“A world class music city, brilliant venues, experience in hosting major events, and of course one of the UK’s largest Ukrainian populations- we are confident we will make it a Eurovision to remember. More to follow."

Leeds

Leeds City Council released a statement in June which said: “It goes without saying that Leeds will be bidding to host Eurovision in 2023. Together with ASM Global, the operators of the first direct arena in Leeds, we have already been in touch with both the Government and the BBC to discuss our plans.

“Leeds has already proved that it has the capability and capacity to host major international events and ASM Global successfully hosted Eurovision in the Avicii Arena, Stockholm Sweden in 2016. Given that we will be mid-way through the Leeds 2023 year of culture, it could not come at a better time.”

How will the Eurovision host city be chosen?

While a number of cities have informally offered to host Eurovision, they will need to formally apply to the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) if they want to enter a serious bid.

The cities will likely start applying this week, and the BBC and EBU will publish a long-list later this summer. Potential host cities will have to prove they can meet a list of expectations and will have to sell their vision for the contest.

Requirements include having an appropriate venue, enough hotels, and being near enough to an international airport.

Which countries will compete in Eurovision 2023?

The “Big Five” countries that automatically qualify for the Grand Final are the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain.

As the previous winners, Ukraine will also automatically qualify.

Eurovision: Past Winners - In pictures

2019: Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands (AP )
2019: Duncan Laurence of the Netherlands (AP )
2018: Netta Barzilai, Israel (AFP/Getty Images)
2018: Netta Barzilai, Israel (AFP/Getty Images)
2017: Salvador Sobral, Portugal (Getty Images)
2017: Salvador Sobral, Portugal (Getty Images)
2016: Jamala, Ukraine (AFP/Getty Images)
2016: Jamala, Ukraine (AFP/Getty Images)
2015: Mans Zelmerloew, Sweden (Getty Images)
2015: Mans Zelmerloew, Sweden (Getty Images)
2014: Conchita Wurst, Austria (Getty Images)
2014: Conchita Wurst, Austria (Getty Images)
2013: Emmelie de Forest, Denmark (Getty Images)
2013: Emmelie de Forest, Denmark (Getty Images)
2012: Loreen, Sweden (Getty Images)
2012: Loreen, Sweden (Getty Images)
2011: Ell and Nikki, Azerbaijan (Getty Images)
2011: Ell and Nikki, Azerbaijan (Getty Images)
2010: Lena, Germany (Getty Images)
2010: Lena, Germany (Getty Images)
2019: Alexander Rybak, Sweden (Getty Images)
2019: Alexander Rybak, Sweden (Getty Images)