In light of the EBU’s statement released today, whereby they concluded that Ukraine will be unable to host Eurovision 2023 due to the current situation in the country, and are to begin discussions with the BBC about potentially hosting the contest next year, various cities throughout the United Kingdom have expressed their interest in hosting.
As per the rules of Eurovision, if the winning country cannot host next the years contest for whatever reason, the EBU will offer the hosting rights to the country who finished in second place, which in this case, is the United Kingdom.
Although no confirmation has been made on whether or not the United Kingdom will be hosting Eurovision 2023, the news of a potential Eurovision hosting gig has spread like wildfire around the country, with many cities excited about the possibility of being able to host the biggest music event in the world.
The Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council, Phelim Mac Cafferty, has confirmed that Brighton will put in a bid to host Eurovision 2023. In an interview with The Argus, he has said:
“It would be an honour to host Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine. Of course, it was in Brighton and Hove that ABBA launched their global career when they won with Waterloo at the Brighton Dome in 1974. We’d love to see the event come back to the city and share some of our lucky stardust with the next global superstars. We will now approach the European Broadcasting Union and the BBC to formally express our interest. We know that many other cities will be interested in hosting and we look forward to hearing which city will be successful.”
However, should the United Kingdom host Eurovision 2023, it seems unlikely that Brighton would be chosen as host city as they do not meet all the requirements set out by the EBU. Their largest venue has a capacity og 5,000, which is below the EBU’s minumum of 10,000.
Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has taken to Twitter to show her support for Glasgow potentially hosting Eurovision 2023. Member Parliament for Glasgow South, Stewart McDonald is also in support of Eurovision 2023 in Glasgow, more specifically, at the OVO Hydro Arena on the River Clyde, which has a capacity of up to 14,500. Glasgow’s City Council has not commented on this as of yet.
Glasgow does have some Eurovision connections. Although the Scottish city has never hosted actual Eurovision before, it did play host to the Eurovision Dance Contest in 2008, in the SEC Centre. And many Eurovision fans will remember the OVO Hydro featuring in “The Story of Fire Saga”.
As we stay up north, Leeds have become one of the latest cities to want to bid for Eurovision 2023 hosting rights, should the contest come to the United Kingdom. Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council and Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy and culture have 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.
“We are extremely disappointed that Ukraine will be unable to host in 2023, but it would be an honour to host on behalf of them, especially given that West Yorkshire is home to a large number of Ukrainians. If we are successful with our bid, we will be looking to get the local Ukrainian community involved with our plans as much as possible.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has expressed that London is ready to step up and support Ukraine by hosting Eurovision 2023, in the event that the contest comes to the United Kingdom. Either the o2 Arena, with a capacity of 20,000, or Wembley Arena, with a capacity of 12,500 could make ideal venues for Eurovision.
Londoners would welcome Eurovision with open arms.— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) June 17, 2022
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. https://t.co/J5ODlcOiuv
London has previously played host to Eurovision on four occassions. In 1960, they hosted the contest at The Royal Festival Hall on behalf of 1959 winners The Netherlands who declined to host having hosted in 1958.
The BBC Television Centre hosted the 1963 contest after 1962’s winner France declined to host due to financial reasons. London hosted Eurovision was in 1968, after Sandie Shaw brought the United Kingdom their first Eurovision win in 1967. Wembly Conference centre played host in 1977, after Brotherhood of Man won the year before.
The final city (so far) to express their interest in potentially hosting Eurovision 2023 is Manchester. Leader of the City of Manchester Bev Craig, and Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, have both expressed their support for Manchester hosting next years contest.
Manchester boasts an international airport, good transport links, plenty of accommodation and has Manchester Arena with a capicity of 21,000. Manchester has previously played host to the the first edition of Eurovision Young Musicians in 1982 and the Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Do you think the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be hosted in The United Kingdom? If so, which city would you like to see hosting the contest? Let us know what you think in the comments below!