The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) confirmed that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) will be hosted in the United Kingdom on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA: PBC.
2022 has had enough events to last a lifetime, but nothing shook the world more than what has been going on in the Ukraine. When Ukranian rap group Kalush Orchestra was selected to represent Ukraine at the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, many spectators were unsure if the band would be able to make it to the PalaOlimpico in Turin, Italy to perform. After taking time off from ESC to help fight for their country, the members of Kalush Orchestra received special permission to leave and compete in the contest.
Kalush Orchestra’s song, “Stefania” which is an ode to a mother, became the first Eurovision winning song to feature a rap, overwhelming the scoreboard with 439 out of 468 points.
“We want to thank everyone out there who voted for Ukraine. The victory is very important to Ukraine, especially this year. For us, this support is even more important for Ukraine in these times. And we really appreciate that you helped us with your votes,” says the group.
Ukraine’s win immediately sparked concern about where next year’s event would be held. It was decided that 2023’s ESC could not be held in Ukraine for “safety and security reasons,” and the EBU started exploring several options with the winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA: PBC.
The result? The BBC, who was runner up in the 2022 Contest with Sam Ryder’s “Space Man”, was invited by the EBU to act as Host Broadcaster for the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
Since Ukraine was the winning country, they will automatically qualify for the Grand Final of 2023’s Contest, along with the ‘Big 5’ (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom).
“The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent,” says Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC.
Representatives of UA: PBC will work in conjunction with the BBC to decide what Ukrainian elements will be infused in next year’s shows. The logo will be revealed at a later date but will include hints of the unique staging and infused Ukrainian and United Kingdom themes, highlighting the cooperation between the winning and host countries.
Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor said, “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.”
Although the BBC has hosted the ESC more times than any of the other participating countries, their last occasion was in the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, held in 1998. The bidding for the Host City is set to begin this week.
“It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest,” states Tim Davie, BBC Director-General. “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.”
Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Swindon, and Wolverhampton, have all expressed interest in hosting the 2023 contest.
Not only do they have to share their vision for a fantastic Contest, but potential Host Cities are also expected to demonstrate that they can meet a list of expectations, as they’ve been required to in the past. Last year, the EBU’s Host City criteria included providing a venue able to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators (including a press center), proximity to an international airport, and the ability to provide ample hotel accommodation.
Stay tuned Eurovoxx to find out who this year’s Host City will be.
What do you think about the UK hosting 2023’s ESC? Where do you think the contest will be held? Tell us in the comments below.