It’s official, Eurovision 2023 will not take place in Birmingham. The BBC has announced that the final two host cities will be chosen between Liverpool or Glasgow, which will go head to head with one another to host.
Up until today there had been 7 cities left with a chance of hosting Eurovision 2023, including Birmingham, Newcastle, Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow and Manchester. The decision to hold it in the UK this time around was due to the war in Ukraine, where the contest was supposed to be held.
Why not Birmingham?
Well, the seven cities that were shortlisted had to meet a certain criteria. For example, there had to be a venue with sufficient space to host the huge event. Plus, the cities had to have the money to do it.
They also had to commit to showing Ukrainian culture as much as possible and have their own culture to offer, which Birmingham did have in spades. Concert For Ukraine was hosted at the NEC in Birmingham earlier this year, while the viral Ukrainian band Antytila even backed the city to host.
As the contest will bring a huge amount of tourism to the UK the cities also has to commit to ‘supporting the creative economy in the UK’ and ‘providing value to all the audiences’. There will be about 10,000 spectators at the event and the host would need to provide accommodation for about 2,000 people too, such as journalists who will come to cover the event.
This will be the ninth time that the UK hosts Eurovision, which is the highest number of times that any country has hosted it. Birmingham was last UK city to host the contest back in 1998, which may have worked against us in the end.
Regarding the decision, Phil Harrold, who chairs the Host City Selection Committee for the BBC said:
‘Thanks to all 7 cities across the UK who have demonstrated the enthusiasm and passion for Eurovision that exists right across the UK. We were incredibly impressed by the quality and creativity of all the city bids, in what was a highly competitive field. The Eurovision Song Contest is a very complex event and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest overall offer; we will continue our discussions with them to determine the eventual host city.
We are determined to make the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest one that both reflects the winning position of Ukraine and is also an event that all of the UK can participate in.’
It would be have been great to have it here in Birmingham, but we’re sure it’ll be an amazing Eurovision in either Glasgow or Liverpool either way. We’ll have to wait and see!