We can’t quite believe it. We’ve been pinching ourselves all morning. Next year, it will be 25 years since Birmingham hosted the Eurovision Song Contest. Now we have the opportunity to do it again. Friday morning (August 12) saw Birmingham make the shortlist of cities to host the competition in 2023, alongside Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
Each Eurovision is usually hosted by the winners of the previous contest. But despite Ukraine’s epic win earlier, they had to rule themselves out due to the ongoing war. That’s where the UK steps in – after coming an unusual second place, thanks to a lively performance by Mika – to host Eurovision for a record ninth time.
Of course, we think Birmingham should be crowned as next year’s host. As recently as the Commonwealth Games’ opening ceremony has the second city shown it knows how to throw a party of this magnitude. But we’re not the only ones who think so. Ukrainian band Antytila agrees too.
The Ukrainian band went viral after offering to perform alongside Ed Sheeran at the Concert For Ukraine, hosted at the NEC in Birmingham, in March of this year. Antytila were unfortunately refused a slot as organisers wanted to avoid any association with the military – the band is currently serving as soldiers in the war. But they later teamed up with Sheeran to release a song called 2step that currently has more than 12 million views on Youtube.
Now they are backing Birmingham again. To host the next Eurovision after it was won by their compatriots Kalush Orchestra. “In Ukraine everyone knows Birmingham is a good city in the UK,” said lead singer Taras Topolia.
As of writing the odds are looking good too. Our chances are at 28%. Way below Glasgow, who have a whopping 40% chance of hosting, but far above the rest of the pack. Manchester is currently the third most likely with only a 10% chance.