Cardiff will not proceed with its host city application for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. That’s despite earlier calls from both the Cardiff Council and the Welsh Government to bring the contest to The Principality Stadium.

Kevin Brennan, a member of Parliament, had floated the idea of staging the contest inside the national stadium of Wales, which previously hosted the 1999 Rugby World Cup and football matches during the 2012 Olympics. That idea soon caught fire, drawing support from Huw Edwards, the BBC’s most high-profile news presenter. 

Cardiff cancels plans for Eurovision 2023 host city bid

The stadium’s popularity has been its undoing with regards to hosting Eurovision. 

In a joint statement, officials from the Welsh government, Cardiff city council and the stadium explained that there are simply too many events already slated during the Eurovision period. As you’ll recall, the venues typically need to be available for six weeks before the final and a week after for dismantling. 

Here’s their statement in full. 

“Since it was confirmed that the UK would host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, Cardiff Council, the Welsh Government and Principality Stadium have been working at pace to establish the feasibility of a bid to host the event in Wales’ capital city.”

“Cardiff’s very strong track record in hosting major events, and the world-class Principality Stadium, would have made it a natural fit for such a significant production.”

“The BBC, as the event organisers, have released detailed specifications for each city wishing to bid to host the event. As partners, we have been working through these in detail. It is clear that on many of these Cardiff would have a very strong case to become the host city for Eurovision 2023.”

“However, the complexity of staging the event means that a significant number of scheduled events in the Principality Stadium during Spring 2023 would have to be cancelled as a result. These include the European Wheelchair Rugby Championships, ‘The Road to Principality’, a key event in the WRU Community rugby calendar, and a major international artist contracted to appear, among other events.”

Plenty of other cities remain in the race, including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol and Liverpool.

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Helen
Helen
4 days ago

I think the Welsh Government are secretly pleased that Cardiff is out of the running for the Eurovision Song Contest. They would have had to go in big and try and make it a 70,000 event which would have only highlighted their total lack of investment in Wales’ road infrastructure as they want us all to use public transport and push bikes. The M4 motorway in the Newport area can only be described as a car park with the bottleneck that is the Brynglas Tunnels, and the road connectivity to Cardiff Airport is a joke. It looks like we will… Read more »

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
4 days ago
Reply to  Helen

Never thought I’d see a mention of the Brynglas tunnels on wiwi bloggs! Wish the M4 was bigger? I don’t use Cardiff airport very much, like you say it feels so far away, having to snake through so many random suburbs. And going in there reminds me of the 90s!

However, South Wales has had so many big events over the years- FA Cup finals, Ryder Cup, NATO Summit etc. Surely we can do ESC?

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
4 days ago

I’m from Newport, and I’d love Wales to host the contest. The stadium is a very special place (and I used to work there!), and it has hosted a few TV concerts (like MJ tribute 2011 and the Ryder Cup opener), but I’m worried it would simply be far to cast for Eurovision. 2001 was too large and sterile, and whilst 2011 had a better stage design and camera work, the shape of the Principality I think would struggle to emulate this. There are plans to build a ritzy new arena down Cardiff Bay, whilst this is a few years… Read more »

HarpyDarper
HarpyDarper
4 days ago
Reply to  HarpyDarper

Also, many people on WalesOnline complain that the city’s infrastructure struggles during many big events, with the M4 apparently clogged for hours as far as Bristol during some of the big concerts. Many call for a relief road through Newport, but I’m against that as it would go through a bird sanctuary. Bit of a tangent there! Despite this I really hope Wales gets it one day.

Raises an interesting point though- how often is a venue not available through scheduling conflicts? Is Eurovision such a big event that most places will fight for, and rearrange existing commitments for?

Sully
Sully
4 days ago

As a Cardiff resident, typical lack of ambition from Cardiff Council / Welsh Government, surely the economic benefits of hosting would have far outweighed any costs of rescheduling existing events, which appears to have been the blocker for making a bid. At least if you bid you’re in the race and then if you don’t win at least you tried.