Ukraine Kalush Orchestra Eurovision 2022 winner
EBU / Corinne Cumming

Eurovision tickets are never easy to come by. And with interest in this year’s contest already spiking with the imminent announcement of the Eurovision 2023 host city shortlist, folks are already thinking about potential flights, hotels and, of course, tickets.

Building on that, British Future — an independent think tank and registered charity that works for an inclusive Britain — is floating what it calling the “Welcomers Eurovision” Proposal. It’s encouraging the 2023 organisers to reserve tickets for Ukrainian refugees and the UK families who are hosting them.

Given that the United Kingdom is organising the contest on behalf of Ukraine — and in the name of pan-European unity — it makes a lot of sense. We’re publishing their full press release below.

CALL FOR 2023 TO BE A ‘WELCOMERS EUROVISION’ WITH UKRAINIAN REFUGEES AND THEIR UK HOSTS IN FRONT ROW (Press Release)

As the shortlist of cities in the running to host the 2023 Eurovision song contest is announced today (12 August), campaigners have called for next year’s event to be a ‘Welcomers Eurovision’, with priority tickets allocated to Ukrainian refugees in the UK and the host families who have offered them a place to stay under the popular ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme.

Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Bristol and Sheffield have all put in bids to be the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest contest next spring. The global music contest will be held in the UK after organisers the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) ruled that it could be safely held in Ukraine, who won the 2022 Eurovision. The shortlist of prospective host cities will be announced on the BBC 2 Breakfast Show today (12 August).

Thinktank British Future, which is behind the ‘Welcomers Eurovision’ proposal, says that this would be the perfect moment to celebrate the warm welcome that people in Britain and many other European nations have offered to those fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Warm-up events, qualifying rounds and ‘fan zone’ events on the night could take place in locations around the country and take a similar approach, with Ukrainians and their hosts invited to take part.

Latest government figures show that 107,900 refugees have arrived in the UK under the Ukraine Scheme – the largest number of refugees to come to the UK from one country at one time since the First World War. More than 100,000 people in Britain offered  homes to Ukrainian refugees in the first 24 hours after the government launched the Homes for Ukraine scheme that allows families and individuals to bring people to the UK.

Sunder Katwala, Director of British Future, said:

“The 2023 Eurovision is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the warm welcome that thousands of Brits have offered to Ukrainians fleeing the war.

“Britain is hosting the contest on behalf of 2022 winners Ukraine – what better way to embody that than by inviting some of the thousands of citizens who are now hosting Ukrainian families in their homes? Nothing could be more in the Eurovision spirit of friendship and cooperation between European neighbours.

“The public’s response to the crisis in Ukraine – and indeed the thousands of others across the UK who are helping to welcome other new arrivals, from Hong Kong, Afghanistan and elsewhere – is something we can all be proud of.”

The ‘Welcomers Eurovision’ proposal is one of the recommendations in a new British Future report published today (12 August), Seizing the moment: Why events matter for social connection and shared identity’, published as a submission to the ‘Power of Events Inquiry’ by London 2012 legacy organisation Spirit of 2012. The Inquiry examines how major events – from the Jubilee and Commonwealth Games to the Eurovision song contest next year ­– can have positive, lasting social impacts. Polling by Focaldata finds that 62% of people feel that major events like the Jubilee and sporting tournaments bring people from different backgrounds together.  Some 23 million people in the UK joined in celebrations of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this year.

The British Future report also examines in detail how major events can help to bridge divides and bring people together.  It features further recommendations for activities to mark the 75th anniversary of the Windrush next year and how the Euro 2028 football tournament, which the UK and Ireland hope to host jointly, could be an important showcase for the power and potential of sport to help promote social contact between people from different backgrounds.

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Ant
Ant
1 month ago

Lol the comments are ridiculously venomous

Helena
1 month ago

Turkey invaded Cyprus and people miss them now.
Hypocritea

Devito
1 month ago

Milk the Europeans even more? Production of such an event cost enormous money, people should think of the possibility to let the UK to earn some money for taking responsibility in these times. Additionally, Ukrainians should stop using the war as an excuse to get what they want, it’s not like Europeans have closed their eyes and did nothing to help them since February. Constant ranting from Ukrainians hurts me as if what the West did to this day was worthless help, and it makes me wonder whereas we should help them more if the majority of the nation is… Read more »

Xyz
Xyz
1 month ago

Lol no

Lloyd
Lloyd
1 month ago

Give tickets away for free when tickets are a big part of production costs? Not likely

motopapi
motopapi
1 month ago

Man, virtue signaling is getting out of hand!
I miss the days when Eurovision was an actual song contest instead of a Ukrainian “charity” fund

Midnight Gold
Midnight Gold
1 month ago
Reply to  motopapi

It has always been like that to an extent, see Toto Cutugno, Dana International, Conchita and so on.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Midnight Gold

Ain’t no one used Eurovision to help the Bosniaks during their war

motopapi
motopapi
1 month ago

Mexico isn’t at war dude. Yeah, we have a big problem with narcos but it isn’t a war.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  motopapi

The USA is more dangerous than Mexico

Ukrainealwaysandforeverandeverywhere
Ukrainealwaysandforeverandeverywhere
1 month ago

I love the new direction of this event! I am done with an event focused purely on the music, the artists and the performance. Not to mention the silly inclusion and connection of all the participating countries! I am so excited for the Ukrainovision 2023! Cannot wait for new ideas to make this more about Ukraine and less about anyone else. When are others going to follow this example? For example, FIFA and the World Cup? I still can’t get over Ukraine being eliminated based on the football skills, when they should have qualified directly, and moreover, be let to… Read more »

aksel kankaanranta's husband
aksel kankaanranta's husband
1 month ago

so nobody cares about the Eurovision fans anymore? got it!

Una
Una
1 month ago

About the invitations: I think this idea is over the top. How many exactly? Based on what would one be more deserving than another?

Why invite them for free when the locals work and pay t*x or are elderly and spent a lifetime supporting the country? Refs’ hosts receive support already.

To some extent *charity* can become undignifying for people. And it promotes “they” vs “us” mentality. And of course, someone’s got to *pay* for those seats.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

The invitations would be for ukrainians refugees AND for the locals (who pay their tax) who have welcomed some ukrainians so calm down and you won’t pay yourself for those seats don’t be afraid. You are promoting the “they” vs “us” here by reacting like that, Eurovision is unity and solidarity.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Ain’t no one offered Bosniak refugees free tickets back in the 1990s

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Una

Affirmative action is in general an interesting gray area between righteous / helpful and setting the scale on the other end. There’s no definitive action which can be applied to all situations, and that’s why it’s complicated. Having no affirmative action in any situation would negate the fact that some people are more privileged than others. Applying the affirmative action to too many areas or setting the bar to far off would indeed promote the ”us vs them” mentality, and even set back the marginalized group’s rights, as others would at that point see them as the more privileged ones.… Read more »

Colin
Colin
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin

For the sake of curiosity, it would be interesting to know where the dislikes come from to the comment I consider to be pretty middle of the path and nuanced. Was I too liberal for even mentioning affirmative action as something that sometimes works or not liberal enough for saying it sometimes doesn’t work?

Ares
Ares
1 month ago

with each eurovision post about this, the hypocrisy grows and grows every single time. My next proposal is to make every country to sing in ukrainian, but each country is represented by a ukrainian singer, and each singer must record themselves kicking the b*tt of a russian citizen. In addition, the hosts must speak in ukrainian and unless you have shut down your russian gas supply you are not allowed to buy tickets

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Ares

My next proposal is to silence all the toxic eurofans who extrapolates everything just for the pleasure to add drama for nothing.

Im so fab
Im so fab
1 month ago

“Hey, I’m a Ukrainian citizen. Did you know that Ukraine is in war? Do you hear ME? Hear ME, I said. Everything must be about ME! I’m important!!1!”

We are going through Eurovision’s darkest days. Stay strong buddies.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Im so fab

Greece has not enough attention because of Ukraine, I’m not so fab is jealous.

Henno
Henno
1 month ago

Sorry, we ALL deserve tickets…. without bias or preference. This is NOT a sympathy telethon, it’s the Eurovision!

Rifki
Rifki
1 month ago

“Ukrainian refugees and their UK hosts deserve Eurovision 2023 tickets”
well, and so do true Eurovision fans who really want to watch the contest live in the venue. like, it is not a charity show for Ukraine; it instead is still a continental music contest. this kind of pity for Ukraine thing should not be too dominant.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Rifki

What is the Ukraine thing that doesn’t deserve this kind of pity? Just to know.
So because Eurovision is a “continental music contest” we have to ignore what is happening now in Ukraine who is the last winning country. So litteraly let the eurofans enjoying their contest selfishy without empathy while others are suffering. The true Eurovision spirit is not that.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

It’s gone too political now. No one made such efforts for the Bosniaks during the 1990s. We should be treating the Ukrianians just the same. Acknowldge the problem but not let it get in the way of the contest, otherwise why are we keeping score?

musica
musica
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

How would this initiative get in the way of the contest? Rotterdam did the same for the poorer inhabitants of the city. If a few hundred Ukrainians and their hosts get free tickets, fair play to them. To me, only Russian trolls could be offended by this.

Rifki
Rifki
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

not to ignore, just don’t make it too dominant. balance is the key. how to make it in balance? BBC and UA:PBC should figure out.

Roelof M
Roelof M
1 month ago

I think this is a really great idea, it’s kinda like how less well-off households in Rotterdam got free tickets in 2021, but this time it’s even more symbolic! Hope this idea reaches the BBC somehow.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Roelof M

But has the UK even taken in many refugees?

Denis
Denis
1 month ago

I think everybody should stop treating ESC as a charity for Ukraine where everything is only about Ukraine. That is not what ESC is about. Part of hosting is to show off your country. Ukraine is not hosting, so stop making everything about them. No one should get free tickets, refugee or not

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

Welcome egoism….and if there was a war in Sweden you would be happy to be treated as you treat Ukraine and the ukrainian refugees?
It seems that a self centered eurofan without empathy has forgotten that Ukraine has won maybe, so it’s all about Ukraine and it’s more than logical whether you like it or not, PERIOD. The UK won’t host their own Eurovision but they are going to help Ukraine to make the show they can’t make in their country, not so hard to understand.

Denis
Denis
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Guess what? I have been through war. I spent two years of my life living in shelters. I even lost my shoe and nappy escaping through the night because there were no soldiers at night. Have you?
Did I get free tickets? Did I get free anything? Nope. Did other Bosnians get free tickets? Nope, all we got were applauds. So what makes Ukraine different?
Is ESC the only thing Ukraine cares about ? Is getting free tickets a priority?

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Denis

Ukraine didn’t ask for these tickets, come down. Oh you don’t get enough attention and you don’t get free tickets yourself so nobody deserved it, lol self centrism and egoism as its best.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Bosnia didn’t even get many points even though all their songs have been miles better than Stefania

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Your opinion, Stefania is great imo and a largely deserved winner.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

hehe, nice joke

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

There was a war in Bosnia and no one acted in such a way in Eurovision for the Bosniaks. It’s gone too far now. Ukraine is just one country of many who are competing… Otherwise, why are we keeping score?

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago

Well what was the purpose of this musical event when it was created? If Eurovision doesn’t show solidarity towards ukrainians then who? Ukrainians refugees have no money they flee a war, they have the right to be entertained and to forget a little bit this war, moreover they have won the last edition and can’t have it in their homesoil so yeah they deserve largely free tickets.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

Eurovision was created for two reasons; to test new technologies in broadcasting; and to ensure an united Western Europe in direct opposition to the Warsaw Pact. It was Western Propaganda and had nothing to do with WW2. The war had ended well over a decade prior to the first contest.

Alvin
Alvin
1 month ago

This seems crazy, but hear me out!

If Spain won Eurovision 2023, they should invite Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking sovereign African nation to Eurovision for the next edition!

Some of best songs that came out of Equatorial Guinea :

Angel Glamour – “Oberadaboo”
Angel Glamour – “Cultura”
Angel Glamour – “Cafe ya monang”

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Alvin

Wtf

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
1 month ago
Reply to  Alvin

No country can just invite a country to ESC.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Sir Stevia

Australia…

Dndndndjd
Dndndndjd
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Australia joined after decades of broadcasting the show

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Dndndndjd

I know, I’m Australian. We applied in 1998 and got turned down. They invited us in 2015 to compete. That’s it, we’re only participating because we got an invitation.

Sir Stevia
Sir Stevia
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

The EBU invites countries, countries don’t invite countries.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Sir Stevia

EBU had to get Austria’s permission to invite us since they were hosting

Shanfa Chai
Shanfa Chai
1 month ago
Reply to  Alvin

Aside from the absurdity of this comment, I did give the three Equatoguinean songs you mentioned a listen.

“Oberadaboo” sounds like could be a mainstream radio hit.

“Cultura” is an ethno-banger that reminds me of “Shum”.

“Cafe ya monang” is a cute song with chill vibe, albeit not as competitive as the other two.

basketball stars
1 month ago

Why do they act like the UN when they watch Eurovision? No one deserves free tickets because it’s a TV show and a concert. Stop transforming Eurovision into a Ukrainian charity fund and start paying for tickets like everyone else if you want one.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago

Who could be against that…. it’s obvious that for those who would like to attend Eurovision they deserve it, it’s a nice move, but more than 100 000 ukrainians and more than 100 000 british people it’s gigantic so you won’t be able to invite everyone who wants to go to the contest I fear.

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

I think the Ukrainians would prefer more help defeating Russia and rebuilding their country than a free ticket to a contest with music they might not even appreciate…

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Ukrainians didn’t ask for these free tickets themselves, but it would be a nice move, I find logical to have ukrainians in the crowd the next year, but the ukrainians refugees have no money to spend, so the solution is to invite some of them, is it so hard to accept it for the eurofans…..

Mark
Mark
1 month ago
Reply to  Esc addict

How about we give them money so they can spend it how they chose.

Esc addict
Esc addict
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark

Why not.