From seven potential host cities to just two. Either Glasgow or Liverpool will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.
The BBC says that it will make its final decision “within weeks.” The two remaining candidates are said to have had “the strongest overall offer.”
Liverpool or Glasgow will host Eurovision 2023 in the UK
It gave the world The Beatles and now Liverpool is ready to welcome the world for Eurovision 2023.
Its M&S Bank Arena has a capacity of 11,000 and sits on the gorgeous River Mersey — providing a bit of calm for stressed out artists and their delegations. The venue is close to the city’s healthy stock of hotels and a large conference centre, which means all the amenities — from transport to restaurants — are within walking distance.
The most iconic quartet in British history — John, Paul, George and Ringo — hails from Liverpool, something the city nodded to in its beautiful Eurovision bid video below. The group formed in city in the 1960s, playing gigs at the famous Cavern Club on Mathew Street and various small venues across what was then part of Lancashire. The Liverpool lads went on to score 17 number one singles and 15 number one albums in the UK, plus 20 number one Billboard Hot 100 singles in the USA.
Of course, the music scene is very varied. As the only UNESCO City of Music in England, Liverpool has been commended for its contributions to the musical arts. The city’s annual Africa Oyé festival is the largest celebration of African music in the country, attracting over 50,000 people to Liverpool’s Sefton Park every June. Elsewhere, the city has helped nourish countless other British music greats, including Cilla Black, Atomic Kitten, The Wombats, Elvis Costello, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Coral, and Melanie C of The Spice Girls.
The @eurovision bid is in and it’s nearly decision time. We'll soon discover if #Liverpool has been chosen to host #Eurovision2023 in solidarity with #Ukraine.— Liverpool City Council (@lpoolcouncil) September 22, 2022
Regardless of the outcome we are honoured that the entire city region and beyond have supported our bid. pic.twitter.com/7n2nf5CxjE
The Vikings left ornate, richly-carved gravestones. Later the celebrated architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh dreamed up stunning Art Nouveau offices, schools and museums. Now, amid all that eye-catching history, Glasgow has cut a very modern path with buzzing bars, hip restaurants and much-ballyhooed art galleries and museums. Throw in the energy and vigour offered by the University of Glasgow and its 30,000-person strong student body and you start the understand why Glasgow was recently named the world’s friendliest city by Time Out magazine. Locals clearly have a lot of reasons to be happy.
The enthusiasm is certainly there. Over the summer, when the EBU said it would consult with the BBC about potentially hosting Eurovision 2023, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was among the first leaders in the UK to back a city, throwing her weight behind Glasgow.
The OVO Hydro Arena looks like a giant spacecraft that’s landed on the River Clyde. The high-impact design comes from Foster and Partners, the renowned London architecture firm behind the Millennium Bridge in London, the redevelopment of the Reichstag building in Berlin and the British Museum’s Great Court (with its tessellated glass roof). The Hydro web site explains that the design marries form and function in a beautiful way. “The distinctive elliptical sloping shape of the OVO Hydro was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman amphitheatres,” it says. “This shape offers the optimum balance of viewing angle and distance from the stage.”
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The venue has a maximum capacity of 14,300 and hosts more than 140 events every year. Attracting more than a million people annually, it regularly makes the list for the Top 10 busiest arenas globally alongside the likes of The O2 in London and Madison Square Garden in New York. Between now and December it will host concerts by A-list artists including: Andrea Bocelli, George Ezra, Swedish House Mafia, Machine Gun Kelly, Billy Idol, Robbie Williams, Kasabian, Franz Ferdinand, Westlife, Florence + The Machine and The Cure. Whew!
The European Broadcasting Union requires that potential host cities have at least 2,000 available hotel rooms to ensure that singers, their delegations and the production teams have a place to rest their heads. Glasgow clears that hurdle easily, with more than 15,000 rooms available across the Greater Glasgow area. The booming hotel scene has options no matter how deep your pockets — and features some shiny new options. Among the latest entries are the new Virgin Hotel and the shiny, LGBT-friendly Revolver Hotel, which sits above the Polo Lounge nightclub. It has 29 swish rooms that range from £25 to £300 per night.