Either Glasgow or Liverpool will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 after the shortlist was cut from seven cities to two.

After the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced that this year’s Eurovision runners up the UK would host the event instead of winners Ukraine, 20 cities showed an interest in hosting the event. The final five to miss out were Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

Eurovision organisers said the host venue should be able to host around 10,000 spectators, be within close reach of an airport and have enough hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 attendees.

The two venues set to host the event are Glasgow’s OVO Hydro (cap. 14,300) or Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena (11,000). As a venue is needed for six to eight weeks ahead of the event, it is expected that upcoming tour dates at the host venue will be postponed or cancelled.

The mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said, “Nowhere throws a party quite like us. The people, communities & businesses of our city are ready to put on a show – for Ukraine, the UK and for Europe. Eurovision in Liverpool. Imagine” 

Cllr Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The competition has been very strong, but Glasgow has an unrivalled track-record for successfully hosting major global events. Between that experience and expertise; our famous live music scene, and one of the world’s top entertainment venues in the OVO Hydro – Glasgow has everything it takes to host a show that the whole Eurovision family can be proud of.”

Phil Harrold, the chair of the BBC’s Host City Selection Committee said: “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.”

The UK has hosted Eurovision eight times – four times in London, and in Edinburgh, Brighton, Harrogate and Birmingham. It was last held in the UK in 1998 when Birmingham was the host city.