The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is to be staged in Liverpool at the city’s 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena.
Operated by The ACC Liverpool Group, the venue will host the final of the contest on 13 May, with semi-finals staged on 9 and 11 May. Following Kalush Orchestra’s victory for Ukraine at this year’s event in May, it was decided the 2023 contest could not be held in the winning country for safety and security reasons. Last month, a shortlist of seven UK cities was reduced to two; Glasgow and Liverpool.
It is understood that around a month’s preparations, including rehearsals and stage build, will be needed at the M&S Bank Arena, meaning that shows booked in April and early May will likely be postponed. Events set to be impacted include Elton John: Farewell Yellow Brick Road, Magic Mike: The Arena Tour, Reminisce in Concert, Michael Starring Ben, Olly Murs and André Rieu.
The ACC Liverpool Group MD Faye Dyer said her team was “ecstatic” after winning the bid: “This has been a whole city effort and we are truly grateful for everyone’s hard work and support to bring this to the region and to our campus. We know we have a busy few months ahead planning this phenomenal event but our team are ready and really excited. This will be a fabulous global event for the city and, most importantly, gives us the opportunity to show our support for Ukraine.”
The BBC, together with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), will organise the event next year in consultation with UA:PBC – Ukraine’s public broadcaster.
Eurovision Song Contest executive supervisor Martin Österdahl said Liverpool is the ideal place to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine: “We have been very impressed with the passion the city has shown in embracing the contest and their inclusive ideas for placing last year’s winners, Ukraine, front and centre when thousands of fans visit next May.”
Culture secretary Michelle Donelan said, “Putin’s illegal war means the competition cannot take place in Ukraine, but Eurovision brings people together and, together with the Government, I am sure Liverpool and the BBC will honour the country’s culture and creativity with an event to remember.”
Culture Liverpool director Claire McColgan CBE said, “It has been a whirlwind few months where we have spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours devising a meaningful, thought-provoking bid which is energising, inspiring and pays homage to the Ukraine and its incredible people.
“Liverpool is the right city to host this event – it’s a bitter-sweet win, but will be a showcase of solidarity across the UK and Europe.”