Liverpool to Host 2023 Eurovision Song Contest on Behalf of Ukraine
Liverpool will host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and BBC revealed Friday.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra were named the winners of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year, and as champions, Ukraine would customarily host the 2023 event. But as Russia – which was blocked from participating this year – continues to invade the country, its winning broadcaster UA: PBC will officially pass off hosting responsibilities to the U.K., whose own Sam Ryder came in second place in the 2022 contest.
“Playing in the same place that The Beatles started out will be a moment we’ll never forget!” Kalush Orchestra said in a statement Friday. “Although we are sad that next year’s competition cannot take place in our homeland, we know that the people of Liverpool will be warm hosts and the organizers will be able to add a real Ukrainian flavor to Eurovision 2023 in this city.”
BBC Director-General Tim Davie said Liverpool is “the undisputed capital of pop music” and would be “an amazing host.” Prime Minister Liz Truss tweeted, “A welcoming city with a proud musical heritage, Liverpool will put on an unforgettable show which celebrates the rich culture and creativity of Ukraine.”
The BBC has assumed hosting duties on behalf of other winning countries in the past, including the Netherlands, France, Monaco, and Luxembourg, between 1960 and 1974.
In a statement, Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl previously said: “Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest host city will be named in the coming months after the conclusion of a bidding process.
“It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest,” said Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC. “Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege. The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity. The BBC will now begin the process to find a Host City to partner with us on delivering one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”
Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the managing board of UA: PBC, added: “The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”
This story was updated 10/7 to reflect the announcement that Liverpool would be the U.K. city to host Eurovision 2022.
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