Highlights Eurovision Song Contest ESC 2023

Seven cities in the race to host Eurovision 2023

Seven cities in the race to host Eurovision 2023 Image credits: EBU / Andres Putting

There are seven cities that can host the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2023 in the United Kingdom. The shortlist was released this morning and is made up of Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.

According to the British public broadcaster BBC, 20 cities have shown interest. Among those that didn’t make to the shortlisted seven are London (capital of the United Kingdom) and Belfast, on the island of Northern Ireland. No city in Wales applied.

A city must meet rigorous and demanding criteria in order to host the ESC, such as having a good transport network, a good offer of accommodation, an arena with space and appropriate characteristics to the event, among others.

In this case, the BBC will also assess the cultural offer, the emphasis given to Ukraine’s music and culture, the level of the commitment that is possible (including financial contribution) and the alignment with its priority strategies. The choice should be announced in the fall.


Candidate cities to host the ESC 2023

  • Birmingham, England
    • Birmingham hosted the ESC in 1998, the last time the event was held in the United Kingdom. It proposes the Resorts World Arena as a venue, with a capacity for 15.,685 people. Last March, it hosted a solidarity concert for Ukraine.
  • Glasgow, Scotland
    • Glasgow is one of Scotland’s most important cities. The OVO Hydro (14,300 seats) would be the arena for the ESC 2023 and is a well-known venue for the Eurovision public: its facade was shown in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of the Fire Saga.
  • Leeds, England
    • The city of Leeds was a candidate for European Capital of Culture in 2023, before Brexit. Still, it wants to have a cultural year in 2023 and the ESC would be an ideal event for that strategy. The proposed venue is the First District Arena with a 13,781 seat capacity.
  • Liverpool, England
    • Liverpool is a city with a musical history, being the «home» of The Beatles. It has already hosted several large cultural events, including the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2008. The 11,000-seat M&S Bank Arena, is the city’s proposal.
  • Manchester, Enland
    • A particularity of Manchester is that it has the largest Ukrainian community in the United Kingdom outside London. It also has an extensive experience in organizing concerts and events. The AO Arena is the suggested venue and has a capacity of 21,000.
  • Newcastle, England
    • Newcastle is another city with a large resident Ukrainian community. In addition to proposing the Utility Arena (11,000 seats), for the ESC 2023, it is also already thinking of the Town Moor and Exhibition Park as a venue for the Eurovision Village.
  • Sheffield, England
    • The city of Sheffield is twinned with Donetsk (Ucrânia). Its proposal for the ESC 2023 is the Utilita Arena, with a capacity for 13,600 people. The arena was built to host the 1991 Universiade.
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Bernardo Matias

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