There are multiple cities that have announced since they have submitted applications to host the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) 2023. The event takes place in the United Kingdom. They are: Aberdeen, Belfast, Brighton, Bristol, Birmingham, Darlington, Edimburgh, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle.
The city of Aberdeen, Scotland, has gone further, having already allocated £30,000 for a bid. It proposes the P&J Live arena, and Kevin Stewart, MSP for Aberdeen Central, stated quoted on Aberdeeen Live: “Aberdeen has a sparkling new venue, an international airport next door & we have fabulous hotels too. Our welcoming, cultural, cosmopolitan city deserves to be on the shortlist”.
From Belfast, Northern Ireland, a Twitter account has even been created dedicated to the attempt to host the ESC 2023. One of the tweets states: “Belfast has submitted an expression of interest for Eurovision 2023, and the proposal to support a full bid, if we’re shortlisted on Friday, was supported by the Council’s City Growth & Regeneration Committee”.
As for Birmingham, which hosted the ESC in 1998 the last time it was in the UK, leader of the council Ian Ward said on BBC Breakfast: “I think, having hosted the Commonwealth Games in such a short period of time, what a city in this country could you make the Eurovision Song Contest in a shorter period of time? It has to be Birmingham, doesn’t it? We will strive for that”.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, also took social media to announce the bid do the ESC, writing a post: “We’ve submitted Bristol’s bid to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine. Hundreds of Ukrainians now call our City of Sanctuary home – we’ve put them at the heart of our bid. With YTL Arena, we’d custom-build the perfect Eurovision at the Brabazon Hangars”.
More surprising is Darlington’s entry into the race, despite hosting concerts by international stars and other events such as the Rugby World Cup 2021. Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley, revealed the bid quoted in The Northern Eco: “Whatever the outcome, our bid sets out our stall and shows we have the ambition, facilities and vision to do things a few years ago we wouldn’t have even thought about. If successful, this will help us develop even closer relationships with Ukraine and its communities, while highlighting all our region has to offer on an international stage”.
In Scotland, Edinburgh will also present a bid. Cammy Day, council leader, said quoted by Edinburgh News: “It is, of course, of great regret that this year’s winners Ukraine aren’t able to host the 2023 contest in their own country, but we would be honoured to step in – not least with Kyiv being our cherished sister city and Edinburgh having become home to many thousands of Ukrainians in recent months”.
Regarding the city of Liverpool, speaking to to the BBC’s official website, the assistant to the president and member of the council for Culture and Tourism Economy, Harry Doyle, said: “We are excited to have submitted a bid for Liverpool to host Eurovision 2023. […]. We think Liverpool would be the perfect stage to celebrate this unique Eurovision”.
Leeds City Council announced the candidacy on social media and shared a wish: “We’ve welcomed many Ukrainian refugees to our city and we hope they’ll share our excitement in honouring their Eurovision win this year”.
Quoted by the BBC website, Ian Thomas, destination director at the NewcastleGateshead Initiative – the organization behind the Newcastle’s bid – stated that a major impact is expected by hosting the event: “The potential impact of Newcastle hosting Eurovision 2023 is phenomenal. Eurovision would play a significant role in rejuvenating and sustaining our visitor economy, supporting our businesses and creating an even better place for our residents”.
Tomorrow (August 12), the short list of candidate cities will be announced, which are decided by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).