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United Kingdom to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023

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The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have confirmed that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the United Kingdom on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC.

  • BBC to take on hosting duties with Contest to be held in United Kingdom in 2023
  • Host City bidding contest to begin this week
  • Ukraine to automatically qualify for the Grand Final along with ‘Big 5’ (which includes United Kingdom)
  • Representatives of UA: PBC will work with the BBC to develop Ukrainian elements of shows
  • Logo reflecting unique circumstances of staging to be revealed later

In an EBU press release published earlier, it was announced that this decision had been made following the exploration of hosting the Contest in Ukraine, and regrettably concluding that for safety and security reasons this was not possible. 

As a result of those discussions, the BBC, as runner up in the 2022 Contest, was invited by the EBU to act as Host Broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

Ukraine, as the winning country in 2022, will automatically qualify for the Grand Final of the upcoming Contest along with the so-called ‘Big 5’ (those countries that financially contribute the most towards the Contest: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom). 

‘The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. 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.’

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.’

It was also revealed that representatives of UA: PBC will work with the BBC to develop and implement the Ukrainian elements of next year’s shows.

The logo for the 2023 event will also be revealed later and will reflect the unique staging of next year’s Contest and the cooperation between the host country and this year’s winners.

Host City hunt begins…

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, shed some light on where the Contest will be hosted:

‘It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. 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.’

The BBC has staged the Eurovision Song Contest more times than any other broadcaster… on 8 occasions so far:

Next year’s Host City will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process to be launched this week.

Bidding is expected to be competitive, with several mayors, councillors and MPs already informally expressing an intention to bid, including representatives from: Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Wolverhampton.

Of course, not all of these locations will formally apply, and the BBC and the EBU will await official approaches and applications from this week onwards, publishing the long-list later in the Summer. 

As well as selling their vision for a fantastic Contest, potential Host Cities are expected to demonstrate that they can meet a list of expectations.

Last year, the EBU’s Host City criteria was based on providing a venue able to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators (as well as a press centre), that should be within easy reach of an international airport and with ample hotel accommodation.