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Liverpool’s Eurovision legacy

As the final sequins are swept up and the outfits packed away, we’re reflecting on a whirlwind week for our venue and city.

It was an honour to be chosen to host Eurovision ’23 on behalf of Ukraine, and in the same year as we celebrate our 15th anniversary. From the moment Liverpool was announced as the host city, we knew this would be an event like no other and would require a massive effort from our teams, in a very short timescale. But delivering fantastic events is what we do best and we were ready to rise to the challenge.

It was a huge collaboration between our teams and service partners, working closely with the BBC; EBU; Culture Liverpool; Combined Authority; DCMS and Merseyside Police.

The event utilised the whole campus, with the live shows taking place in the arena, the convention centre hosting the delegation bubble and dressing rooms, and crew catering, media centre and hospitality in the exhibition centre. The event build was extensive, with the BBC taking tenancy from 27 March and technical rehearsals starting in April.

There were 12 shows in total, nine of which were open to the public. The staging for the live shows involved more than 600 rigging points, 140 tons of steel ground support structure, and 1KM of additional steel truss work. It featured eight miles of cabling for lighting, sound, video and SFX, over 2,000 specialist lighting fixtures, 200 custom staging decks, 950sqm of staging for the main stage, and 500sqm of staging for the green room.

The grand final smashed viewing figures, with a record breaking 180 million tuning in

Outside of the campus, an additional 500,000 visitors flocked to the city during the two-week period to soak up wider events including a Eurovision Village, art commissions at a Eurofestival, glittering open ceremony and numerous community and school engagement programmes.

The grand final smashed viewing figures, with a record breaking 180 million tuning in, making it the most viewed final in Eurovision history. Both audience and client feedback has been outstanding, with the European Broadcasting Union hailing this year’s event as ‘the best production and host city we have ever seen’.

The impact of Eurovision 2023 will become clear in coming months. There are already some key legacy projects emerging, including the development of a Eurovision music legacy fund driven by the Liverpool City Region Music Board, which will support local grassroots artists. We are also engaging with TikTok, who was the official entertainment partner of the contest, to platform the local music scene.

As a UNESCO City of Music, we want to fully embrace the slogan United by Music. Eurovision has been a living, breathing example of the power of live events. For us, it is the culmination of the challenging journey that we, like so many others in our industry, have been on since 2020. From lobbying the government to support the events industry and acknowledge the power of live experiences, to welcoming one of the biggest events in the world to the UK, our industry has achieved so much. It has been a privilege to be at the heart of this phenomenal global event and we are excited for the next chapter of our incredible journey.



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Glasgow or Liverpool to host Eurovision 2023

Glasgow or Liverpool will host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest after the seven-strong UK shortlist was cut to two.

The competition will be held at either the former’s 14,300-cap OVO Hydro or the latter’s 11,000-cap M&S Bank Arena next May, with a final decision to be announced “within weeks”.

Birmingham, Leeds, Newcastle, Sheffield and Manchester were also in the running after 20 UK cities expressed an interest when organisers decided 2022 winners Ukraine could not stage the event due to the war. The UK’s Sam Ryder finished second in this year’s contest.

“The EBU (European Broadcasting Union) would like to warmly thank all the seven British cities that put so much effort and enthusiasm into their bids to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine,” says Martin Österdahl, executive supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest. “We very much appreciate their cooperation and the quality and creativity of all the bids received.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is the most complex TV production in the world with very specific logistical requirements to accommodate around 40 delegations and thousands of crew, volunteers, press and fans.

“We’re confident our final two cities are the best placed to meet this challenge and look forward to continuing our discussions to choose the one which will stage the world’s largest music event next May.”

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a very complex event and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest overall offer”

The final decision on the host city will be decided by the BBC in conjunction with the European Broadcasting Union.

“Thanks to all seven cities across the UK who have demonstrated the enthusiasm and passion for Eurovision that exists right across the UK,” adds Phil Harrold, the chair of the BBC’s host city selection committee. “We were incredibly impressed by the quality and creativity of all the city bids, in what was a highly competitive field. The Eurovision Song Contest is a very complex event and Liverpool and Glasgow have the strongest overall offer; we will continue our discussions with them to determine the eventual host city.

“We are determined to make the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest one that both reflects the winning position of Ukraine and is also an event that all of the UK can participate in.”

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event, with over 180 million people tuning in across linear and digital channels in 2022. The contest has launched the global careers of artists including Måneskin, Celine Dion, ABBA and Julio Iglesias.

Organisers are also planning to launch the event in Canada and Latin America, as the global expansion of the brand continues.


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