Music News

UK to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023 on behalf of Ukraine

The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in the UK on behalf of this year’s winners, Ukraine.

Eurovision organisers reached the conclusion that the event could not be held in the Ukraine, due to the ongoing war following Russia's invasion.

The UK finished in second place in this year's contest, so the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) opened talks with the BBC. It's not yet known which city will host the show, but cities including Glasgow and Manchester have so far expressed interest, while Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle, Birmingham, Aberdeen, London, Brighton, Belfast and Cardiff could all be in contention.

Any city vying to host Eurovision 2023 will have to prove that they have sufficient facilities and infrastructure via a Eurovision bidding process.

The EBU has stated that the host venue should accommodate about 10,000 spectators, be within easy reach of an international airport and have enough hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators.

Ukraine's entrant Kalush Orchestra won this year's contest in May in a symbolic show of public support, while Sam Ryder came second for the UK with his song Space Man, the country's best result since 1998.

Former construction worker Ryder topped the jury vote at Eurovision 2022 with 283 points, but came fifth in the public vote, which is where Ukraine soared to victory.

"This is the tip of an iceberg," Ryder told the BBC afterwards. "The UK is going to be a force next year. It's gonna be mad."

"This is a red letter moment," added Graham Norton, who presented the contest on BBC One. "I am so happy for [Sam], for the UK and for the BBC who have worked so hard to turn our fortunes."

Kalush Orchestra’s winning song, Stefania, was written initially as a tribute to frontman Oleh Psiuk's mother. However, it has now been re-purposed to address the Ukraine and its people after the Russian invasion that began three months ago.

"After it all started with the war and the hostilities, it took on additional meaning, and many people started seeing it as their mother, Ukraine, in the meaning of the country," Psiuk said. "It has become really close to the hearts of so many people in Ukraine."

Receiving the Eurovision trophy, Psiuk stated: "Thank you for supporting Ukraine. This victory is for every Ukrainian. Slava Ukraini."