Hunt is on to find UK host city for Eurovision 2023

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

Following the decision that, regrettably, next year’s event could not be held in Ukraine for safety and security reasons the EBU explored a number of options with the winning broadcaster.

As a result of 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.

“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s executive supervisor. “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.”

Representatives from UA: PBC will work with the BBC to develop and implement the Ukrainian elements of next year’s shows. Ukraine, as the winning country of the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest, will also automatically qualify to the Grand Final of the upcoming contest.

The two Semi-Finals and Grand Final will be produced by BBC Studios, which was previously commissioned to produce Eurovision 2023 coverage before there were any discussions about the Song Contest coming to the UK. The BBC will also be seeking additional programming and content from producers across the market, with further details to follow.

The BBC will now begin the process to find a city and venue to the host the event. Any cities wanting to receive an information pack should email esc.hostcity@bbc.co.uk.

The BBC has staged the Eurovision Song Contest more times than any other broadcaster, hosting in London in 1960, 1963, 1968 and 1977, Edinburgh in 1972, Brighton in 1974, Harrogate in 1982 and Birmingham in 1998.

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.

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.

The Eurovision Song Contest is the world’s largest live music event, organised annually since 1956 by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), which represents public service media in 56 countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

The 2022 competition reached more than 180 million viewers on TV and digital platforms.