Liverpool has been selected as the host city for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest after a long bidding race with the likes of Glasgow, Newcastle and Leeds. Now the process has finally reached a conclusion, Liverpool M&S Arena will host the final and both semi-finals in May of next year.
The United Kingdom was chosen as the home of Eurovision in 2023 after it finished second in last year’s contest. Winner Ukraine was unable to take the reins due to the ongoing conflict with Russia - and so the UK will be holding the song festival on its behalf.
Ukrainian culture will be celebrated at all Eurovision events next year, with a whole host of special references set to be confirmed in due course. Eurovision Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl welcomed the choice, as he said: “Liverpool is the ideal place to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.
“The city is synonymous with music and Liverpool Arena exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale. We have been very impressed with the passion the city has shown in embracing the contest and their inclusive ideas for placing last year’s winners, Ukraine, front and centre when thousands of fans visit next May."
Sam Ryder led the United Kingdom to their best Eurovision finish since 1998 when Imaani was runner-up. His song, ‘SPACE MAN’, was extremely successful with both the jury and popular vote. The United Kingdom is now reaping the rewards as it becomes the host nation for the first time since 1997.
Tim Davie, BBC Director General, is delighted with the host city announcement. He said: “Congratulations to Liverpool. They will be an amazing host for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Liverpool is such an exciting, warm and vibrant city.
“It’s the undisputed capital of pop music and is celebrating the 65th anniversary of its twinning with the Ukrainian city of Odesa. I know the people of Liverpool will welcome Europe – and the rest of the world – with open arms, and in partnership we will create something truly special.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, including the final and semi-final dates, which other cities were shortlisted, the M&S Bank Arena capacity, the nearest airport, hotels local to the venue, what TV channel the contest will be on, who the rumoured presenters are, and how to get tickets.
When is the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 Grand Final?
As confirmed along with the host city announcement, the 2023 Eurovision Grand Final will take place on Saturday, May 13. All the action will unfold in Liverpool that evening - including songs from contestants and the crowning of the winner.
When are the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 semi-finals?
There are two semi-finals of Eurovision in 2023, and they will both get underway a few days before the Grand Final. The first will be on Tuesday, May 9, and the second will be on Thursday, May 11.
Which UK cities were shortlisted to host Eurovision 2023?
Before Liverpool was announced as winner, there were seven cities on the shortlist to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. There are strict criteria for Eurovision host cities, which includes having a venue that can hold at least 10,000 people, and access to an international airport. All seven of these cities were deemed acceptable:
What is the capacity of Liverpool M&S Bank Arena?
Eurovision’s host venue for 2023, which provides all the necessary flexibility for the moving and positioning of stages, can hold up to 11,000 people. Set on a World Heritage Waterfront in Liverpool, the M&S Bank Arena is regarded as a pilgrimage destination for entertainment lovers across the planet.
What is the nearest airport to Liverpool for Eurovision 2023?
The most convenient airport to head to if you’re going to Eurovision from abroad or elsewhere in the UK is Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA), simply down to how close it is to the city. In fact, JLA is just over eight miles away from the host venue - and it is reachable with a 22-minute drive according to Google Maps.
What Liverpool hotels can I book for Eurovision 2023 near M&S Bank Arena?
There are a whole host of hotels in Liverpool City Centre, with outlets such as Premier Inn, Holiday Inn, Travelodge, ibis, and Novotel stretching across the region. A full list of each can be found below.
Premier Inn hotels in Liverpool City Centre:
- Liverpool City Centre (Moorfields) - Vernon Street, L2 2AY
- Liverpool City Centre (Liverpool One) - 48 Hanover Street, L1 4AF
- Liverpool City Centre (Lime Street) - 4 Bolton Street, L3 5LX
- Liverpool City Centre (Albert Dock) - East Britannia Building, Albert Dock, L3 4AD
To check availability and book a room, visit the Premier Inn website.
Holiday Inn hotels in Liverpool City Centre:
- Liverpool (City Centre) - Lime Street, L1 1NQ
- Liverpool (Royal Albert Dock) - Britannia Pavillion, L3 4AD
To check availability and book a room, visit the Holiday Inn website.
Travelodge hotels in Liverpool City Centre:
- Travelodge Liverpool Central Exchange Street - 38 Exchange Street East, L2 3PS
- Travelodge Liverpool Central - 25 Old Haymarket, L1 6ER
- Travelodge Liverpool Docks - Brunswick Dock, Sefton Street, L3 4BN
To check availability and book a room, visit the Travelodge website.
ibis hotels in Liverpool City Centre:
- ibis Styles Liverpool Centre (Dale Street - Cavern Quarter) - 67 Dale Street, L2 2HJ
- ibis Liverpool Centre (Albert Dock - Liverpool One) - 27 Wapping, L1 8LY
To check availability and book a room, visit the ibis website.
Novotel hotels in Liverpool City Centre:
- Hotel Novotel Liverpool Centre - 40 Hanover Street, L1 4LN
- Novotel Liverpool Paddington Village - 3 Grove Street, L7 3FA
To check availability and book a room, visit the Novotel website.
What TV channel will Eurovision 2023 be shown on?
It hasn’t been officially announced as to which TV channel viewers in the United Kingdom will need to tune in to, however, in line with previous years it is expected the contest will be broadcast live on BBC One.
The broadcast is usually joined by Graham Norton who commentates as the show progresses bringing further entertainment and witty quips for everyone to enjoy.
Norton hinted he would be returning to the role on Twitter. He said: “Congratulations Liverpool!!! @Eurovision @bbceurovision See you in May!!!”
The tweet prompted Liverpool City Council to respond with their excitement saying: “Looking forward to having you here.”
One fan responded to Norton’s tweet saying: “Graham, I’m holding you personally responsible for the sore throat I’ve got after screaming at you announcing our beautiful city earlier! Roll on May!!”
Who are the presenters for Eurovision 2023?
Again, no official decision has been when it comes to Eurovision 2023 presenters, however, rumours of potential candidates abound. Big names already circulating include:
- Graham Norton (unless he commentates once again)
- Holly Willoughby & Phillip Schofield
- Bonnie Tyler
- Davina McCall
- Dermot O’Leary
- Maya Jama
- Rylan Clark
- Alan Carr
- James Corden
- Jonathan Ross
How to get tickets for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest
With the host city now confirmed, we’re one step closer to getting hold of a coveted Eurovision ticket but there’s a bit more planning that needs to happen before then, including setting prices, calculating availability, and even deciding upon the ticket vendor itself. At the venue, decisions for stage building and camera operations need to be decided before releasing tickets to members of the public.
At that point, tickets for nine shows will go on sale. These are:
- Grand Final: Live TV Show [Saturday evening]; Jury Show [Friday evening]; Family Show [Saturday afternoon].
- First Semi-Final: Live TV Show [Tuesday evening]; Jury Show [Monday evening]; Family Show [Tuesday afternoon].
- Second Semi Final: Live TV Show [Thursday evening]; Jury Show [Wednesday evening]; Family Show [Thursday afternoon].
The family show on Thursday, May 11 acts as a final rehearsal for the artists and crew, and it’s far more convenient for those who wish to bring younger Eurovision fans. This particular event also features randomly generated presentations of the qualifiers and points - meaning you can get an early bite of the tension.