In a busy day in the world of Eurovision, the potential bids are coming thick and fast to win the rights to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023, in the UK. This comes after the EBU released a statement today (Friday 17th June) stating that Ukraine will not be given the permission to host after Kalush Orchestra’s win in Turin. Earlier today, Glasgow, Cardiff and London expressed interest. Now Birmingham has presented a ‘Bring It To Birmingham’ Eurovision 2023 campaign.
Eurovision 2023: Bring It To Birmingham
Within hours of EBU confirmation that the United Kingdom and not Ukraine, could potentially host Eurovision 2023. Politicians and local news platforms around the country mobilised to declare why their city is the best candidate. No stranger to the contest and hosting big international events, the United Kingdom’s second city put forward their case. Even going as far as creating the host city bid slogan, ‘Bring It To Birmingham’ as well as a petition through the Birmingham Conservatives website.
“Birmingham is proud to be a leading City of Sanctuary in the U.K and with thousands turning out to show their support for Ukraine in a vigil, the people of Birmingham would welcome the opportunity to show solidarity with Ukraine and step in to be the host.
Brummies have been welcoming Ukrainians this year as part of the Homes for Ukrainians Scheme, with plans for up to 1000 to relocate here and it would be great to see all those who now call Birmingham home given free tickets. It also makes great sense as the City is well known for hosting large-scale international events and its position as Commonwealth Games hosts this year, best places Birmingham as the frontrunner.”Cllr Robert Alden, (Birmingham City Council)
Birmingham has a proud and long-standing history of producing some world-class musicians, it would be great to see a Birmingham-based act represent us at the contest next year.Cllr Darius Sandhu, (Shadow Cabinet Member for Culture)
Location, Location, Location
Of course to host a modern Eurovision, modern infrastructure and facilities are a must. Last year the EBU issued the following criteria to Rai during the Italian bidding process.
- Venue – 10k+ capacity
- An international airport within reasonable distance
- Press Centre – 1,500+ capacity for journalists
- Hotels – 2k+ capacity for fans, delegations, media
Over the past 20-years Birmingham has undergone a series of major regeneration and infrastructure upgrades. Most of which, will be seen next month when Birmingham hosts the 2022 Commonwealth Games. A prestigious international sporting competition. Therefore the city will be well prepared to host Eurovision 2023.
The nearest Birmingham Airport is within a 30 minute commute by bus or train to the city centre. Several other regional airports, including East Midlands Airport and Luton are also within distance.
As well as this, Birmingham is served by the UK’s fifth largest railway station, Birmingham New Street. A Midlands network hub in the city centre with connections to all major cities within Great Britain. Furthermore Birmingham’s nearest complex of venues at Birmingham NEC are just next door to the airport itself. Thus ensuring the nation’s second city is a very accessible host city candidate.
A former host city
Of course, Birmingham already has Eurovision experience. The city previously hosted the 1998 edition of the contest following the victory of Katrina and The Waves. However that contest was held in the former National Indoor Area with a reduced capacity of 4000 spectators. Despite the venue at the time being capable of holding 12,700. Today the Utilita Arena Birmingham has a capacity of 15,800 and serves as a music and sporting venue. Next month it will host the Gymnastics events of the 2022 Commonwealth Games and is now far more suitable for a modern Eurovision contest.
Another venue within the locality is the Resorts World Arena. In 2011 the venue became the 10th busiest in the world. Currently it has a capacity of 15,685. However future development will see that capacity rise to over 20,000. When completed, the arena will become the largest indoor arena in the United Kingdom. Both of these venues are within the National Exhibition Centre complex close to Birmingham Airport.
As a global destination with a proud track record of hosting successful major events, the city council is always open to exploring further opportunities to showcase Birmingham on the international stage. We are therefore open to working with the UK government and other stakeholders to investigate the potential for hosting the Eurovision song contest.Birmingham City Council Spokesperson, (BBC)
Other city bids…
In the United Kingdom, many cities have reported their interest in hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2023. Below, you can see a map of all current bids. ESCXTRA.com will bring you updates on all of the bids in the upcoming days.
Do you want the contest to return to Birmingham? Let us know! Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter, @escxtra on Instagram, @escxtra on TikTok and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts. As well as YouTube to see our reactions to the news in the run up to the 2023 Eurovision season.