In a press release this morning, the EBU confirmed what was hardly a secret anymore. The United Kingdom will host Eurovision 2023, the 9th time in its history.
A long-awaited confirmation
The Eurovision Song Contest was won by Ukraine, this year, with Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” taking the first spot. However, after considering the geopolitical situation, the EBU decided last month that the 2023 contest could not take place in Ukraine, for security reasons. The statement also said that the EBU was in talks with the BBC to hold the contest in the UK, the country that came 2nd in 2022.
Now, the EBU has released the information that the UK will indeed host the 2023 contest. It also gave us information on what to expect from the contest itself, and from the months leading up to it.
What to expect from Eurovision 2023
The first important information is that Ukraine will automatically qualify to the Grand Final. The UK will also qualify as a member of the Big Five. We shall thus return to a Final night with 26 countries competing for the win.
The shows will be organized by the BBC, but Ukraine’s UA:PBC will send representatives to help the British hosts “develop Ukrainian elements” in the production of the contest. The statement already announces that the logo (which has not yet been revealed) will reflect the special and unique circumstances behind this special hosting. It is indeed the first time since 1980 that the contest will be held outside the winning country.
The Executive Supervisor of the contest, Martin Österdahl, made the following comments :
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.Martin Österdahl, Executive Superviser of the Eurovision Song Contest
The press release also gave a statement from Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of UA:PBC’s Management board :
The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.Mykola Chernotytskyi
The host city hunt begins this week
Finally, the official bidding process for hosting the contest within the UK will start this week, according to the BBC’s Director-General, Tim Follie.
Almost 20 cities have already publicly shown interest in hosting, through the voices of their mayors or councils. The BBC does not expect every of these cities to apply, and will publich the official list “later in the summer”.
What do you expect from the 2023 contest? Are you happy with the decision to let Ukraine qualify automatically? Which city do you think will win the bidding process? Tell us more in the comments below and on social media at @escxtra !