A guide to the seven British cities in line to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest

Annual event will move from Ukraine to the UK over deteriorating security situation from Russian invasion

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Seven cities in the UK are officially in the running to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

With this year’s champion Ukraine unable to host the annual music competition owing to the current war with Russia, the UK was chosen as a replacement because of its entry, singer Sam Ryder, coming in second place at the ceremony in May.

Official British television broadcaster, the BBC, announced that seven cities have made the shortlist out of 20.

London reportedly didn't make the cut because of the BBC and the UK government's wishes to bring more major events outside of the capital.

With the winning bid to be announced at a later date, all candidates will be judged by criteria examining its cultural credentials and experience in hosting "a celebration of contemporary music".

Here is a guide to the seven shortlisted cities, one in Scotland and the others in England, and what they bring to the Eurovision table.

1. Glasgow

Over the past four decades, the Scottish city has shed its industrial past to become as a global cultural hub.

In 1990, it was designated a European Capital of Culture by the European Union, while in 2019 it was ranked as the UK's top cultural creative city by the Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor.

In addition to its popular museums and galleries, such as the Gallery of Modern Art, the city has a thriving events sector and is home to popular music festivals TRNSMT and Summer Nights at the Bandstand.

Should Glasgow win the bid, the 14,300-capacity OVO Hydro arena will be the venue to host the Eurovision Song Contest.

2. Manchester

Historically known for its radical political tradition, that same revolutionary spirit extended to the UK's music scene in the early 1980s.

Dubbed The Madchester movement, the city has gone to spawn influential groups such as The Smiths, Joy Division, The Stone Roses and Oasis, in addition to the former dance music super club Hacienda.

Manchester is also known for hosting key music festivals such as Parklife and concerts by popular artists at the AO Arena — the venue in line to possibly host Eurovision.

3. Liverpool

There is more to this great port city than churning out legendary artists such as The Beatles, Gerry and the Pacemakers and Echo & the Bunnymen.

Liverpool's enduring cultural value has been acknowledged by being awarded the title of European Capital of Culture in 2008.

Despite its rock music pedigree, the city is home to a number of eclectic music events such as the Liverpool International Music Festival, the world music-themed Africa Oye and the reggae festival Positive Vibration.

If Liverpool gets the nod, the Eurovision Song Contest will be staged at the 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena.

4. Birmingham

The closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games this year was held in Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. Reuters

The multicultural city has shown its events pedigree by successfully hosting this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Dubbed in the Victorian era as the City of a Thousand Trades and the Workshop of the World, Birmingham has moved on from its industrial past to become a modern entertainment and cultural destination.

The city is also becoming a favourite for event organisers with an array of large-scale venues hosting exhibitions, conferences and concerts annually.

One of which is the near 16,000-capacity Resorts World Arena, which will be the host venue if Birmingham makes the final cut.

5. Newcastle

For those in the know, Newcastle has always had a thriving music scene spanning folk music, indie rock and electronic music.

And according to the BBC, the city is more than up for it when it comes to hosting Eurovision.

In addition to running the event at the 11,000-capacity Utilita Arena, the city's council promises they would transform the Town Moor and Exhibition Park public areas into a Eurovision village.

6. Leeds

As one of the largest cities in Northern England, Leeds is fast establishing itself as a centre for contemporary arts and culture.

The city is presently in the midst of a five-year cultural investment programme that will be completed by next year.

In addition to being home to interesting cultural institutes such as the Royal Armouries and the Thackray Museum of Medicine, the city hosts the popular music gatherings Leeds Festival and Party in the Park.

The 13,781-capacity first direct arena will be the staging point if Leeds wins the Eurovision Song Contest bid.

7. Sheffield

A proud working-class city, Sheffield is known for being one of the homes of the UK electronic music scene.

In addition to spawning influential new-wave groups such as The Human League, Heaven 17 and Thompson Twins, it also hosted the historic super-club Gatecrasher whose resident DJs included future EDM superstars DJ Tiesto and Paul van Dyk.

Sheffield was also fertile ground for some of the UK's greatest rock artists such as Joe Cocker, Def Leppard, Pulp and the Arctic Monkeys.

Sheffield's official ties with Ukraine should boost its chances as it shares a sister city status with Donetsk. If the bid is successful, the Eurovision Song Contest will be held at the 13,600-capacity Utilita Arena.

Updated: August 14, 2022, 1:33 PM
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