Leeds was one of seven cities in the United Kingdom shortlisted to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023. On Tuesday 27 September it was revealed that only Glasgow and Liverpool would remain in the race. The EBU thanked Leeds and the other potential Host Cities for their enthusiastic, creative and high quality bids.
The successful Host City will be revealed in the Autumn by the BBC and the EBU.
Ey up! Leeds is a city bursting with life and cultural energy, which boasts a vibrant creative community, with award-winning national theatre and dance companies, a world-class arena, and a thriving independent food scene.
In Leeds, brilliant Victorian architecture stands alongside buildings rich in industrial history, and yet, just a short bus or train ride away are quaint villages and inspiring landscapes just waiting to be discovered.
The city has hosted major events such as the Tour de France Grand Depart, the MOBO Awards and BBC Sports Personality of the Year, all of which were delivered from the proposed Eurovision venue, the First Direct Arena.
Attracting crowds of up to 100,000 people, the Leeds Festival is one of the most anticipated music events in the United Kingdom and has hosted some of the biggest names in alternative rock, metal and hip-hop.
New music flows through Leeds with young talent engaged in courses across four universities. Students come from across Europe, including Italian rapper Blackson and Czech-Norwegian electropop Eurovision finalists, We Are Domi, who formed while studying at the Leeds Conservatoire.
Other acts from the city include Goth rockers The Sisters of Mercy, Spice Girl Mel B and The Kaiser Chiefs, and let’s not forget that Live at Leeds by The Who is possibly the most famous live album in the world.
Also, many Ukrainian artists call Leeds home, including The Ukrainians, the Leeds band that’s been wowing audiences for 32 years with their fusion of western rock music and Ukrainian folk.
Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council and Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy and culture, had this to say:
‘It goes without saying that Leeds will be bidding to host Eurovision in 2023. Leeds has already proved that it has the capability and capacity to host major international events and ASM Global, the operators of the first direct arena, successfully hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in the Avicii Arena in Stockholm in 2016. Given that we will be mid-way through the Leeds 2023 Year of Culture, it could not come at a better time.
We are extremely disappointed that Ukraine will be unable to host in 2023, but it would be an honour to host on behalf of them, especially given that West Yorkshire is home to a large number of Ukrainians. If we are successful with our bid, we will be looking to get the local Ukrainian community involved with our plans as much as possible.’
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