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Kalush Orchestra moments after winning the Eurovision Song Contest

Why is the United Kingdom hosting Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine in 2023?

07 October 2022 at 20:18 CEST
Kalush Orchestra moments after winning the Eurovision Song Contest EBU / Corinne Cumming
It's official - the 67th Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in Liverpool, United Kingdom, on behalf of Ukraine… but why? Here’s a recap of everything that's happened since Kalush Orchestra lifted the Eurovision trophy back in May 2022.

Turin 2022: Kalush Orchestra take the trophy

The Italian city of Turin played host to the 66th Eurovision Song Contest, having won the previous year with Mäneskin - a rock band on the brink of global superstardom - and their entry Zitti E Buoni.

On the night of the Grand Final, in the PalaOlimpico, the international juries announced their points first, awarding the most to the United Kingdom’s Sam Ryder with SPACE MAN (283 in total - enough to set up a second place finish overall).

When it came to the televote, Europe (and Australia) delivered a clear message: the general public got behind Ukraine in overwhelming numbers, bulldozing the scoreboard with a total of 439 points – an incredible achievement given the maximum haul possible is 468 (which would require ‘douze points’ from all of the other 39 participating countries).

Eurovision 2022: Top 3

Kalush Orchestra - Stefania

631 points (Jury: 192 / Televote: 439)

Sam Ryder - SPACE MAN 466 (Jury: 283 / Televote: 183)

466 points (Jury: 283 / Televote: 183)
Chanel - SloMo459 points (Jury: 231 / Televote: 228)

Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra were triumphant with their song Stefania; an ode to a mother, which became the first Eurovision winning song to feature a rap.

Before the final shreds of confetti were swept away from the stage of the PalaOlimpico, and the bespoke kinetic sun was powered down, disassembled and sealed away forever, thoughts had already turned to the 2023 Contest, and how Ukraine, who had been invaded by Russia just 3 months earlier, would host the next show.

Where would Eurovision 2023 take place?

Traditionally, the winning country hosts the following Contest, but hasn’t always been possible (as was the case for the winning broadcasters in 1956, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1973 and 1979), and there are no hard and fast rules dictating who should host in these circumstances.

Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC naturally wanted to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest but on July 25, after weeks of exploring the feasibility of a Ukrainian Contest, it was announced that regrettably, for safety and security reasons, this was not possible.

The BBC, as runner up in the 2022 Contest, was invited by the EBU to act as Host Broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest and soon after this announcement they invited bids from potential Host Cities. 

Within days, the BBC had expressions of interest from 20 cities, across all four nations of the United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. All applicants demonstrated how they would reflect Ukrainian culture, music and communities.

Magnificent 7

In August 2022, a total of 7 potential Host Cities were shortlisted based on their ability to meet a set of minimum requirements, demonstrating that they have the capacity, capability and experience to host an event of this scale and complexity. 

Given the short period of time available, the initial selection process was heavily weighted towards demonstrating past experience in hosting major international events, as well as being able to demonstrate credentials in hosting a celebration of contemporary music.

The Host City Shortlist featured: BirminghamGlasgowLeedsLiverpoolManchesterNewcastleSheffield

These cities were then given an additional few weeks to develop their plans, before inviting a delegation from the EBU and BBC to visit the locations. 

On September 27, the BBC provided an update on the bidding process, and confirmed that two cities, Glasgow and Liverpool, remained in competition to be the 2023 Host City.

Both remaining bids impressed both the BBC and the EBU, before a final decision was announced on Friday 7 October, with Liverpool being selected as the Host City for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

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