How Glasgow came close to landing the Eurovision Song Contest 2023

10th May 2023

The Eurovision Song Contest will come live from Liverpool on Saturday, but it could just as easily have been Glasgow.

The Liverpool Arena and OVO Hydro had been the last two venues under consideration following Ukraine’s triumph at the 2022 contest. Due to the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United Kingdom was asked to host the contest in its place, which naturally attracted a flurry of bids from cities up and down the country.

Eurovision 2023 shortlisted cities

Aberdeen was among them, with the Event Complex trying its hand, and so was Edinburgh, with its bid supported by Edinburgh City Council. Aberdeen didn’t make it to the final round, but Edinburgh was shortlisted, alongside Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield, Glasgow, and victor Liverpool.

Although London made its interest in hosting the competition clear, and it met the necessary criteria, it didn’t win a place on the shortlist as the BBC and government wanted to host more events outside the capital.

Glasgow holds its breath

Six candidates were knocked off the shortlist on 27 September, following which the BBC and EBU (European Broadcasting Union) debated the relative merits of Liverpool and Glasgow.

On 7 October, the BBC announced that the contest was heading for Liverpool at the end of what the EBU described as “a tight bidding race with the city of Glasgow”.

Whether Glasgow will get another chance in the future remains to be seen, and it depends to a large extent on the performance of its entrants over the coming years. Fingers crossed.


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