It’s official: Eurovision is coming home. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC have confirmed that next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the UK, on behalf of the 2022 winners Ukraine.
The BBC was invited by the EBU to be the host broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest due to the ongoing war in Ukraine (and because the UK was the runner-up in the 2022 contest). Ukraine will automatically qualify for the final along with the ‘Big 5’, who are the competition’s biggest financial backers: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.
The BBC has said it is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture. But where in the UK will it take place?
Representatives from several British cities have already expressed an intention to bid, including Aberdeen, Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield, Swindon and Wolverhampton.
It’s pretty unlikely that the competition will be held in London (although the Mayor of London has announced that the capital is ready to bid and step in), and what with Glasgow hosting COP26 and Birmingham hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games (as well as hosting the last UK Eurovision in 1998), it would only be fair for another city to get their moment in the spotlight.
Brighton staged the competition in 1974 and Harrogate hosted in 1982, so there’s no ruling out smaller places either. However, the EBU’s Host City criteria have previously been based on providing a venue able to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators, as well as being within reach of an international airport and hotel accommodation.
Luckily, there’s not too long to wait. The bidding for the host UK city will start this week, the long list will be published later this summer and the host city will be chosen in the next few months – so watch this space.