This afternoon the EBU announced that the United Kingdom will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 in a yet to be decided host city.
Not in the winning country of 2022
A couple of weeks ago it became known that the EBU decided to not organize the next Eurovision Song Contest in the winning country of this year, Ukraine. The ongoing war in Ukraine creates a situation in which there are no guarantees for true safety, and thus the next contest needed to be hosted by another country that was willing to step in and organize a “Ukrainian contest” on their soil. In their search for another host country, the European Broadcasting Union turned to the UK, and started negotiations. And now, the word is out, the BBC will organize the next contest in the UK on behalf of the Ukrainian National Broadcaster, UA:PBC. Next to this, Ukraine will be automatically in the Grand Final. The logo and further artwork of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will reflect the unique situation in which this upcoming contest will be organized.
Statements of all parties involved
The three major parties involved gave a statement today about the recent developments concerning the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest of 2023.
Martin Österdahl, who is the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest stated:
“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023. The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
Mykola Chernotytskyi, Head of the Managing Board of UA:PBC, has stated the following:
“The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine. We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us. I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”
Tim Davie, who is the Director-General of the BBC said about the matter:
“It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege. The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity. The BBC will now begin the process to find a Host City to partner with us on delivering one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”
Host city bidding
The host city bidding process will begin next week. Next up is choosing a host city in the UK that is equipped to host the biggest music festival in the world. Several cities in the UK have reported for duty, but a choice still needs to be made. Among the cities that want to compete to become the host city are:
Far from the first time
It is far from the first time that a country that has won is not able to host the contest the year after; the last time this situation occurred was back in 1980.
If there is any more news about the organization of the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, we will keep you posted on ESCplus International!