Liverpool is gearing up for Eurovision after the city was named the host of the 2023 Song Contest, knocking out the other finalist Glasgow.
With the UK hosting for the first time in more than two decades on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, interest in tickets is unsurprisingly expected to be sky-high, and the venue has a maximum capacity of 11,000.
Kate Phillips, the BBC’s director of unscripted, said: “The BBC is thrilled to have such a talented line-up bringing the Eurovision Song Contest from Liverpool – on behalf of Ukraine – to the world.”
The Grand Final of Eurovision will take place on Saturday 13 May 2023.
While that’s the bit that most will be familiar with, Eurovision is far more than just one show.
First there are two semi-finals, to be held at Liverpool Arena on 9 May and 11 May, which whittle down the roughly 40 entrants to the top 26 seen on the big night.
With the UK hosting, this year’s semi-finals will also both be shown on BBC One, rather than being relegated to BBC Three. The full schedule is:Monday 8 May – First semi-final, jury show Tuesday 9 May (afternoon) – First semi-final, family show Tuesday 9 May (evening) – First semi-final Wednesday 10 May – Second semi-final, jury show Thursday 11 May (afternoon) – Second semi-final, family show Thursday 11 May (evening) – Second semi-final Friday 12 May – Grand final, jury show Saturday 13 May (afternoon) – Grand final, family show Saturday 13 May (evening) – Grand final
The show take place at the Liverpool Arena, and will be televised on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
A public bidding process for the contest saw cities from all corners of the UK express interest, with Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield all making the initial shortlist.
Cities must meet a number of requirements to host, including having a suitable arena capable of hosting thousands of fans, a nearby airport and transit system equipped to handle a flow of arrivals, and enough hotel rooms to cater for everyone who will attend: a large staff and production crew, roughly 40 national delegations, as well as the media and fans who follow the contest across Europe.
Liverpool’s relationship with sister city Odesa, in Ukraine, is said to have played a key part in the decision to choose it as host.
British TV star Alesha Dixon, actress Hannah Waddingham and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina will host the Eurovision Song Contest alongside returning favourite Graham Norton, it has been announced.
Broadcaster Zoe Ball, 52, announced the news on her BBC Radio 2 breakfast show on Wednesday 22 February.
She said: “Last time the Eurovision was in the UK back in 1998 hosted by our dear Sir Terry Wogan and Ulrika Johnson, last year in Turin of course Alessandro Cattelan, Laura Pausini and Mika, in those fabulous bright suits.
“On the TV hosting the Eurovision Song Contest final in Liverpool will be Alesha Dixon, the Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina, the award-winning actress from Ted Lasso and Games Of Thrones Hannah Waddingham and someone you may well know, Mr Graham Norton.
“While Graham is on the TV because he’ll be doing the presenting, he will have a little bit of help from the commentary box – Mel Giedroyc will be there as well, on hand to be his glamorous assistant.”
Norton’s return as commentator means it is the 13th time hosting the BBC’s coverage of the competition.
Tickets for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest are set to go on sale late in February, with extreme demand expected.
With the UK hosting for the first time in more than two decades, interest in tickets is unsurprisingly expected to be high, and the venue has a maximum capacity of 11,000.
Though tickets for the live final will likely be hoovered up in minutes, those for the semi-finals, jury shows and family shows are typically easier to get. While pricing is yet to be confirmed, these are also usually cheaper.
You can expect concert-level pricing for live grand final tickets, with top-tier seats sometimes costing up to a couple hundred pounds, while family and jury show tickets can be much less than this.
When it comes to your wallet, it’s also worth pricing in the cost of staying in the city – or the cost of travel to cheaper accommodation nearby.
While it may sound counter-intuitive to book hotels without tickets in hand, this is something Eurovision megafans do every year to get ahead: hotel prices in the city will already be soaring, and you can expect them to rocket further when tickets go on sale.