Your Definitive Guide To Eurovision 2023
From the UK’s entry to the celebrity hosts, we’ve got you covered.
Securing its place in the history books, the Eurovision Song Contest 2022 didn’t disappoint. Not only did TikTok star Sam Ryder end the UK’s long record of disappointment, finishing in second place, but voters named Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra the overall winner in a symbolic display of solidarity amid the conflict with Russia. However, due to the ongoing war, it was decided that Eurovision 2023 will be hosted by the UK instead of Ukraine. Find everything you need to know about this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, below
Eurovision 2023 Host City
Although several cities like Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham, and Newcastle were in the running, the BBC and European Broadcasting Union eventually chose Liverpool as the host city of the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.
Reacting to the announcement, 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra expressed their excitement. “We are very pleased that next year’s Eurovision Song Contest will take place in Liverpool,” the Ukrainian group said in a statement. “Though we haven’t had the privilege of visiting yet, the musical heritage of the city is known all over the world. Playing in the same place that The Beatles started out will be a moment we’ll never forget.”
They added: “Although we are sad that next year’s competition cannot take place in our homeland, we know that the people of Liverpool will be warm hosts and the organisers will be able to add a real Ukrainian flavour to Eurovision 2023 in this city.”
At the time, the BBC said it was a “matter of great regret” that Eurovision 2023 could not be hosted in Ukraine. However, the broadcaster made clear that the BBC is “committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.”
Eurovision 2023 UK Entry
As per tradition, BBC Radio 2 announced the UK’s entry for Eurovision on Zoe Ball’s breakfast show. This year, 25-year-old singer Mae Muller will be performing her track “I Wrote A Song” in Liverpool. “To compete in such a massive music competition is simply brilliant,” she said. Muller, who has supported Little Mix on tour and worked with Aitch and Sigala, is the first female act for the UK in five years, and was born the year Katrina and the Waves won for their song “Love Shine A Light” in 1997. Muller has over six million streams on Spotify for her tracks “Close” and “Better Days”, and has made waves in the U.S. performing on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.
In a great twist of fate, Muller also has history with singer Mika, who co-hosted the Eurovision final in 2022. It turns out she was the little girl in the green dress in the music video for Mika’s hit 2007 song “Grace Kelly.”
Eurovision 2023 Tickets
Tickets for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest went on sale on Tuesday, March 7. Fans are permitted to snap up tickets for a total of nine shows, which include dress rehearsals, two live semi-finals, and the all-important grand final.
Tickets for the live semi-finals cost between £90 and £290, while tickets for the finale range from £160 to £380. Fans are required to have a Ticketmaster UK account to buy tickets.
Unsurprisingly, tickets to the Eurovision semi-finals and grand final sold out in quick time, with many fans expressing their frustration with the Ticketmaster process and resale prices on social media. Even the semi-final commentator Rylan Clark commented on the ticketing process, “To the people selling Eurovision tickets at RIDICULOUS resale prices that aren’t proper fans – p****s,” he wrote on Twitter.
Eurovision 2023 Hosts
On Feb. 22, it was announced that Alesha Dixon, Graham Norton, Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina will co-host this year’s event.
The Emmy award-winning Waddingham described her forthcoming hosting duties as a “great privilege,” while Sanina said she is “so excited to showcase Ukrainian culture and creativity, and to help put on a show to make my country proud.”
Eurovision 2023 Slogan & Logo
At the Eurovision handover ceremony on Jan. 31, Stefano Lo Russo, the mayor of the 2022 host city Turin, handed over the official keys of the Eurovision Song Contest (known as the Insignia) to the current mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson. At the event, the Eurovision 2023 logo and slogan were also revealed. The slogan is “United by Music,” which has reportedly been chosen in conjunction with Eurovision’s founding purpose, to bring Europe together. The artwork shows hearts beating together and the colour palette comprising of reds, blues, and yellows is inspired by both the UK and Ukrainian flags.
“This year's identity sums up perfectly the amazing partnerships across the contest and, more importantly, the power of music to bring people together across the world,” said Martin Green, the managing director of the event for the BBC.
Eurovision 2023 Rules
The upcoming contest will also introduce tweaks to the usual set of rules. Instead of having a jury to decide which countries make it to the finals, this year the public will decide which 20 of the 31 participating nations will make it to the finale.
As the 2022 winner, Ukraine qualifies for the finals automatically. Similarly, the “Big 5” comprising the UK, France, Spain, Germany, and Italy all automatically qualify because of how much their broadcasters pay to take part. According to the BBC, The Liverpool City Council along with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will put £4 million towards organising the contest. Besides the main shows, there will be a fan park across Liverpool with screens for those who are unable to get tickets during Eurovision Week.
However, Montenegro and North Macedonia will not take part, as it will cost too much for them to enter. Broadcasters representing each country have to pay a fee to register, which BBC reports has risen following Russia’s ban from Eurovision due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. While individual payments aren’t made public, the combined total of all broadcasters amounts to an estimated £5 million. For Montenegro, the combined costs of registration fees, the cost of staying in the UK, and a lack of sponsors caused them to pull out. “We decided to direct existing resources to the financing of current and planned national projects,” the country’s public service broadcaster RTCG said. North Macedonia cited similar reasons, in addition to the country’s current energy crisis.
The European Broadcasting Union, which organises Eurovision, said it is “committed to keeping the costs of taking part as affordable as possible” and that fees are “calculated based on the number of countries competing” and “the member’s relative size and financial status.”
Eurovision 2023 Air Date
The Eurovision 2023 semi-finals will air on BBC One on May 9 and May 11, while the all-important grand final will take place on Saturday, May 13.
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