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Belfast loses out as shortlist of UK Eurovision host cities for 2023 announced

Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield are among the cities shortlisted to host the contest next year.

eurovision cities The seven cities shortlisted to host the 2023 Eurovision. Source: Eurovision Song Contest via eurovision.tv

SEVEN UK CITIES have been announced as contenders to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Belfast City Council had agreed to submit an official bid to host the competition if the city was shortlisted, but the Northern Ireland city has lost out in the running. 

The seven shortlisted cities are: 

  • Birmingham
  • Glasgow
  • Leeds
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Newcastle
  • Sheffield

Ukraine won this year’s Eurovision contest but it was confirmed last month that the 2023 contest will be held in the United Kingdom on behalf of Ukraine. 

Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra took home the winning trophy but the European Broadcasting Union ruled out the possibility of the country hosting the competition due to the ongoing war.

The UK, winning second place with Sam Ryder, and the BBC have taken on hosting duties as a result for the next contest in May 2023. 

The BBC and the European Broadcasting Union announced the shortlisted UK host cities this morning. 

The BBC said it had expressions of interest from 20 cities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

“All applicants demonstrated how they would reflect Ukrainian culture, music and communities to mark the fact that Ukraine are the winners of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest,” a Eurovision statement said. 

The contest said the seven shortlisted cities were chosen based on their ability to meet criteria around capacity, capability and experience to host an event “of this scale and complexity”. 

It said the decision was also “heavily weighted” towards cities with past experience hosting major events due to the short time frame to host next year. 

The cities will now go through the second and final stage of the selection process where they’ll outline their bids in more detail. 

The final decision will be announced in the autumn. 

SDLP councillor Séamas de Faoite said hosting would have been a “huge opportunity” for Belfast and would have brought some “much-needed joy to people across Northern Ireland after what has been a very difficult few years”. 

“Belfast is uniquely placed to hold next year’s event, given our strong solidarity with Ukraine and our understanding of what it means to desire peace after having your home rocked by conflict,” he said in a statement yesterday. 

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