A rush of demand is expected when seats in the 11,000-capacity venue, with fans dead set on attending the first contest on UK soil since 1998.
Liverpool, oh Liverpool
With just 97 days left until the contest kicks off, organisers and local officials are undertaking a last-minute scramble to put in place the required infrastructure for the world’s largest song contest.
Last year, Ukraine took the win with Kalush Orchestra but was deemed unable to host this year because of the Russian invasion.
As the UK came second at the European event with singer Sam Ryder, it took over the responsibility for organising the event before Liverpool was revealed as the host city.
The official logo for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 has been introduced by the BBC and Eurovision official account ahead of the Allocation Draw, as well as this year’s slogan: “United by Music.” The artwork heavily uses both colours of the Ukrainian flag, in the background to pay tribute to last year’s winning country. The typeface used in the logo is called ‘Penny Lane’ – a loving nod to The Beatles, the flagbearers of Liverpool’s rich musical heritage.
Eurovision Song Contest 2022 Winner
Just days before the Eurovision Song Contest final, bookmakers see Kalush Orchestra ahead by a wide margin. The odds often change during the final week of the competition, but the Ukrainians have been the undisputed number one in the betting shops since March. They went on to win Eurovision’s 2022 contest.
Kalush Orchestra is a Ukrainian hip-hop band that combines ethnic motifs with modern sounds using different folk instruments.
The band was named after the Ukrainian city of Kalush. Set in the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, it serves as a mascot that inspires the band to involve different folk elements and authentic Ukrainian music within their songs. Moreover, it is the hometown of band member Oleh Psiuk.
Their Eurovision entry, Stefania, is a tribute to Oleh’s mother, which she only heard for the very first time when she saw the band compete in Ukraine’s Eurovision selection show, Vidbir.
One of the group’s members already has experience of the Eurovision Song Contest: Ihor travelled to Rotterdam last year to compete with his other band, Go_A.
Revealing the logo, Martin Green, managing director of the event for the BBC, said: “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.”
The Semi-Final Allocation Draw and Host City Insignia took place on 31 January at 7 pm (GMT) at St George’s Hall. The event saw the official handover from last year’s host city Turin, with the 2023 competition taking place in the UK for the first time since 1998 on behalf of last year’s winners, Ukraine.
The hosts – British television presenter AJ Odudu and TV personality Rylan – received help from pupils of a local Liverpool school and Ukrainians in the city, who have come to the country due to the ongoing conflict.
As well as the draw, the Mayor of Turin was present to hand over the host city key insignia to the Liverpool Mayor, Joanne Anderson.
Liverpool Council officials have previously raised speculation that cruise ships could be docked in the city’s harbour and local campsites recruited to help boost capacity.
The 11,000-capacity M&S Bank Arena on Liverpool’s waterfront will host the song contest in May.
The 2023 contest will be the first contest since 1979 in which the winning nation was unable to host the following contest. It is the sixth occasion overall on which a different country has hosted after the original host nation was unable to, following the Netherlands in 1960, France in 1963, Monaco in 1972, Luxembourg in 1974, Israel in 1980 and Ukraine in 2023.
Eurovision in May 2023
In addition to the televised grand final and two televised semi-finals, each event will have two complete run-throughs in front of a full audience, for a total of nine events open to the public.
As one of the largest financial contributors to the contest, the UK is part of the “Big Five” countries who skip the semi-finals, while reigning champions Ukraine will also go straight to the final, which is scheduled for 13 May.
The 15 countries who will be performing in the first semi-final on 9 May are Ireland, Serbia, Latvia, Norway, Portugal, Croatia, Malta, Sweden, Moldova, Switzerland, Israel, the Netherlands, Finland, Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, semi-final two on 11 May will see Armenia, Cyprus, Romania, Denmark, Belgium, Iceland, Greece, Estonia, Albania, Australia, Austria, Lithuania, San Marino, Slovenia, Georgia and Poland go head to head.