Leeds favourite to host Eurovision Song Contest 2023

This comes after the UK was officially announced as the host city for the 2023 song contest yesterday.

Councillor Jonathon Pryor was one of many to share the news that Leeds has been voted to be the favourite city for Eurovision, noting that with Leeds 2023 being the city of culture for the year, it seems like the perfect opportunity for Leeds to show off its talent and place as a major UK city. This is in addition to the fact that Leeds can pay homage to Ukraine’s rich culture, given the UK was awarded host status after Ukraine was unable to host the competition.

The announcement that the UK will be the host country comes following the decision that next year’s event cannot be held in Ukraine for safety and security reasons, despite the EBU having already explored a number of options with the winning broadcaster. 

As a result of discussions, the BBC, as runner up in the 2022 Contest, was invited by the EBU to act as Host Broadcaster for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest. 

The 2023 contest will be hosted in the UK on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC. 

“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor.

“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions, and 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.”

“It’s a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest,” added Tim Davie – Director-General of the BBC.

“Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.

The EBU has confirmed that next year’s host city will be chosen in the coming months following a bidding process, which is being launched this week.

Read More: The UK will officially host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023

The First Direct Arena is rumoured to be the venue that would be chosen to host the contest, if Leeds is successful. / Image: First Direct Arena

In a joint statement from Councillor James Lewis, leader of Leeds City Council and Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy and culture, said earlier this month that: “It goes without saying that Leeds will be bidding to host Eurovision in 2023.

“We are extremely disappointed that Ukraine will be unable to host in 2023, but it would be an honour to host on behalf of them, especially given that West Yorkshire is home to a large number of Ukrainians. If we are successful with our bid, we will be looking to get the local Ukrainian community involved with our plans as much as possible.”

It is thought that the First Direct Arena would be the location for the 2023 live broadcast of the competition on the BBC’s platforms.

The dates for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be announced in due course. 

Featured Image – Eurovision TV / First Direct Arena

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