Good morning Europe, Newcastle calling…
It has been announced today (12 August) that Newcastle has made the shortlist to become the host of Eurovision Song Contest 2023 on behalf of 2022 winners, Ukraine.
Following bids from 20 destinations across the UK, Newcastle, alongside Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, have been named the leading locations to host the international event.
In July, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC confirmed that the annual contest, which draws millions of viewers from across the globe, would take place in the UK on behalf of Ukraine, who won with Kalush Orchestra’s ‘Stefania’ in 2022.
The proposed location for the 2023 event is the Utilita Arena, which has a capacity of 11,000 people, with additional capacity in the large adjacent car park and surrounding land.
The arena is one of the largest concert and exhibition venues in the North East, with the likes of Little Mix, Katy Perry and Sam Fender passing through its doors.
Cabinet Member for a Resilient City, Cllr Alex Hay, Newcastle City Council, said:
“I am thrilled we’ve been shortlisted and thank everyone – the businesses, the hotels and partners who have worked so hard with us. Now the next stage of this exciting journey begins, bringing Eurovision to Newcastle and putting the city on the international stage. NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) is delivering the bid on behalf of Newcastle City Council.
Ian Thomas, Destination Director at NGI, said:
“We are incredibly excited to be shortlisted to host the Eurovision Song Contest next year. As a region with collaborative and passionate people at its heart, we are already working with partners across all sectors to ensure we are able to deliver an exceptional event that celebrates Ukraine and its culture to its absolute best. Newcastle is a gateway to the rest of the UK, with an international airport, sea port, national rail links and excellent local transport. Along with our vast range of hotels, accommodation and hospitality offer, not to mention the famous Geordie welcome, the city is the perfect host destination.
“We’re ready to make Eurovision 2023 part of our collective, cultural history and create even stronger ties with our friends in Ukraine.”
Cabinet member for a Vibrant City, Cllr Lesley Storey, Newcastle City Council said:
“This is amazing news. I never doubted it for one minute. Newcastle is a warm, welcoming city and only the Geordies could get behind a bid like this and put so much into it on behalf of the people of Ukraine. We are one step away from hosting one of the biggest events in the world right in here in Newcastle. How exciting is that?”
Eurovision will be held in May 2023, however exact dates are yet to be confirmed.