BBC reveals criteria and selection process for Eurovision 2023’s host city

Buildings from around the UK with the Eurovision logo

The BBC has unveiled its plan selecting Eurovision 2023’s host city after it was announced the UK will host next year’s contest on behalf of Ukraine.

Ukraine soared to victory with Kalush Orchestra in 2022, but the UK was asked to host next year’s Eurovision on the country’s behalf due to “safety and security issues” caused by the ongoing war with Russia.

The UK’s Sam Ryder and his catchy tune “Space Man” came second in this year’s competition, with an impressive 466 points. Ryder earned himself a place in history as the country’s most successful contestant since 1998, with the UK’s highest ever score.

With cities across the UK bidding for the opportunity to host the iconic music competition, the BBC has published a Q&A about its decision-making, explaining it is a “two-stage process”.

The broadcaster explained it would be making a shortlist, along with the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), after all applications from cities had been received.

“The final decision on selecting the host city will be based on a city or region’s capacity and capability in meeting the BBC’s and the EBU’s requirements,” it said.

It added that the potential host city must have the “availability of resources and general experience in hosting a large and complex event such as the Eurovision Song Contest”.

It added: “Last year the EBU’s host city criteria was based on providing a venue able to accommodate at least 10,000 spectators (as well as a press centre), that should be within easy reach of an international airport and with ample hotel accommodation.”

The final choice will be decided by the BBC and the EBU, however the broadcaster added it may “consult” the British government on the host.

Several cities in England have already announced they intend to submit formal bids to host Eurovision, including London, Brighton, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchester – which has the largest Ukrainian community outside of the capital.

Several Scottish cities have also confirmed they will bid to be host city, including Glasgow and Aberdeen.

It was announced on 17 June Ukraine would not be able to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.

The EBU said in a statement at the time: “As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner-up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.”

It added: “It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”

The Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC) stressed the show in Britain will be full of “Ukrainian spirit”.

Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of the managing board, said: “The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be in Ukraine but in support of Ukraine.

“We are grateful to our BBC partners for showing solidarity with us.

“I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”
The BBC has said it expects the process to find a host city for Eurovision to be “complete in autumn”.