Some big cities miss out on the chance to host next year’s Eurovision.
Early on Friday morning, Eurovision super fan and Radio 2 presenter, Scott Mills couldn’t contain his excitement as he clutched a glittering gold envelope in the BBC studio. Within the envelope contained an exclusive letter from BBC executives and the Eurovision Broadcasting Union, which had a list of seven cities that have been shortlisted to host 2023’s Eurovision Song Contest. Although some of the cities were expected to be on the list, some last-minute additions raised a few eyebrows.
In alphabetical order, the cities shortlisted are Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. Many fans were surprised and devastated to hear that the capital, London, was not shortlisted, alongside Brighton, considering that they are LGBTQIA+ hotspots – as Eurovision has a largely queer fanbase. However, Birmingham and Manchester, who have their own gay quarters are on the list and are now unofficial favourites of the community in the race to host.
Every Eurovision fan knows that the bookies are often a reliable source of information when you want to find out what’s going on with the competition. Currently, the odds show that Glasgow is the favourite to host the singing competition with 11/10 odds, and Birmingham comes in second with 9/4. Sheffield comes in last at a respectable 25/1.
Over twenty venues put in a bid to host 2023’s contest, which will officially be held in the UK for the first time in 25 years. The last time the UK hosted was in 1998, in Birmingham, when the glamorous Dana International took the crown home to Israel for their hit, Diva. Ian Ward, from Birmingham’s City Council quickly took to social media to back his city, “This is a city of sanctuary, a city who has welcomed people from around the world and made their home here. We would love the honour of hosting, on behalf of Ukraine, the Eurovision song contest next year.”
Over in the Glasgow camp, Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister shared her delight at the city being shortlisted, “It’s got to be Glasgow” she tweeted. Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow’s City Council also jumped on the hype bandwagon, “Delivering such a unique event in such a short timescale presents a challenge, but Glasgow has an unrivalled track record for successfully hosting major global events and we’re confident we can present a Eurovision that reflects a true celebration of Ukrainian culture.”
However, there are rumours circulating that the EBU and BBC are unable to make a decision on the host city just yet because there is simply a shortage of available slots in stadiums on the tentative dates. The decision of the host city may simply depend on which stadium can clear its schedule for over 2 weeks in May. This factor may be an indication as to why London was not shortlisted, as London is often fully booked with some of the world’s biggest stars. Fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long to find out, as the BBC is set to make a decision this autumn.