Boss! Liverpool is a city that dances to its own beat – and 50 years after The Beatles exploded onto the world stage, it’s still making all the right noises.
Thoughts immediately jump to the ‘Fab Four’, but Liverpool’s diverse musical heritage goes back hundreds of years thanks to the city’s development as one of the world’s most important ports.
A UNESCO Music City for good reason, Merseyside’s contribution to the world of pop has been extensive, with notable acts including: Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Orchestral Manoeuvres in The Dark, The Mighty WAH!, Echo & The Bunnymen, Dead or Alive, The Lightning Seeds, Space, Mel C, Atomic Kitten, and, of course, Eurovision Song Contest 1993 runner-up… Sonia!
The M&S Bank Arena on the world-famous waterfront attracts some of the biggest acts on the planet today! Beyonce, Paul McCartney, Elton John and the MTV Europe Music Awards are just some of the unforgettable live experiences hosted since its launch to mark Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.
On top of the pop heritage, Liverpool is also home to one of the finest orchestras in Europe. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, whose home is at the beautiful art deco Philharmonic Hall, is a critically acclaimed orchestra led by Chief Conductor Domingo Hindoyan. And regular shows by world-class jazz, pop, rock and folk performers prove ‘The Phil’ is more than capable of going beyond orchestral manoeuvres.
The sounds of Liverpool are as varied as its clubs and venues. Any night of the week, you’ll find a thrilling mix of venues hosting live shows for house, rock, jazz, rock, or something laid-back and acoustic.
Wherever you go in this city, you’re never too far away from music.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, had this to say: ‘The Liverpool City Region is the UK’s cultural capital – home to a flourishing music scene that has been entertaining and inspiring the world for decades. It is a massive part of our identity, and we are a proud UNESCO City of Music. It’s safe to say that Liverpool wouldn’t be Liverpool without music – and music wouldn’t be music without Liverpool. No region in the UK has had more number one hits – and nowhere can throw a party quite like us. I can think of nowhere more qualified, more experienced or more fitting to host the Eurovision than the Liverpool City Region.’
The Eurovision spotlight is set to shine on Liverpool after it was announced the city will host the world-famous competition on behalf of the UK.
The European Broadcast Union (EBU) and the BBC have whittled the competition down from 20 cities, and today announced that Liverpool will host the event on behalf of Ukraine in 2023.
The city, which began preparing its bid in June, received praise for its world-class facilities including the M&S Bank Arena and ACC Liverpool, the innovation behind its cultural programme, the plans to celebrate Ukrainian people and community and the ‘walkability’ of the city.
Liverpool’s unrivalled reputation for staging large-scale cultural events played a key part in the decision-making process as did the city’s relationship with its sister city Odesa.
The city region-wide support for Liverpool’s bid also proved to be a hit with the judges, and the ‘Team Liverpool’ approach was noted as residents, visitors, organisations and community groups across the city got behind the bid.
Liverpool’s Eurovision team will now start to put their plans into action, which includes working with Ukrainian street artists and fashion designers, creating a Liverpool/Ukraine community education programme and developing plans to host a special culture trail featuring Eurovision and scouse legend Sonia.
A dedicated website will be developed in the coming weeks as will more details about how people can get involved in the run up to, and during, the event.
The Mayor of the City of Odesa, Gennadiy Trukhanov said: “It is a matter of great pleasure to know that the bid of Liverpool, our sister city, to host the Eurovision Contest in 2023 is successful! Your city is worthy of that as it embodies the colourfulness and brightness of entire Europe. You definitely know how to make the world dance and sing along with you. Next year all musical roads of Europe will lead to your city, and we are happy that not only Eurovision contest will decorate Liverpool, but the city itself will adorn the event too. All of Odesa is looking forward to literally hearing from you!”
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson, said: “I’m over the moon that Eurovision is coming to Liverpool! We knew that we faced strong competition from Glasgow, but we also knew that we had a great bid underpinned by the expertise of our award-winning Culture Liverpool team and supported by all our brilliant partners. This is a massive event and the eyes of the world will be on us in May, especially those of our friends in Ukraine. Now begins months of work to put on the best party ever. Ukraine – you have my promise we will do you proud.”
Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan CBE, said: “This feels like our European Capital of Culture win all over again – I’m (almost) lost for words, but not quite! It has been a whirlwind few months where we have spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours devising a meaningful, thought-provoking bid which is energising, inspiring and pays homage to the Ukraine and its incredible people. Liverpool is the right city to host this event – it’s a bitter-sweet win, but will be a showcase of solidarity across the UK and Europe. It will be an extraordinary time and we can’t wait for the next part of the journey.”
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “Home to the more UK number one hits than anywhere else, the birthplace of The Beatles, Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Real Thing, Elvis Costello, The Zutons – and now the host of Eurovision 2023 – the Liverpool City Region is undoubtably the UK’s cultural capital! While we came up against stiff competition from Glasgow, who deserve more than the nil points they have received on this occasion, nowhere is more experienced or qualified, and nowhere throws a party quite like we do. We want to put on a show that Ukraine would be proud of, and we have been working closely with Liverpool’s sister city of Odesa to ensure that this is their event as much as our own. Now the hard work begins. Putting on a show that will give millions a night they will never forget in one of the most turbulent and trying years for our continent is no mean feat. If anywhere is capable of it, it is the Liverpool City Region – with a little help from our friends in Ukraine. Slava Ukraini!”