Liverpool – Eurovision 2023. This year Liverpool will host the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine. The Grand Final will take place in the Liverpool M&S Bank Arena on Saturday 13 May with Semi-Finals on Tuesday 9 and Thursday 11 May.
We’re host city for the biggest event in the global music calendar. And we’re excited about it. Eurovision fever has gripped everyone in Liverpool City Region – and the UK.
Football, music and our city welcome are the things Liverpool is known for around the world, but in the last 15 years it is culture and major events which have been at the heart of the city’s renaissance.
No other city in the UK puts on a show like Liverpool and there is no better crowd in the world!
Liverpool is getting ready to host Eurovision 2023 and put Ukraine at the heart of this year’s event, celebrating the country’s modern cultural identity.
A cultural festival will take over the streets, communities and people of this city and create a moment of collective cultural resilience with Ukraine – unlike anything which has gone before.
Take a look at what you can explore from 1 – 14 May right here.
Liverpool has been approaching its hosting duties for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine with all of the enthusiasm such an event deserves. So much so, that a visit to the city is now proving to be an irresistible draw for any fans of the Contest – regardless of whether or not they’ve managed to secure a sought-after ticket to any of the live shows.
From club nights to cultural happenings, and from Euro Villages to Euro Festivals, we’ve put together a guide to what’s going on in Liverpool for the two weeks that the city plays host to the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.
The VisitLiverpool Eurovision page is a great place to start planning, and keep checking back here as more updates and announcements are being made, so as to take full advantage of the complete Eurovision Song Contest experience that Liverpool is offering in May.
Contest fans and visitors from around the world can also start planning their itineraries with the help of the VisitLiverpool App and Visitor Guide. It features the essential information and inspiration, as well as all the Eurovision themed events taking place across the city from 1-15 May.
Eurovision Village. Located at Pier Head, Eurovision Village is set to be the main hub for fans and locals to soak up the celebratory atmosphere of the Eurovision Song Contest when it heads to Liverpool. For those first two weeks in May, the location will be hosting events, live performances and screenings of the Grand Final and the two Semi-Finals. A complete programme will be announced nearer the time, but you can mark this spot down as your go-to place once you hit Liverpool. The first details of the Eurovision Village – including headline performers and the themes of each night – can be found right here.
EuroClub. The official after-party to all of the events going on in the city, EuroClub at Camp and Furnace will be hosting nightly Eurovision fiestas that will be going on until the early hours. From Friday 5 May until Saturday 13 May, live performances and DJ sets will ensure that fans of the Contest are given ample opportunity to shimmy to the show-stopping tunes of Eurovision past and present. Guest performers already announced include Conchita Wurst, Charlotte Perrelli, KEiiNO and Linda Martin, with plenty more to be revealed soon.
Keep an eye on the EuroClub website for insight and info.
EUROfansCLUB. Organised by dedicated fans of the Eurovision Song Contest and located at Fusion on Fleet Street, EUROfansCLUB is a series of club nights for all of the revellers amongst us. Taking place from Monday 8 May to Saturday 13 May, as well as the Eurovision tunes, there’ll also be guest performances from some Contest favourites. Announced so far have been the likes of Kate Ryan, Destiny, Rosa López and The Roop. The organisers have promised that doors will be remaining open until 6am – so get that disco nap in before you head out!
Full details of the themed nights are available on the website.
The Big Eurovision Welcome. St. George’s Hall will be the buzzing venue of The National Lottery’s Big Eurovision Welcome – a live show to demonstrate Liverpool’s famously warm reputation as hosts. Bringing together big performances, collaborations and some stunning production and staging, this high-energy show will welcome the largest crowd for any single event to be staged in Liverpool for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Taking place on the evening of Sunday 7 May, 30,000 tickets are being made available to the public for free, thanks to The National Lottery. AJ Odudu and Joel Dommett will be on hosting duties for the evening, and performers already announced include Conchita Wurst, Atomic Kitten, Jamala and the reunion of Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
Full details on the event and ticketing, right here.
Live Screenings. Screenings of the 67th Eurovision Song Contest Grand Finals and Semi-Finals are happening all over the host city. If you’re in Liverpool for the event, but without a ticket for the live shows, there’ll be no shortage of spots across town where you can watch our spectacles of song unfold. As well as the options mentioned elsewhere on this page, just some of the venues offering live screenings are: The Tate Liverpool; The British Music Experience; The World Museum; Everyman Playhouse; and St. George’s Hall.
EuroFestival. Taking place from 1 to 14 May, EuroFestival is something of a first for a Eurovision host city, as it presents 24 cultural commissions – 19 of which are collaborative projects between artists from Ukraine and the United Kingdom – to showcase the uniting power of music and art. The impressive programme of events – ranging from music performances and documentary screenings to photography exhibitions and mass-participation dance events – will transform Liverpool as fans from across the world descend upon the city.
You can peruse the full programme at the EuroFestival website.
Douze Points with The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. From ABBA’s Waterloo to Lordi’s Hard Rock Hallelujah, and from Sam Ryder’s SPACE MAN to Dana International’s Diva, we’ll be able to hear some of our most beloved tunes from Eurovision Song Contest performed by The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. This one-off concert, celebrating the Contest’s visit to Liverpool, is happening on Friday 12 May at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. Host for the night will be Owain Wyn Evans from BBC Radio 2’s Early Breakfast Show.
More info and tickets can be found right here.
Museum of Liverpool. Whether you fancy an extra-special screening of the Grand Final on Saturday 13 May, or you want two whole evenings of entertainment on the dates of the First and Second Semi-Finals on 9 and 11 May, the Museum of Liverpool is dedicating part of its impressive space towards precisely that. Before you get caught up in the excitement of the Eurovision Song Contest on its live-show nights, you can explore Liverpool’s fascinating, diverse history in this magnificent waterfront museum.
National Museums Liverpool have announced a full programme of Eurovision-related events taking place in Liverpool museums during the first two weeks of May.
Stand Up For Eurovision. Eight competing Eurovision countries will be flexing their comedy muscles in a very special host city event in Liverpool. On Thursday 4 May, Stand Up For Eurovision will see comedians from across Europe take part in a unique stand-up show at Mountford Hall (Liverpool Guild of Students). The evening event will be compered by much-loved scouse comedian and podcaster Adam Rowe, and aims to showcase the best comedy acts from across a range of nations.
For the full lineup, and for tickets, you can visit this web page.
Royal Albert Dock. Liverpool’s iconic Royal Albert Dock location has planned a three-week programme of events catered towards people flocking to the city for the Eurovision Song Contest. From Ukrainian food and drink to live music events and creative pop-ups, the jewel in Royal Albert Dock’s schedule is the installation of a 10-metre artwork, Floating Earth, which will shine brightly in the dock from 28 April to 18 May.
More information can be found on Royal Albert Dock’s Eurovision page.
Concert Square. The popular Liverpool nightlife hot-spot, Concert Square, is dedicating its space to the Eurovision Song Contest for three weekends of live music and entertainment. Commencing on Sunday 30 April at 14:00 local time, a series of performances has been planned to celebrate the Contest’s past and present. Two more parties are planned for Sunday 7 May and Saturday 13 May, with all three dates free to attend. ABBA tribute band, ABBA Forever, have been brought onboard to headline the trinity of top-notch soirées.
More info about what’s in store can be found here.
Rave UKraine. This event On Sunday 7 May promises to be a first of its kind: a party taking place in two cities, at the exact same time, thousands of miles apart – both broadcast via a livestream to make one singular, unifying rave. The venue CONTENT Liverpool will host the UK rave, while Kyiv’s HVLV Bar will be the location for the Ukrainian one. Hot Chip, the acclaimed band from the UK, will be performing a DJ set, as will Ukrainian DJ Mingulitka, alongside icons of electronic music DJ Paulette and James Lavelle. Acclaimed DJ Jodie Harsh will also be performing at the event, alongside British DJ and radio presenter Sarah Story and Ukrainian DJ and producer Human Magareeta.
EuroStreet. EuroStreet has been specially curated in collaboration with many partners across the Liverpool City Region. It provides a unique opportunity for communities across the region to get involved, take part, deliver events and celebrate all things related to the Eurovision Song Contest, under the United By Music slogan. Events announced so far include Songs For Europe, Festival for Europe and even a special event dedicated to that favourite Ukrainian pastime – chess!
EuroStreet is a continually evolving programme, so keep checking the site for details and updates.
EuroGrant. Over 60 community groups and grassroots organisations have received EuroGrant funding to help sprinkle some Eurovision-themed glitter all across Liverpool City Region. Supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Culture Liverpool invited organisations to apply for grants of up to £2,000 to get into the Eurovision spirit by hosting events that celebrate the competition itself, the relationship Ukraine and the wider European heritage in Liverpool.
From Eurovision parties for adults with physical and learning disabilities, to a cabaret event for Liverpool’s migrant communities, people right across Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Halton, St Helens and Knowsley will be able to get into the Eurovision spirit after 63 organisations secured funding.
A full list of organisations which have secured funding, plus what they have planned, is available here.
For further details and timings see the Media Handbook 2023.
Liverpool is a vibrant, ever-changing UNESCO City of Music. Architecturally fascinating and culturally-rich, get to know the city while you’re here and soak up the best entertainment on offer, for a quintessentially Liverpool experience.
Liverpool lies at the mouth of the River Mersey, between the rolling hills of North Wales and the Cheshire plain. Choose from seascapes to high end shopping; bars, restaurants and galleries to beaches.
We’ve put together a range of experiences, showing the best of our theatre, entertainment, art and musical heritage. You’ll get a new perspective on the city from the towering St John’s Beacon, as you look across the Welsh hills to Snowdonia and along the coast to Blackpool. And, of course, no visit to Liverpool is complete without a nod to the birthplace of The Beatles. Get to know the Four Lads that Shook the World with a tour that captures their impact and influence.
Head beyond the city centre for a tour of Knowsley Safari Park, at one of the city’s historic stately homes; take to the river on a cruise of the Mersey, or blow the cobwebs away on picturesque Crosby Beach, home to Antony Gormley’s iconic Another Place statues.
Soak up the local culture, Liverpool-style, with visits to the rave bingo phenomenon Bongo’s Bingo, comedy theatre palace Liverpool’s Royal Court or shiver your way around the city on Liverpool’s most famous historic ghost walk.
In 2022 Ukraine captured the hearts of Europe and won their third Eurovision Song Contest title with Kalush Orchestra’s Stefania.
This year we will be celebrating their victory in Liverpool, who will host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.
We are delighted to welcome artists, delegations and fans to the City of Pop which will truly live up to its title as hundreds of millions watching around the world are United by Music.
We are truly grateful for the exceptional work of the Host Broadcaster team from the BBC who have worked collaboratively with UA:PBC in Ukraine on creating three incredible shows that put Ukraine front and centre.
In this exceptional year we are not only celebrating the diversity of a continent, through the multitude of languages and genres seen in the songs from the 37 competing nations, but extending our values of universality and inclusivity to viewers from around the world who can
influence the result of the competition for the very first time.
I want to personally thank the BBC for creating a Eurovision Song Contest that will demonstrate that there is more that unites us than divides us; and the City of Liverpool for embracing the Contest with creativity, passion and love that will be felt by all those who visit during the event.
The EBU is proud to welcome you all to Liverpool and is looking forward to your coverage of what will be a truly exciting competition.
We’re good to go for an unforgettable Eurovision Song Contest – enjoy!
Welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest 2023! Ласкаво просимо на пісенний конкурс Євробачення 2023
Martin Österdahl. Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor European Broadcasting Union
IN EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES, CREATIVITY AND COLLABORATION CAN THRIVE. It’s our absolute honour to lead the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool this year. From our first meetings we were committed to bringing the creativity of Ukraine and UK together, both on and off screen. From this point, the shows you will see blossomed into innovative and often moving productions.
We were also excited to ensure that Eurovision was about much more than the live shows themselves. From Liverpool’s extraordinary cultural festival to the wide range of additional content across the BBC, to the wonderful Ukrainian pre-selection show staged in the Kyiv Metro station back in December, Eurovision has once again proved that we can be united by music. It shows us that, in extraordinary circumstances, creativity and collaboration can thrive.
We hope everyone here – from the musicians to the visiting audiences, the production team and the media, to the tens of millions watching across the globe – takes this moment to enjoy the Contest with friends and family, wherever they are, and celebrate the Contest as an expression of our support for all our friends in Ukraine.
Welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest 2023! Ласкаво просимо на пісенний конкурс Євробачення 2023
- Martin Green. Managing Director, Eurovision Song Contest 2023, BBC
- Oksana Skybinska. Deputy Director of International Co-operation, UA:PBC
- Rachel Ashdown. Lead Commissioning Editor, BBC
THE SHOWS. It is 25 years since the BBC last hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom, and this year the team at BBC Studios will take on the great honour of producing the three live shows from Liverpool. In creating the TV shows, we’ve been able to draw on the expertise of both the UK and Ukraine’s exceptional creative industries, in what has been a unique production partnership.
From the moment the BBC became Host Broadcaster for 2023, we have worked collaboratively with Ukraine’s Public Broadcaster UA:PBC. This has included LED screen content designers and music sound production by Ukrainian creatives, whilst the lighting, filming and production teams have all benefited from the experience of professionals from Ukraine.
This year’s Eurovision Song Contest is truly like no other contest, since the very first edition in 1956. No other country has ever hosted on behalf of another country, and with that comes a huge responsibility – to not only make one country proud, but two.
As last year’s winners, it was important from the outset that Ukraine would be represented throughout the three live shows. We wanted to show that both countries can work together to achieve a unique, ambitious Eurovision Song Contest, celebrating two different cultures so rich in musical heritage.
We wanted to showcase a vibrant Ukraine, full of hope and love; a Ukraine that is standing strong. We wanted to show a welcoming United Kingdom, a friend that can always be relied upon. Our opening films will feature the great cities of Liverpool and Kyiv and, throughout the week, our opening performances and interval acts will celebrate the music and performers of both Ukraine and the UK, with a special place held for the city where modern pop music originated, Liverpool.
We also have the great privilege of welcoming 37 delegations to Liverpool Arena. It’s our hope that the stage we’ve designed for Liverpool 2023 will provide a memorable winner to follow in the great footsteps of acts, from Abba and Måneskin to Celine Dion and Kalush Orchestra.
Together the BBC and UA:PBC have created three shows that we’re all hugely proud of. And, for one week in May, we hope to bring some much-needed entertainment and escapism to viewers across Europe and beyond.
Welcome to the Eurovision Song Contest 2023! Ласкаво просимо на пісенний конкурс Євробачення 2023
Andrew Cartmell. Executive Producer, BBC Studios & Lee Smithurst, Head Of Show, BBC Studios
A HYMN TO LOVE AND LONGING. There could be no doubt about the rightful winners of last year’s Eurovision Song Contest. Kalush Orchestra’s electrifying alchemy of hip-hop, electronica and Ukrainian folk lit up the stage in Turin. A hymn to love and longing and the cherished memories of happier times, Stefania captured the hearts of 160 million of us.
As the votes started pouring in from Reykjavík to Baku, one thing was certain – we were witnessing a Eurovision Song Contest classic in the making. When the elements align, as they did so powerfully last May, it’s easy to see why this Song Contest is the greatest show on Earth. For three mesmerising minutes, we were all united by music.
Sadly, after careful consultation with friends and colleagues in Ukraine; the EBU and Ukrainian broadcaster UA:PBC agreed that the contest couldn’t safely be staged – as is tradition – in the winning country, due to Russia’s illegal invasion.
Instead, after a number of countries expressed an interest in staging the event, the EBU invited the United Kingdom, which finished in second place with Sam Ryder’s anthemic Space Man, to host on behalf of our friends in Ukraine.
From an opening field of 20 towns and cities across the UK, Liverpool’s bid was chosen as the winner, with Glasgow a highly commended second place.
A UNESCO ‘City of Music’, Liverpool is the sixth UK city to host the event, following London (1960, 1963, 1968, 1977), Edinburgh (1972), Brighton – which hosted ABBA’s famous victory in 1974, Harrogate (1982) and Birmingham (1998).
“Liverpool is such an exciting, warm and vibrant city,” said Tim Davie, BBC Director-General. “It’s the undisputed capital of pop music and is celebrating the 65th anniversary of its twinning with the Ukrainian city of Odesa. I know the people of Liverpool will welcome Europe – and the rest of the world – with open arms, and in partnership we will create something truly special.”
ABOUT THE EBU. The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is the world’s foremost alliance of public service media (PSM). Our mission
is to make PSM indispensable.
We represent 112 media organisations in 56 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and have an additional 30 Associates in Asia, Africa, Australasia and the Americas.
Our members operate nearly 2,000 television and radio channels alongside numerous online platforms.
Together, they reach audiences of more than one billion people around the world, broadcasting in more than150 languages.
We strive to secure a sustainable future for public service media, provide our members with world-class content from news to sports and music, and build on our founding ethos of solidarity and co-operation to create a centre for learning and sharing.
We have offices in Brussels, Rome, Dubai, Moscow, New York, Washington DC, Singapore, Madrid and Beijing.
Our headquarters are in Geneva. Discover more about the EBU at http://www.ebu.ch
Azerbaijan (Ictimai TV)
San Marino (RTV)
Switzerland (SRG SSR)
United Kingdom (BBC)
EUROVISION HISTORY. The story of the Eurovision Song Contest can be traced back to the mid1950s, and the creative endeavours of the former director general of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Marcel Bezençon.
After a successful (and popular) live broadcast of the FIFA World Cup in 1954, the EBU was searching for a fresh entertainment format to test the limits of live television broadcasting technology.
The inspiration for the Eurovision Song Contest came from Italy, which
had, in 1955, successfully broadcast for the first time on television the fifth edition of their Festival di Sanremo, another song contest.
In October 1955, at an EBU meeting in Palazzo Corsini alla Lungara, in Rome, the idea of a wider song contest for all of Europe was pitched by Italian broadcaster Rai’s director general, Sergio Pugliese. The suggestion was met with great enthusiasm by Bezençon, then head of the EBU’s Programme Committee, thus paving the way for an ongoing tradition to begin.
The very first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Switzerland on May 24, 1956, with seven nations participating. Each country contributed two songs each, with the performances backed by a live orchestra, which was tradition in the early years up until the late ’90s.
The Contest’s appealing variety of songs in different languages and genres were soon playing across the radio airwaves of Europe. The Eurovision Song Contest quickly became a much-anticipated annual tradition throughout Europe, and well beyond.
Traditionally, each Contest is held in the country that won the preceding year’s event; though there have been exceptions throughout the years, such as in 2023.
At the beginning of the Contest’s history, participants used to sing in their country’s national language; through habit or expectation, rather than because of any particular rule on the matter.
It was only in 1965, when the Swedish entry (Absent Friend) was sung in English, that the EBU set strict rules on the language in which songs could be performed; lyrics henceforth had to be written in participants’ national languages.
Songwriters across Europe soon started wondering if success might only come if the judges could engage easily with the lyrics in another language.
This thinking is considered to have resulted in songs with simpler lyrics that were easy-to-sing-along to being submitted to the Contest such as winners La, La, La and Boom Bang-A-Bang in 1968 and 1969.
In 1973, the rules on use of language were loosened and the following year ABBA won the Contest with Waterloo, which was performed in English.
In 1977, the rule that nations must sing in a national language was reintroduced until it was abolished for good in 1999. All entries though, regardless of which language they are performed in, must be no longer than three minutes in length.
There have never been any rules on the nationality of the artists or songwriters competing for each country, resulting in Greece’s Nana Mouskouri singing for Luxembourg in 1963 and Canadian Celine Dion triumphing for Switzerland in 1988.
Voting systems, too, have changed throughout the years. The current system has been in place since 1975. Voters can give points ranging from 1 to 8, then 10, with the favourite then being given the infamous ‘douze’ (12) points.
In the past, a jury selected by the participating broadcaster from each country always decided that nation’s set of votes. However, in 1997, five countries (Austria, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom) were tasked with sampling the televoting method, thus giving the audience in those countries the opportunity to vote for their favourite songs for the very first time.
The experiment proved to be successful and, starting from 1998, all countries were encouraged to use televoting wherever possible.
Nowadays, viewers are also allowed to vote by SMS and by downloading the official app.
National juries, who had decided the winners until 1997, were reintroduced in 2009 alongside the public vote. Regardless of the voting method used, however, countries cannot vote for their own song.
In the early ’90s, there was a large increase in the number of participants, with many broadcasters from former Eastern Bloc countries joining the EBU and now eligible to compete at the Contest for the first time. This continued throughout the ’90s and ’00s, with more countries joining in on the fun throughout that period.
To handle the higher number of countries wanting to take part, in 2004, the EBU introduced a Semi-Final for the very first time, with countries competing to qualify to the Grand Final each year.
As interest in the competition grew, in 2008, two Semi-Finals were introduced, and they remain to this day.
Now, all countries except for the ‘Big Five’ (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), and the winner of the previous year’s Contest, must compete and finish in the Top 10 of a Semi-Final in order to qualify for the Grand Final.
Throughout the years, a total of 52 countries have participated at least once. A record number of 43 countries competed in a single Contest in 2008, the first year that two Semi-Finals were introduced. This record was matched in 2011, and again in 2018.
In 2015, the Contest celebrated its 60th anniversary. The BBC hosted a celebratory show in London, Eurovision’s Greatest Hits, featuring over a dozen former participants.
The EBU marked the anniversary in Vienna the same year by inviting Australia to take part for the first time, following the Australian broadcaster SBS’ commitment to broadcasting the event down under since the early ’80s. The country has continued to take part ever since.
In 2023, Liverpool hosts the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine, 2022’s winner. It will be the ninth time the BBC has hosted the Contest and the fourth time it’s hosted on behalf of another broadcaster.
It’s also the first time since 1980 that the previous year’s winner has not hosted the following year’s show.
History is always being made at the Eurovision Song Contest and, with the rest of the world also being invited to vote for the very first time, this year’s event promises to be one of the most memorable yet.
UK IN EUROVISION. The UK arrived fashionably late to the Eurovision Song Contest, skipping the first year, and joining the party for its second outing, in Frankfurt in 1957. For the first 20 years, the UK’s entry finished comfortably inside the top ten, helped by the fact that the songs were performed by the big stars of the day – such as Matt Monroe, Kathy Kirby and Cliff Richard (who had two attempts at glory, finishing in second and third place).
It wasn’t until 1967 that the UK celebrated its first victory, with Sandie Shaw’s legendary barefooted performance of Puppet on a String in Vienna. The UK won again in 1969, but Lulu had to share her Boom Bang a Bang triumph with three other joint winners from Spain, The Netherlands and France. Cue reboot of the voting system for the following year’s contest.
In the early ‘70s, the UK persevered with its formula of sending chart-topping acts, with the likes of Mary Hopkin, The New Seekers, Olivia Newton-John and The Shadows (minus Cliff) racking up top five places. It wasn’t until 1976 that we secured our biggest-ever victory. The Brotherhood of Man’s Save Your Kisses For Me went on to top the charts in 33 countries, and remains one of the contest’s biggest-selling records of all time. And, it has to be said, one of its most iconic dance moves too.
The skirt-ripping antics of Bucks Fizz sent velcro sales flying, and brought home trophy number four, from Dublin, in 1981 with Making Your Mind Up. And, yes, we wanted to see some more – but despite Liverpool’s-own Sonia narrowly missing out on victory in 1993, and Gina G’s Grammy-nominated Ooh Aah… Just a Little Bit becoming one of the biggest worldwide hits of 1996, we had to wait until 1997 before Katrina and the Waves’ anthemic Love Shine a Light set the scoreboard alight, in Dublin again.
Last year’s Space Man, performed by Sam Ryder, ended a spell of less than enthusiastically-received 21st century entries – including two ‘nul points’ outings. The UK’s highest-scoring entry of all time, Space Man took the runner’s up position, cementing the UK’s record as the country with the most second-place finishes: a rather impressive 16 times.
UNITED BY MUSIC. Music is such a fundamental part of our global commonality. Music unites us, moves us and lifts us up. It connects us. 160 million people across the world watch the Eurovision Song Contest – it is the ultimate celebration of music’s power.
The Eurovision Song Contest is a milestone in British broadcasting and one we are united to deliver with Ukraine. And, in Liverpool – a city famed for its spirit and musicality – it’s an opportunity to bring the world together.
The United by Music brand is a collaboration between creative agencies Superunion in the UK, and Starlight Creative in Ukraine.
Working together, they have developed a visual identity that celebrates this shared moment and represents music as a force for bringing people together. It is 160 million hearts beating as one, reflecting the feelings that the Eurovision Song Contest brings to audiences across the world – joy, excitement and fun.
Liverpool, this year, is an opportunity to bring the world together.
The typeface we’ve used for the brand is called ‘Penny Lane’, inspired by the 20th century cast-iron signs displaying Liverpool street names and a nod to the city’s rich musical heritage. And of course, the colours blue and yellow feature throughout, accompanied by an excitable magenta.
It’s going to be everywhere in Liverpool: a vibrant identity with a distinct Eurovision vibe – optimistic, celebratory, connective.
It honours and celebrates Ukraine, and communicates what is unique about this year’s contest. It’s a language we all speak. Music unites us.
WELCOME TO LIVERPOOL. There’s a reason why Liverpool’s magnificent waterfront buildings face out to the choppy waters of the Mersey, and not inland. Liverpool is a city built on welcoming the world. And for most of its 1,000 year history, the world has arrived by water.
By the mid 19th century Liverpool’s docks handled ten percent of all the world’s trade, and those riches raised the city’s grand neo-classical buildings like St George’s Hall and the elegant banking offices of Castle Street. It’s why the city has more listed buildings than any outside London. It’s also why a visit to Liverpool waterfront’s International Slavery Museum helps put these riches into context.
The Pier Head, the city’s grandest public space, is home to the striking ‘Three Graces’ of the Liver Building, Cunard House and the Port of Liverpool Building. It’s still welcoming new arrivals from distant lands today: it’s the home of this year’s Eurovision Village.
The historic heart of the city remains as handsome as ever – the gleaming Portland stone facades of Water Street are said to have inspired the ‘Chicago School’ and America’s first skyscrapers. No wonder it’s regularly used as a doppelganger for US cities by film crews. Oh, and Gotham city too: Batman was last seen prowling these
streets, so you’re in good company.
Nowadays these grand banking halls are just as likely to be home to world class restaurants or stylish bars, as the city effortlessly reinvents itself as a major city break destination – Liverpool’s the UK’s fourth most-visited city.
Don’t leave without experiencing the city’s legendary nightlife (Liverpool definitely knows how to party), its football, and its excellent shopping. The city’s two cathedrals are each, in their own distinct ways, places of awe and beauty. And Liverpool’s museums and galleries feature work from the likes of Emin, Hockney, Turner and Banksy.
Quite miraculously, we’ve got this far without mentioning The Beatles. But the Fab Four’s legacy still looms large, welcoming hundreds of thousands of fans every year to the Cavern Club, where the story of modern pop music began.
A city of music, of culture, of good times and warm welcomes – Liverpool’s proud to be hosting this year’s contest on behalf of our friends in Ukraine. And, wherever your travels take you, you’ll be sure of a boss time.
THE STAGE. This year’s set design demonstrates how music transcends borders and brings people together. The soaring creation reflects a wide hug, enfolding Liverpool Arena from above and below as it opens its arms to Ukraine.
It connects the stage with performers, the audience and the green room as one structure, creating multiple performance locations for contestants.
Created by New York-based Yellow Studio, it reflects director Julio Himede’s passion for storytelling. His work is characterised by a playful yet poetic approach and a dedication to communicating a clear narrative, including work on projects as diverse as the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, theatre design, art installations and live television productions.
“It’s a wonderful honour to be collaborating with the BBC and the production team to design this year’s Eurovision Song Contest set,” says Himede. “This year’s contest unites Ukraine and the UK to celebrate the unique cultures of both. This immersive approach demonstrates how music can transcend borders and bring people together as one.”
Julio Himede. Stage Designer
ONE WORLD, UNITED BY MUSIC. This year’s postcards use trail-blazing 360-degree drone technology to take viewers on a striking journey across the globe. They showcase the participating countries and their musicians – in a way that’s never been seen before.
Each postcard features three countries: Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the artist’s home nation. All three locations are carefully chosen to
reflect a single connecting theme.
The postcards use an innovative 360-degree camera technique to fly and flip seamlessly between each location. Each short film is bookended with the pioneering ‘small world’ technique that transforms a super-wide panoramic view into a tiny planet which the camera can fly into and out of. These techniques offer a brand new way to visualise the connections between people and places.
The opening section of every postcard features locations and scenes shot in Ukraine, the winning country from the 66th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The footage reflects a range of locations, from the rugged peaks of the Carpathian Mountains to the urban modernity of Kyiv.
We then transition to this year’s host country – the United Kingdom, hosting on behalf of Ukraine. Locations include areas in and around Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, highlighting the connections between Ukrainians and Brits.
The final – and longest – part of the postcard is anchored in the artist’s home nation. This is where we are introduced to the artist themselves, with the artist giving the audience a flavour of their personality.
These postcards reflect this year’s Eurovision slogan: United by Music.
GRAHAM NORTON. Across his illustrious career, Graham Norton has won nine BAFTA Awards for best entertainment performance and best
entertainment programme, plus a special recognition award at the National Television Awards. Alongside presenting The Graham Norton Show on BBC 1, Graham also hosts his own show on Virgin Radio every Saturday and Sunday, hosts Queen Of The Universe for Paramount+, and is a regular judge on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on the BBC. Graham is the author of multiple award winning novels, and he also hosts a podcast on Audible, The Graham Norton Book Club. Graham has provided the UK’s commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest, since taking over from Sir Terry Wogan in 2009. “It’s no secret how much I adore Eurovision,” says Graham. “I truly believe it’s the greatest show on earth and every year that I’m involved it’s a huge honour. This year is even more special and I personally feel a big responsibility to make our Ukrainian colleagues proud. Alongside presenting the Grand Final to the world, I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to get back into the commentary box for those watching in the UK!”.
ALESHA DIXON. With two double platinum albums and seven consecutive Top 10 singles under her belt, Alesha Dixon is a pop icon. Alesha started her career in Brit Award nominated girl group Mis-Teeq, where she became known for not only her vocals, but her rapping skills. She embarked on a solo career spawning chart topping hits and further platinum success. Alongside performing, she has hosted some of the UK’s biggest shows including Comic Relief, Children In Need, The Greatest Dancer and The MOBO Awards, and has appeared as a judge on The X Factor, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Britain Get Singing. After winning Strictly Come Dancing in 2007, she joined the judging panel for three years. Alesha has been a judge on Britain’s Got Talent for over a decade and joined the global franchise judging on both Australia’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent: The Champions. “I’ve performed all over the world and there is just something about the buzz and anticipation of a live show that can’t be rivalled,” says Alesha. “Eurovision delivers that excitement, creativity and talent, but on a vast, global scale. I remember watching the Eurovision Song Contest on the TV when I was small, so to be there bringing the Grand Final and Semi-Finals to people watching across the world is HUGE.”
JULIA SANINA. The front woman of the award-winning Ukrainian rock band The Hardkiss, Julia is one of the most recognised artists in Ukraine. The band is one of the most popular acts in the history of the YUNA Awards, Ukraine’s biggest music awards, taking home the award of best rock band for four years. They have also been nominated for an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Ukrainian Act. Julia grew up in a musical family and first performed on the stage at the age of just three. She is also no stranger to the excitement of Eurovision, having participated with The Hardkiss in Ukraine’s national selection process in 2016, narrowly missing out to Jamala – who went on to take the Eurovision trophy. Julia has also been part of some of Ukraine’s biggest shows: a finalist on Dancing with the Stars (Strictly Come Dancing) and taking part on the judging panel of The X Factor Ukraine. “I am thrilled to present the Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals and Grand Final. I’m so excited to showcase Ukrainian culture and creativity, and to help put on a show to make my country proud,” she says. “I can’t wait to get to Liverpool and meet the fans and the rest of the Eurovision family.”
HANNAH WADDINGHAM. Hannah Waddingham is a musical theatre icon. Her stage career spans over 20 years, having performed in both London’s West End and on Broadway, in iconic shows such as Spamalot, Kiss Me, Kate, and The Wizard of Oz, garnering her three Olivier award nominations and a further win for Into The Woods. She made the transition to television with roles on HBO’s Game of Thrones and Netflix’s Sex Education but fans will recognise her mostly as Rebecca Welton on Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, a character that has so far earned her a Primetime Emmy Award, four Critics Choice Awards two years in a row, and a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award nomination. She is also, more importantly, the mother of one fabulous little rockstar. Her greatest achievement yet! “There’s something really special about Eurovision, which is why I’ve been an avid fan for years, from the camaraderie of all the acts backstage, to the epic scale of the show,” says Hannah. “It’s one of the world’s greatest music festivals, but this year, perhaps more than ever, it is such a great honour to be standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine, a country which has carried itself with such strength and unity. It is my great privilege to join Eurovision this year of all years.”
FIRST SEMI-FINAL – 9TH MAY.
UNITED BY MUSIC. OPENING ACT. The opening film celebrates Liverpool and the welcome given to Ukraine as the city prepares to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on its behalf. We see a young Liverpudlian boy travel across the city telling his family, friends, neighbours (and some special guests!) that the world’s greatest music competition is arriving in his hometown. This opening film transitions seamlessly into the opening performance in which the same boy appears. This uplifting opening performance featuring the iconic British song Together In Electric Dreams and Ukrainian song Маяк, by The Hardkiss, will truly embody the slogan of this year’s Eurovision – ‘United By Music’
WELCOME TO OUR HOUSE. INTERVAL ACT. Through a haunting new arrangement of Ordinary World by British musical heavyweights Duran Duran, we tell the true story of Ukrainian singer Alyosha, and her personal journey. Like many Ukrainian women in 2022, Alyosha had to leave her country to seek refuge elsewhere, leaving many loved ones behind. Developed by Freckled Sky, a Ukrainian multimedia creative company, with vocals by Alyosha herself (Ukraine’s Eurovision representative in 2010) and Liverpudlian singer Rebecca Ferguson, they use mixed media to create a beautiful moment of unity, love and hope.
RITA ORA. INTERVAL ACT. Rita Ora is a global superstar who holds the record for the most Top 10 singles on the Official Chart by a British female artist. Rita will perform a show-stopping medley of some of her biggest hits, as well as an exclusive first performance of her new single.
ENTRIES: FIRST SEMI-FINAL
NORWAY. Artist: Alessandra. Song: Queen of Kings. Music: Alessandra Mele, Henning Olerud, Linda Dale, Stanley Ferdinandez. Lyrics: Alessandra Mele, Henning Olerud, Linda Dale, Stanley Ferdinandez.
Alessandra is a Norwegian-Italian singer-songwriter who is fast becoming a household name thanks to her debut single, Eurovision entry Queen of Kings, racking up over 25 million streams at the time of writing and already making her TikTok royalty. The song has taken on a life of its own, after Alessandra triumphed at the Norwegian national final Melodi Grand Prix. Queen of Kings was co-written by Alessandra herself, Norwegian composer Henning Olerud, globe-trotting ghostwriter Linda Dale, and writerproducer Stanley Fernandez, who has released tracks with Eurovision 2021 stars TIX and Flo Rida! Alessandra says the song carries a message of self-love, and that she wants to inspire listeners of all ages and all genders to embody their inner queen of kings.
SECOND SEMI-FINAL – 11TH MAY.
MUSIC UNITES GENERATIONS. INTERVAL ACT. This musical journey explores the connection between generations of Ukrainian compositions from the past to the present, from the present to the future. Mariya Yaremchuk (Ukrainian Eurovision representative, 2014) takes centre stage to perform some of the most well-known and beloved pieces of music from Ukraine. As we travel through time, the piece reaches its climax with rapper OTOY and 14 year old Ukrainian Junior Eurovision representative Zlata Dziunka joining Mariya to show the connection of generations of Ukrainians and that music is the light that always overcomes darkness.
BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE. INTERVAL ACT. This larger than life performance embraces the principle of Eurovision being a place for everyone – a place where everyone can ‘be who they want to be’. Three extraordinary drag performers drop into a killer routine of high-end pop star performances, with a huge cast of eclectic dancers. They represent the huge spectrum of fans who revel in Eurovision and its values of inclusivity and celebration of diversity. With a medley of fabulous songs coupled with staging by BAFTAnominated choreographer Jason Gilkison, it’s time to really get the Eurovision party started!
GRAND FINAL – 13TH MAY.
KALUSH ORCHESTRA – VOICES OF A NEW GENERATION. OPENING ACT. Kalush Orchestra, last year’s winning act for Ukraine, return in spectacular style to open the Grand Final. After a hugely successful year, Kalush Orchestra have performed across the globe from Glastonbury to the MTV EMAs. They return to the Eurovision stage with their winning song Stefania, which received the highest ever televote score, and their new song Changes.
FLAG PARADE. This year’s traditional flag parade is inspired by the event slogan – ‘United By Music’. Iconic British anthems are mixed with famous Ukrainian Eurovision songs, sung by the original artists; Go_A (2020/2021), Jamala (2016), Tina Karol (2006) and Verka Serduchka (2007) who appear live on stage in Liverpool as the 26 competing finalists enter the arena.
SAM RYDER. INTERVAL ACT. When Sam Ryder achieved second place at last year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, he became the most successful UK artist at the event since 1998 – the last time the UK hosted! SPACE MAN reached Number 2 in the UK charts, becoming a certified Gold record. Later in 2022, Sam released his debut album There’s Nothing But Space, Man! which rocketed to the top of the UK album charts. He had a notable year – performing at the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II, joining rock band Queen on stage at Wembley stadium, receiving a nomination for Breakthrough Artist at the BRIT Awards and welcoming 11 million UK viewers into the New Year with his widely celebrated New Year’s Eve concert on BBC One. Sam returns to the Eurovision stage with his new song, Mountain.
LIVERPOOL SONGBOOK. INTERVAL ACT. Liverpool is famed as the birthplace of pop music, enthralling the world with its music since the ‘60s. In a spectacular one-off performance medley, six iconic Eurovision acts return to the stage – and perform a beloved anthem from the Liverpool songbook. It’s the interval act in which Eurovision’s greatest perform Liverpool’s greatest hits! Featuring Mahmood (Italy 2019 & 2022), Netta (Israel 2018), Daði Freyr (Iceland 2020 & 2021), Cornelia Jakobs (Sweden 2022), Duncan Laurence (Netherlands 2019) and Liverpool’s very own Eurovision icon, Sonia, celebrating the 30th anniversary of her Eurovision performance (United Kingdom 1993).