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!”
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.
BE OUR GUESTS… 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.