ESC LIVERPOOL 2023 (67ª)

  • Dates – Grand Final: Saturday, 09 May 2023 – 21:00 CEST
  • Host – Venue & Location: Liverpool Arena (M&S Bank Arena), Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Presenter (s):
  • Musical Director: 
  • Orchestra: Gli artisti cantano su basi musicali.
  • Director: Nikki Parsons, Richard Valentine, Ollie Bartlett
  • Executive Producer: Andrew Cartmell
  • Executive Supervisor: Martin Österdahl
  • Multicamera Director:
  • Host broadcaster: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Opening Act: 
  • Interval Act
  • Motto:
  • Participants – Number of entries: 37
  • Debuting countries:
  • Return:
  • Non-returning countries: Bulgaria, Montenegro, North Macedonia
  • Vote – Voting system: Each country awards one set (in the semi-finals) or two sets (in the final) of 12, 10, 8–1 points to ten songs. In all three shows, online votes from viewers in non-participating countries are aggregated and awarded as one set of points.
  • Nil Points: 
  • Winning song: 1f3c6 “” –  –  (2ª)

 

  • Dates – First Semi-Final: Tuesday, 09 May 2023 – 21:00 CEST
  • Host – Venue & Location: Liverpool Arena (M&S Bank Arena), Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Presenter (s):
  • Musical Director: 
  • Orchestra: Gli artisti cantano su basi musicali.
  • Director: Nikki Parsons, Richard Valentine, Ollie Bartlett
  • Executive Producer: Andrew Cartmell
  • Executive Supervisor: Martin Österdahl
  • Multicamera Director:
  • Host broadcaster: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Opening Act: 
  • Interval Act
  • Motto:
  • Participants – Number of entries: 37
  • Debuting countries:
  • Return:
  • Non-returning countries: Bulgaria, Montenegro, North Macedonia
  • Vote – Voting system: Each country awards one set (in the semi-finals) or two sets (in the final) of 12, 10, 8–1 points to ten songs. In all three shows, online votes from viewers in non-participating countries are aggregated and awarded as one set of points.
  • Nil Points: 
  • Winning song: 1f3c6 “” –  –  (2ª)

 

  • Dates – Second Semi-Final: Thursday, 11 May 2023 – 21:00 CEST
  • Host – Venue & Location: Liverpool Arena (M&S Bank Arena), Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Presenter (s):
  • Musical Director: 
  • Orchestra: Gli artisti cantano su basi musicali.
  • Director: Nikki Parsons, Richard Valentine, Ollie Bartlett
  • Executive Producer: Andrew Cartmell
  • Executive Supervisor: Martin Österdahl
  • Multicamera Director:
  • Host broadcaster: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
  • Opening Act: 
  • Interval Act
  • Motto:
  • Participants – Number of entries: 37
  • Debuting countries:
  • Return:
  • Non-returning countries: Bulgaria, Montenegro, North Macedonia
  • Vote – Voting system: Each country awards one set (in the semi-finals) or two sets (in the final) of 12, 10, 8–1 points to ten songs. In all three shows, online votes from viewers in non-participating countries are aggregated and awarded as one set of points.
  • Nil Points: 
  • Winning song: 1f3c6 “” –  –  (2ª)

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is the upcoming 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. It is set to take place in Liverpool, United Kingdom, after Ukraine, winner of the 2022 contest with the song “Stefania” by Kalush Orchestra, was unable to meet the demands of hosting the event due to security concerns caused by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and host broadcaster the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on behalf of the Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (UA:PBC), the contest will be held at the Liverpool Arena, and will consist of two semi-finals on 9 and 11 May, and a final on 13 May 2023. It will be a record-extending ninth time that the United Kingdom hosts the contest, having last done so in Birmingham in 1998. Thirty-seven countries will participate in the contest, with Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia all deciding against participation, mainly due to the economic impact of the 2021–2023 global energy crisis.

Location. The 2023 contest will be held in Liverpool, United Kingdom. It will be the ninth time that the United Kingdom hosts the contest, having previously done so in 1960, 1963, 1968, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1982 and 1998. The selected venue is the 11,000-seat Liverpool Arena, a multi-purpose indoor arena located in the ACC Liverpool complex, which serves as a venue for events including concerts and sports. The venue has previously hosted the 2008 MTV Europe Music Awards, the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2008 and 2017, and the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. In addition to the main venue, the host city will also organise side events in tandem with the contest. The Eurovision Village is the official Eurovision Song Contest fan and sponsors area during the event weeks, where it will be possible to watch performances by contest participants and local artists, as well as the three live shows broadcast from the main venue. It is set to be located at the Pier Head and open from 5 to 13 May 2023. The EuroClub, which will take place at Camp and Furnace, will host the official after-parties and private performances by contest participants.

Host country selection. The 2022 contest was won by Ukraine with the song “Stefania” by Kalush Orchestra, and in accordance with Eurovision tradition, the EBU initially gave Ukraine the opportunity to organise the 2023 contest. Ukraine had hosted the contest twice before, in 2005 and 2017, both times in Kyiv. However, in light of the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, speculation was raised that the country would not be capable of hosting the event. Due to this, several countries expressed interest in hosting in the event that Ukraine could not, including Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain (which later withdrew its interest), Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The previous time the contest was not held in the previous year’s winning country was in 1980.

On 16 May 2022, Mykola Chernotytskyi, chairman of the Ukrainian participating broadcaster UA:PBC, stated that they wish to host the contest in a peaceful Ukraine and hoped that the country would be able to guarantee the safety of all participants and their delegations during the event. Chernotytskyi stated on 20 May that the broadcaster would begin discussions with the EBU regarding the hosting of the contest.

Numerous Ukrainian politicians advocated for the contest to take place in Ukraine. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that he hoped for the contest to one day take place in Mariupol. Mykola Povoroznyk, the first deputy head of the Kyiv City State Administration, stated on 26 May 2022 that Kyiv would be ready to host the contest if asked. Ukrainian minister of culture Oleksandr Tkachenko stated on 3 June his intention to discuss conditional changes with the EBU in order to allow the contest to be held in the country. Taras Melnychuk, representative of the Ukrainian government for the Verkhovna Rada, stated on 10 June that a committee was formed to aid the organisation of the contest.

On 16 June 2022, UA:PBC and the Ukrainian government held a meeting with the EBU to discuss potential hosting options in Ukraine. At the meeting, UA:PBC proposed Lviv, Zakarpattia and Kyiv as potential host locations. The following day, the EBU announced that Ukraine would not be able to host the contest, following assessments with both UA:PBC and third-party specialists, and that discussions would begin with the BBC for potentially hosting in the United Kingdom, which had finished in second place in the 2022 contest with the song “Space Man” by Sam Ryder. In response, UA:PBC chairman Chernotytskyi and Ukrainian minister of culture Tkachenko, alongside former Ukrainian Eurovision winners Ruslana, Jamala and Oleh Psiuk of Kalush Orchestra, issued a joint statement requesting further talks with the EBU on hosting the event in Ukraine. This stance was supported by then-British prime minister Boris Johnson, the Polish broadcaster TVP, Polish deputy prime minister and minister of culture Piotr Gliński, and then-British culture secretary Nadine Dorries. A follow-up statement from the EBU on 23 June reaffirmed its decision to not host the event in Ukraine, highlighting the security considerations for doing so while also urging for the process of choosing the host country to not be politicised.

On 25 July 2022, the EBU, UA:PBC and the BBC announced that the 2023 contest would be held in the United Kingdom, with the host city bidding process to commence in the same week. This will be the fifth time that the UK hosts instead of the previous year’s winning country, having previously done so for the Netherlands in 1960, France in 1963, Monaco in 1972, and Luxembourg in 1974.

Host city bidding phase. Simultaneous with the confirmation that the United Kingdom would host the contest on behalf of Ukraine, host broadcaster BBC launched the bidding process on 25 July 2022. The BBC stated that “any potential candidates must meet a set of minimum standards that demonstrate they have the capacity, capability, and experience to host an event of this scale and complexity.”[42] The selection criteria for the host city in previous years have included: a venue capable of accommodating at least 10,000 spectators, a press centre for a maximum of 1,500 journalists, easy reachability to an international airport, and hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators.[43]

During the first stage of the bidding process, the BBC received expressions of interest from 20 UK cities and towns, seven of which were shortlisted on 12 August 2022: Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield.[44] These cities went to the second stage, where they had until 8 September to develop their bids in detail for evaluation by the BBC, who also conducted visits to the cities throughout the month.[45][46] On 27 September, Glasgow and Liverpool were announced to have made the final shortlist,[47] and on 7 October, the EBU and the BBC announced Liverpool as the host city, with the Liverpool Arena as the chosen venue for the contest.[1][3]

Key:
 †  Host venue  ‡  Final shortlist  ‡  Shortlisted   Submitted a bid

 
City/town Venue Notes Ref.
Aberdeen P&J Live [42]
Belfast SSE Arena [43][44]
Birmingham Resorts World Arena ‡ Supported by Birmingham City Council. [45]
Brighton Withdrew its proposal on 11 August 2022, citing lack of required infrastructure and venue. [46][47][48][49]
Bristol YTL Arena Bristol [50]
Cardiff Principality Stadium Withdrew its proposal on 3 August 2022, citing unavailability of the proposed venue. [51][52]
Darlington The Darlington Arena Proposal was dependent on the construction of a roof to cover the arena. Supported by Darlington Borough Council and Tees Valley Combined Authority. [53][54]
Derry Withdrew its proposal on 8 August 2022, citing lack of a suitable venue and supporting accommodation infrastructure. [55][56]
Edinburgh Supported by Edinburgh City Council. [57]
Glasgow OVO Hydro ‡ Supported by Glasgow City Council. [58]
Leeds First Direct Arena ‡ Supported by Leeds City Council. [59][58]
Liverpool M&S Bank Arena ‡ Supported by Liverpool City Council. [60][61][62][58]
London [46][63]
Manchester AO Arena ‡ Supported by Manchester City Council. [64][58]
Newcastle Utilita Arena Newcastle ‡ Supported by Newcastle City Council. [65][66][58]
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena Nottingham Withdrew its proposal on 9 August 2022, citing the proposed venue’s incapability to meet EBU requirements. [67][68]
Prudhoe [69]
Sheffield Utilita Arena Sheffield ‡ Supported by Sheffield City Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority. [70][71]
Sunderland Stadium of Light Withdrew its proposal on 10 August 2022, citing unavailability of the proposed venue. [72][73][74]
Wolverhampton [43]

Production. The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be produced by the British public broadcaster British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). The Ukrainian public broadcaster UA:PBC will work with the BBC to develop and implement Ukrainian elements for the live shows, including theme artwork, background music, selection of presenters, and opening and interval acts.[82][83] The three shows will be produced by BBC Studios Entertainment Productions and BBC Studios Music Productions, part of the BBC’s commercial subsidiary BBC Studios.[84]

The senior production team consists of Martin Green as managing director, Rachel Ashdown as lead commissioner, Andrew Cartmell as executive producer, Lee Smithurst as head of show, Twan van de Nieuwenhuijzen as head of contest, and James O’Brien as executive in charge of production.[85] Additional production personnel includes multi-camera directors Nikki Parsons, Richard Valentine and Ollie Bartlett, lead creative director Dan Shipton, music director Kojo Samuel, stage designer Julio Himede, head of sound Robert Edwards, and lighting designer Tim Routledge. The Ukrainian consultation team is led by Oksana Sybinska, Tetiana Semenova, and German Nenov [ru].[84]

The preliminary budget is £14 million (€16.2 million), of which Liverpool City Council and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority will each contribute £2 million, and the remaining £10 million by the BBC, the EBU and the UK government.[86]

Visual design: On 7 October 2022, along with the host city announcement, the EBU revealed the generic logo for the 2023 contest.[87] The Eurovision heart, which typically has the flag of the host country placed in its centre, contains the Ukrainian flag for this year to reflect the country’s win the previous year. The ‘Song Contest’ text is accompanied below by ‘United Kingdom’ and further down by ‘Liverpool 2023’.[3]

Format. 

Voting changes. On 22 November 2022, the EBU announced major changes to the voting system for the 2023 contest.[88] The results of the semi-finals would be determined solely by televoting, as was the case between 2004 and 2007, while the results of the final would be determined by both national juries and televoting, as has been the case since the 2009 final. In the event that a country cannot deliver a televoting result for the semi-finals, a backup jury result would be used, and should the issue persists into the final, the jury points awarded in the final would be doubled, replacing the previous procedure of using an algorithm to calculate and assign points based on countries with similar voting patterns. If a country’s jury is disqualified, the televoting points from that country would be doubled and used as a substitute in the final.[a] Viewers from non-participating countries would also be able to vote in all shows, with their votes being aggregated and presented as one individual set of points under “Rest of the World”. Those viewers would be able to cast votes via an online platform, which requires ownership of a credit or debit card for verification.[90]

Entries. For the third year in a row, delegations have the option to use pre-recorded backing vocals, though each delegation can still use backing singers – whether on or off stage – or a combination of live and recorded backing vocals. However, all lead vocals performing the melody of the song must still be live.

Semi-final allocation draw. The BBC has commissioned an independent production company to produce the semi-final allocation draw, which will include the passing of the host city insignia from previous host city Turin to Liverpool.[92] The draw will take place at the end of January 2023, though the exact date and venue have yet to be announced.[93][90]

Postcards. The BBC has commissioned an independent production company to create a concept for and produce the video postcards, which are shown before each act. Filming for the postcards is set to occur between January and April 2023.[94]

Participating countries. On 20 October 2022, the EBU announced that 37 countries would participate in the contest – the lowest number of participating countries since 2014 – with Bulgaria, Montenegro and North Macedonia opting not to participate for financial reasons.

Semi-finals. The two semi-finals will take place on 9 and 11 May 2023 at 20:00 BST (21:00 CEST). A draw to determine the participating countries’ semi-finals will take place at the end of January. The results of the semi-finals will be determined solely by televoting, from participating countries in determined semi-finals for the first time since 2009, and from non-participating countries under an aggregated online vote as “Rest of the World” for the first time in the contest’s history.

Country Artist Song Language(s)
 Albania Albina & Familja Kelmendi “Duje” Albanian[b]
 Armenia
 Australia
 Austria
 Azerbaijan
 Belgium
 Croatia
 Cyprus Andrew Lambrou
 Czech Republic
 Denmark
 Estonia
 Finland
 Georgia
 Greece
 Iceland
 Ireland
 Israel Noa Kirel English, Hebrew
 Latvia
 Lithuania
 Malta
 Moldova
 Netherlands Mia Nicolai and Dion Cooper
 Norway
 Poland
 Portugal
 Romania
 San Marino
 Serbia
 Slovenia Joker Out Slovene
 Sweden
 Switzerland

Final. The final will take place on 13 May 2023 at 20:00 BST (21:00 CEST). Twenty-six countries will participate in the final, composed of the previous edition’s winner Ukraine, the “Big Five” (which includes host country the United Kingdom), and the ten best-ranked entries of each of the two semi-finals. All thirty-seven participating countries with jury and televote, as well as non-participating countries under an aggregated online vote as “Rest of the World”, will vote in the final.

Country Artist Song Language(s)
 France
 Germany
 Italy
 Spain
 Ukraine Tvorchi “Heart of Steel” English
 United Kingdom

3.7.All the national selections for Eurovision Song Contest 2023: 

• National Selections in 2023:

COUNTRY EVENT WINNER
Albania Festivali i Këngës #61  Albina & Familja Kelmendi – “Duje”
Belgium Eurosong 2023
Croatia Dora 2023
Czech Republic ESCZ 2023
Denmark Melodi Grand Prix 2023
Estonia Eesti Laul 2023
Finland Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu 2023
France C’est vous qui décidez
Georgia The Voice Georgia artist selection
Germany Unser Lied für Liverpool
Iceland Söngvakeppnin 2023
Ireland Eurosong 2023
Italy Sanremo 2023
Latvia Supernova 2023
Lithuania Pabandom iš naujo 2023
Malta MESC 2023
Moldova (Moldovan Selection 2023)
Norway Melodi Grand Prix 2023
Poland Wybieramy hit na Eurowizję
Portugal Festival da Canção 2023
Romania Selecția Națională 2023
San Marino Una Voce per San Marino
Serbia Pesma za Evroviziju 23
Spain Benidorm Fest 2023
Sweden Melodifestivalen 2023
Ukraine Vidbir 2023  Tvorchi – “Heart of Steel”

• Internal Selections in 2023:

Australia
Austria
Cyprus artist: Andrew Lambrou
Israel artist: Noa Kirel
The Netherlands artists: Mia Nicolai & Dion Cooper
Slovenia artist: Joker Out
Switzerland

3.8.Connections:

Other countries. Eligibility for potential participation in the Eurovision Song Contest requires a national broadcaster with active EBU membership that would be able to broadcast the contest via the Eurovision network. The EBU issued an invitation to participate in the contest to all active members. Associate member Australia did not need an invitation for the 2023 contest, as it had previously been granted permission to participate at least until this year.

Active EBU members.

  • Andorra – On 26 May 2022, Dani Ortolà, content manager of Andorran broadcaster RTVA, confirmed that the country currently is unlikely to return to the contest in the short or medium term. Andorra last took part in 2009.
  •  Bosnia and Herzegovina – On 14 October 2022, Bosnian broadcaster BHRT confirmed that the country would not return in 2023, citing ongoing financial issues. Bosnia and Herzegovina last took part in 2016.
  •  Bulgaria – On 19 October 2022, Bulgarian broadcaster BNT confirmed to several Bulgarian news outlets that the country would not participate in 2023, citing financial constraints.
  •  Luxembourg – On 2 August 2022, Luxembourgish broadcaster RTL confirmed that the country would not return in 2023, stating that the broadcaster “currently concentrates on news and current affairs, rather than music and entertainment shows” and that Eurovision participation “would entail a financial strain on the broadcaster”. Luxembourg last took part in 1993.
  •  Monaco – On 22 November 2021, it was reported that part of the Monégasque state budget had been reserved for participation in the 2023 contest. However, the plans were delayed because the launch of Monaco’s new public television channel, Monte-Carlo Riviera TV, was pushed back to between June to September 2023 instead of the initially outlined period of late 2022, putting the possibility of Monaco returning to the contest by 2024 at the earliest. On 5 September 2022, Monaco Media Diffusion confirmed that the country would not return in 2023. Monaco last took part in 2006.
  •  Montenegro – On 13 October 2022, Montenegrin broadcaster RTCG confirmed that the country would not participate in 2023, citing financial constraints and a lack of interest from sponsors. Shortly after, Enisa Nikaj, who represented New York in the first American Song Contest, stated that she was set to represent Montenegro in Eurovision with the song “Olé”.
  •  North Macedonia – On 14 October 2022, Macedonian broadcaster MRT confirmed that the country would not participate in 2023, citing financial constraints. The broadcaster will, however, still broadcast the contest, with a view of returning in 2024.
  •  Slovakia – On 10 June 2022, Slovak broadcaster RTVS confirmed that the country would not return in 2023, citing financial constraints and low viewing figures during their time in the contest. Slovakia last took part in 2012.

Associate EBU members.

  •  Kazakhstan – In October 2022, TV producer Zhan Mukanov stated that the Kazakh broadcaster Khabar Agency was in discussions with the EBU about potentially being invited to debut in 2023, stating that “there is every chance [for Kazakhstan] to enter the adult Eurovision next year” and that the country’s participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2022 would have a “significant impact” on its chances of debuting. However, the country did not appear on the final list of participants.

Non-EBU members.

  •  Kosovo – On 16 May 2022, the Director-General of Kosovan broadcaster RTK Shkumbin Ahmetxhekaj stated that the broadcaster is aiming to apply for EBU membership at the end of the year and confirmed that should RTK gain EBU membership, Kosovo would be able to participate in the contest. However, the deadline for broadcasters to apply for participation in 2023 was on 15 September 2022, making a Kosovar debut in 2023 impossible. The country ultimately did not appear on the final list of participants.

Broadcasts. All participating broadcasters may choose to have on-site or remote commentators providing an insight about the show and voting information to their local audience. While they must broadcast at least the semi-final they are voting in and the final, most broadcasters air all three shows with different programming plans. Similarly, some non-participating broadcasters may still want to air the contest. Additionally, the European Broadcasting Union will provide international live streams of both semi-finals and the final through their official YouTube channel with no commentary.

The following are the broadcasters that have confirmed in whole or in part their broadcasting plans and/or commentators:

Broadcasters and commentators in participating countries
Country Show(s) Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s)
 Australia All shows SBS Myf Warhurst and Joel Creasey
 Belgium All shows Eén Dutch: Peter Van de Veire
 Italy All shows Rai 1 Gabriele Corsi [it], Cristiano Malgioglio and Carolina Di Domenico
 United Kingdom All shows BBC One TBA
Broadcasters and commentators in non-participating countries
Country Show(s) Broadcaster(s) Commentator(s)
 North Macedonia All shows MRT 1 TBA

Notes.

  1. [a] ^ The procedure of using calculated points would remain as a last resort in the event that a country cannot deliver a valid jury or televoting result.
  2. [b] ^ Specifically Gheg Albanian.