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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Adam Maidment

Where the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is taking place

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is due to take place this week and excitement - particularly here in the north - is at an all-time high.

The Grand Final will take place on Sunday, May 13 at 8pm and will be broadcast live on both BBC One and BBC iPlayer. For the first time in 25 years, the contest is going to be held right here in the UK.

Last year’s winners Ukraine would have traditionally hosted this year’s event but the ongoing Russian invasion resulted in the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) deciding it was not a 'viable option' for the country to host the contest.

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With the UK's Sam Ryder coming second at last year's event, the broadcaster decided we would be the best fit. Following a tight bidding process with the likes of Glasgow and Manchester, Liverpool was selected as the Host City for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest.

Not only will it host the Grand Final and the two Semi-Finals, but it has unveiled a jam-packed schedule of cultural events, performances and gatherings to mark the big occasion. Mykola Chernotytskyi, of Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC, said that while the 2023 event will not be in Ukraine, it will be held ‘in support of Ukraine’. The BBC has promised that this year’s show will have the “glorious Ukraine at its heart”.

Eurovision is coming to Liverpool (PA)

All three of the main events will be held at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool, which is located on the Waterfront Pier by King's Dock. It’s conveniently just a 10-minute walk from James Street underground station and 20 minutes from Lime Street train station. A train journey from Manchester Piccadilly to Lime Street can take around 35 minutes, although there are currently a number of train strikes scheduled on the day of the final.

The arena normally has a capacity to hold up to 11,000 people, but only 6,000 fans were lucky enough to bag tickets to the Eurovision final due to the sheer size of the Contest's set.

The 450 square meter stage for the event, which has been created by designers who have previously worked on huge events like the GRAMMYs and the MTV EMAs, will feature another 220 square meters of independently moving and turning video screens, 700 integrated video floor tiles, and more than 1500 metres of LED lights.

As expected, tickets for all of the main events - alongside a number of dress rehearsals - all sold out within minutes. But there will still be plenty of celebrations taking place right next to the Arena.

Liverpool is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 at the M&S Bank Arena (Andrew Teebay Liverpool Echo)

The Eurovision Village, a dedicated fan zone, will be open to the public from May 5 to 12 for free without the need of tickets. The zone will be screening the Grand Final on May 13 but tickets will be required.

The fan zone, located on Pier Head by the Arena, will open at 5.30pm on May 5 with a night celebrating the Uniting Power of Music, featuring Eurovision Song Contest 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra and the Welcome to Eurotopia supergroup which will feature the likes of Alex Moore of The Lathums and Natalie McCool.

During the week of festivities, the Village will also feature Eurovision royalty, this year's performers and artists include Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears, House Gospel Choir, The Lightning Seeds, Fleur East, Danny Beard and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

For those wanting to celebrate the event a bit closer to home, there is plenty going on throughout Greater Manchester too.

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