We have already reported the flurry of excitement across UK, and among cities willing to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest. And while we await the announcement of the shortlist on August 12, the developments on this front are still coming through, with Newcastle confirming the submission of an official bid, and Derry clarifying that it is no longer interested in hosting the event.
Withdrawal of interest by Derry (N. Ireland)
According to a recent article, Derry, the second most populous city in N. Ireland, appears to have changed its mind and will not proceed with an official bid to host the Competition in the city, despite its initial interest. A spokesperson for Derry City Council said:
Following the resolution at June’s Council meeting “that Council Officers investigate the feasibility of submitting a bid to host the 2023 Eurovision Final”, Council has advised its elected members that the hosting criteria has been reviewed.
The Council area is unable to fulfill a number of the essential minimum criteria in relation to the provision of a suitable venue and supporting accommodation infrastructure. On that basis, it was recommended that a Stage 1 bid is not submitted.
Official bid by Newcastle (NE England)
The formal bid was submitted by the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative (NGI) on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Confirming the Council’s plans, NGI Director, Ian Thomas, said:
This is a once in a generation opportunity to welcome a huge number of international visitors, performers and media to the North East of England and to showcase our world- class culture, rich heritage and vibrant region to the world.
Our bid is a region-wide effort with support from our local authorities, and public and private sector partners from across the North East as we recognise the enormity of this opportunity.
The potential impact of Newcastle hosting Eurovision 2023 is phenomenal. Eurovision will play a significant role in rejuvenating and sustaining our visitor economy, supporting our businesses and creating an even better place for our residents.
Addressing the city’s success at hosting other large scale events, he added:
We’ve seen other large events such as the European Professional Rugby Club finals attract 95,000 fans to the region which contributed £24m to our visitor economy in 2019, and World Transplant Games also in 2019 brought in attendees from over 50 countries which pushed hotel occupancy rates up by 13%, supporting the hospitality supply chain and helping to sustain jobs within the industry.
Eurovision will be on an even bigger scale, and we welcome this fantastic opportunity to bring this to the region.
Councillor Alex Hay of the Newcastle City Council, said:
“We are delighted to be bidding to host Eurovision 2023 on behalf of Ukraine and stand in solidarity with its people. We are collaborating with partners across the region to help make this a reality for Newcastle, to do Ukraine proud and to embody everything that Eurovision stands for.
We’re committed to making Newcastle a better place for our residents and visitors, and hosting Eurovision will be a crucial tool in achieving that.
It will not only showcase the city and its incredible people on a global stage, but it will have a tangible social and economic impact in bringing financial investment into the city, helping change perceptions of the North East, and build a lasting legacy for our city.
We are a certified City of Sanctuary, which strengthens our message that everyone is welcome here. Music is a big part of our heritage and it’s time for us to write a new verse in that history.
We are Newcastle, we are a safe city, famous for our Geordie welcome, we stand united with Ukraine – and we are the perfect host for Eurovision 2023.
Would Newcastle be a good host for the 67th Eurovision Song Contest? Stay tuned for any updates!