The UK Is Hosting Eurovision 2023 on Behalf of Ukraine

·2-min read
13 May 2022, Italy, Turin: Sam Ryder from Great Britain with the title
13 May 2022, Italy, Turin: Sam Ryder from Great Britain with the title

The UK is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023, it has been announced on Twitter. After an impressive performance, Sam Ryder almost sang the UK to victory with his song "Space Man", but was beaten to the top spot by Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra. While the competition is traditionally held in the country that won the year before, the devastating war in Ukraine means it is not safe for the competition to take place in there.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, 2022 has been catastrophic. More than 9.5 million Ukrainians have fled the country since, making it Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II. Tens of thousands of people have died, and President Vladimir Putin's brutal reign is unlikely to end soon.

Ukraine's Kalush Orchestra, who won the competition with the song "Stefania", sold their trophy for £712,000. The trophy was auctioned in a raffle on Facebook with the aim of raising money to buy drones for the Ukraine military.

While the Ukrainian culture minister, Oleksandr Tkachenko, argued that his country was ready to host Eurovision 2023 and said the European Broadcasting Union should "consider how to change the rules of Eurovision for the country that is fighting for independence and democracy", a compromise has been reached.

TOPSHOT - Members of the band
TOPSHOT - Members of the band

Image Source: Getty/ Marco BERTORELLO

The UK will now host Eurovision 2023 on Ukraine's behalf, and BBC director general Tim Davie has promised the show will be "a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity".

Ukraine will automatically qualify for the Grand Final along with the "Big 5", which includes the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain.

It is not known yet which UK city will host, but bidding began this week and Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Bristol have all shown an interest in presenting the event. The Eurovision Song Contest will take place at some point during May 2023.

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