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Council backs bid for Belfast to host Eurovision 2023


Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine

Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine

Eurovision 2022 winners Kalush Orchestra from Ukraine

Belfast is set to submit a formal bid to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest after a council committee gave its seal of approval.

The Belfast for Eurovision Twitter page, which is leading an online campaign, said Belfast has submitted an expression of interest for Eurovision 2023.

On Wednesday night the proposal to support a full bid was supported by the Council’s City Growth & Regeneration Committee.

“Who is ready to help us make #EurovisionBelfast happen?”, a tweet added.

A shortlist of cities to host Eurovision 2023 will be announced this Friday.

Derry has withdrawn interest in the bidding process after the council was urged to carry out a feasibility study.

It was confirmed last month the annual European song competition will not be held in the 2022 winning country Ukraine, due to the ongoing war following the Russian invasion.

Ukraine’s entry Kalush Orchestra triumphed at this year’s competition in Turin, Italy.

The UK was given the chance to host Eurovision for the ninth time – more than any other country – after Sam Ryder came second in the competition.

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Belfast is one of the UK cities which has stated its intentions of submitting bid.

Irish Eurovision Song Contest winner Linda Martin threw her weight behind a growing campaign to bring the event to Belfast next year, saying the city is “perfectly placed” to host it.

The Belfast-born singer, who won the competition for Ireland in 1992 with the Johnny Logan-penned entry Why Me?, said Belfast would be a “fantastic” choice to stage the massive event and a “wonderful opportunity” to showcase the city and Northern Ireland as a whole to millions of viewers in more than 40 participating countries.

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne was the latest UK city to officially announce a bid on Sunday, while London, Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Sheffield and Leeds are also in the running.

Once all the applications have been received, a shortlist will be announced on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on Friday.

According to the BBC – which broadcasts the contest in the UK and will make the selection alongside the EBU – the winner will be chosen in a two-stage process against requirements that assess the city’s capacity and capability.

Ukraine will automatically qualify for the grand final alongside the so-called big five nations – the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, who each get a free pass because of their financial contributions to the event.

The host city is expected to be announced by the autumn.

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