Newcastle are exploring a bid to host next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.
It is one of several cities putting their names forward after organisers revealed last month that they were in talks with the BBC to bring the event to the UK.
It’s tradition that the winning country of the annual song competition hosts the following year’s event and despite Ukraine’s folk-rap entry Kalush Orchestra topping the table, it was announced earlier this month that the EBU would be looking for a different country to host the event in 2023.
Last month, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the organisation behind the Eurovision Song Contest, has released a lengthy statement explaining the reasons why Ukraine can’t host the 2023 event.
“The EBU fully understands the disappointment that greeted the announcement that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest cannot be staged in Ukraine, this year’s winning country,” the statement began.
“The decision was guided by the EBU’s responsibility to ensure the conditions are met to guarantee the safety and security of everyone working and participating in the event, the planning of which needs to begin immediately in the host country.”
Newcastle city council has now confirmed it is “exploring” options to host the competition there, with one possible venue being the 11,000-capacity Utilita Arena.
Cities are required to meet certain criteria to host the contest, such as being within easy reach of an international airport and having enough hotel accommodation for at least 2,000 delegates, journalists and spectators (via BBC).
It must also have a venue which can accommodate about 10,000 spectators.
Councillor Alex Hay, cabinet member for tourism, said: “Newcastle is a welcoming, well-connected and ambitious city with a proven track record of staging world class events.
“Obviously it would be wonderful to host Eurovision and we believe [it] would be a perfect host city. We are looking forward to hearing more about the bidding process and are already working with partners to explore the opportunity.”
Other cities that have showed an interest in the competition are Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Aberdeen, Belfast, Bristol, Leeds, London, Birmingham and Liverpool.
In other news, Eurovision winners Kalush Orchestra have announced a North American headline tour for later in the year.
Tickets for all of the dates – a full list of which can be found below – are on sale now via Bomond. A portion of the funds raised from sales will be donated to Ukrainian relief efforts via the charities Gate To Ukraine and Help Heroes Of Ukraine.
May saw Kalush Orchestra win the Eurovision Song Contest in Turin with their song ‘Stefania’. The six-piece band raised $900,000 (£739,000) for Ukrainian relief by auctioning off their winners’ trophy.
A further $370,000 (£301,000) was also raised by raffling off the pink bucket hat that member frontman Oleh Psiuk wore during the group’s victorious performance.