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City weighing up ambitious bid to bring Eurovision to Aberdeen

Aberdeen City Council is weighing up an ambitious bid to bring the Eurovision Song Contest to the north-east next year.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Eurovision organiser the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) decided it could not be held in winning country Ukraine due to the Russian invasion, and Britain was chosen instead.

The bidding process to decide which city will host will begin this week, and the BBC and the EBU will consider all official approaches and will publish the long-list later this summer.

It is understood that the winning city will require 3,000 hotel rooms and an internationally-connected venue which would be available for three weeks in May 2023.

Aberdeen has Scotland's largest indoor venue in P&J Live - and at present it has a four-week gap between the Magic Mike Arena Tour on April 28 and Andre Rieu on May 25.

An Aberdeen City Council spokeswoman said: “We were disappointed to learn that Eurovision 2023 cannot take place in Ukraine.

“Aberdeen has a track record of delivering major international events and now that the EBU has confirmed that the BBC will host the 2023 Eurovision song contest, we will look at the next steps in terms of the shortlisting process.

“The council has already instructed officers to continue the dialogue with relevant stakeholders and to look at the implications for the council of hosting this international event and its huge fanbase.

“The Eurovision Song Contest is a massive event with a worldwide audience.

“We have the city, the people and infrastructure to support international events such as this and it would provide a major boost to the Aberdeen and Scottish economies and raise the city’s profile with potential investors and visitors.”

Glasgow Early Favourite

The UK, which has held Eurovision eight times, was chosen after Sam Ryder came second in this year's contest.

The odds-on favourite to be next year's host is Glasgow, with Manchester, London and Birmingham next in the betting. Aberdeen is rated one of the outsiders at 22/1.

But Aberdeen councillors last month showed their support for bringing one of the world's biggest music and TV events to Bucksburn, as a £30,000 Eurovision bid was approved.

The BBC has already acknowledged there's a "strong case" for the city to host Eurovision. Phil Harrold, chief of staff for BBC director-general Tim Davie, last month noted the city's interest, and added that a strong case had been made for Aberdeen.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries both welcomed the news, while acknowledging the unwanted circumstances.

Ms Dorries told the BBC she was "delighted", but sorry it was not possible to host the event in Ukraine, "where it should be".

She added that the UK would "ensure it reflects Ukraine's recent Eurovision victory and Ukrainian creativity".

Mr Johnson said that the UK would put on a "fantastic contest on behalf of our Ukrainian friends".

BBC director-general Tim Davie said it was a "great privilege" to host the music competition, but regretful that Ukraine was not able to host.

He said the broadcaster would make the event "a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity".

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