Eurovision 2023: Manchester council leader pledges city will bid to host music contest on behalf of Ukraine

Coun Bev Craig, the leader of Manchester City Council, put the city in the frame to host the song contest after it was announced Britain would be stepping up to host it instead of Ukraine.

Manchester will be in the running to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest after the council leader pledged on social media that the city would be bidding to host the song contest.

Manchester City Council leader Coun Bev Craig talked up the city’s credentials for welcoming Europe’s pop acts next year in a post on social media.

It was announced on Monday (25 July) that the UK would be hosting next year’s event as the Ukraine will be unable to do so due to the Russian invasion of the country.

That sparked a flurry of posts on social media as cities jockeyed to put themselves in the frame or were the subject of speculation about whether or not they would go for it.

What has been said about Manchester hosting Eurovision 2023?

In a message on Twitter on Monday Coun Craig outlined her enthusiasm for bringing Eurovision to the city and why Manchester would be a good host.

She wrote: “Manchester will be bidding to host @Eurovision@bbceurovision A world class music city, brilliant venues, experience in hosting major events, and of course one of the UK’s largest Ukrainian populations- we are confident we will make it a #eurovision to remember. More to follow.”

In a follow-up tweet, Coun Craig also suggested the presence of one of the largest LGBTQ+ communities in Europe was another reason to bring the international pop music celebration to Manchester.

Among the flurry of responses to her post, many of which expressed considerable enthusiasm for Eurovision coming to Manchester, was one from the region’s night-time economy advisor Sacha Lord.

He kept his message short and to the point, tweeting simply: “Get in!”

Greater Manchester already has a connection with Eurovision as the BBC’s coverage this year was broadcast from MediaCity UK for the first time.

A gambling site on Monday put Manchester fifth in the running to host the event, with Glasgow placed as the early favourites and Cardiff, Belfast and Birmingham also in front of the city in the betting race.

The discussion on social media suggested the AO Arena will be the most likely host venue, with the 23,500-capacity Co-op Live arena not scheduled to open until several months after Eur

Why is the UK going to host Eurovision 2023?

The BBC released a statement on Monday explaining why the UK will be hosting next year’s Eurovision.

Usually the country of the winning act gets to host the next competition, and the 2022 edition was won by Ukrainian act Kalush Orchestra.

However, due to the ongoing war in Ukraine caused by Russia’s aggressive invasion earlier this year, it has now become clear that welcoming the continent’s acts and music fans to Kyiv in 2023 will simply not be possible.

Sam Ryder came second for the United Kingdom in May's contest

Tim Davie, BBC director-general, said: “It is a matter of great regret that our colleagues and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Being asked to host the largest and most complex music competition in the world is a great privilege.

“The BBC is committed to making the event a true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.

“The BBC will now begin the process to find a host city to partner with us on delivering one of the most exciting events to come to the UK in 2023.”