Eurovision 2023: Dates, tickets, M&S Bank Arena Liverpool at M&S Bank Arena capacity and how to watch

It’s official! Liverpool will host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023 - here’s everything you need to know about tickets and TV.

Eurovision officials have confirmed Liverpool will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 with Glasgow narrowly missing out in the bid between the final two.

Home to The Beatles, the city is rooted in its music history making it a fitting host for one of the biggest musical contests in the world. It will also host the thousands of fans expected to flock to the city from across the globe.

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The exciting announcement came on Friday (October 7) and has been met with overjoyed fans as well as officials who have welcomed the choice.

The BBC’s Director General, Tim Davie, said: “Congratulations to Liverpool. They will be an amazing host for the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest. Liverpool is such an exciting, warm and vibrant city. It’s the undisputed capital of pop music and is celebrating the 65th anniversary of its twinning with the Ukrainian city of Odesa. I know the people of Liverpool will welcome Europe – and the rest of the world – with open arms, and in partnership we will create something truly special.”

Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor, Martin Österdahl, said: “Liverpool is the ideal place to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine. The city is synonymous with music and Liverpool Arena exceeds all the requirements needed to stage a global event of this scale. We have been very impressed with the passion the city has shown in embracing the Contest and their inclusive ideas for placing last year’s winners, Ukraine, front and centre when thousands of fans visit next May."

EBU Director General Noel Curran added: “This will be the first Eurovision Song Contest to be held in the UK in 25 years and, as we work with our Host Broadcaster, the BBC, to celebrate Ukraine’s victory, this unique production promises to be a very special one indeed.”

So, how can you get your hands on tickets? Here’s everything you need to know about the exciting event.

When is Eurovision 2023?

There are two semi-finals of Eurovision in 2023, and they will both get underway a few days before the Grand Final. The first will be on Tuesday, May 9, and the second will be on Thursday, May 11.

The 2023 Eurovision Grand Final will take place on Saturday, May 13.

Why is UK hosting Eurovision 2022

Traditionally the winner of the contest the previous year hosts the event. However, 2022 winners Ukraine confirmed it would be unable to host the contest due to their ongoing war with Russia. The UK offered to host the event after coming second in the 2022 contest. The contest was last held in the UK in 1998, when Birmingham was the host city.

Where will Eurovision be held in Liverpool?

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The contest will be staged in Liverpool at M&S Bank Arena due to its large capacity, fitting the requirements of a Eurovision venue.

According to the Eurovision website: “A Host City of the Eurovision Song Contest must meet certain criteria. The venue should accommodate around 10,000 spectators and the city should be within easy reach of an international airport. The location must also have ample hotel accommodation.”

The M&S Bank Arena has a capacity of 11,000 people and is next to a conference centre near the city centre’s hotels and rail links.

How to watch Eurovision 2023

As usual the whole event from the semi-finals to the grand finale will be shown live on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. The broadcast is usually joined by Graham Norton who commentates as the show progresses bringing further entertainment and witty quips for everyone to enjoy.

Norton confirmed that he would be returning to the role on Twitter when he said: “Congratulations Liverpool!!! @Eurovision @bbceurovision See you in May!!!”

The tweet prompted Liverpool City Council to respond with their excitement saying: “Looking forward to having you here.” a sentiment that was echoed by fans also.

One fan responded to Norton’s tweet saying: “Graham, I’m holding you personally responsible for the sore throat I’ve got after screaming at you announcing our beautiful city earlier! Roll on May!!”

Fans who miss the initial live broadcast will also be able to catch up on iPlayer.

How to get tickets

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No official ticket prices and availability have been announced as of yet.

TheEurovision website states that: “Ticket prices, availability, and even the ticket provider, won’t be decided until there is a confirmed Host City and venue for the shows.”

That’s not all, the BBC will then need to work out how much space is needed for the production inside the chosen venue such as cameras and the stage. All that is dependent on the chosen venue and can’t be confirmed in advance.

Once all that is decided, tickets for nine shows will go on sale:

  • Grand Final: Live TV Show [Saturday evening]; Jury Show [Friday evening]; Family Show [Saturday afternoon].
  • First Semi-Final: Live TV Show [Tuesday evening]; Jury Show [Monday evening]; Family Show [Tuesday afternoon].
  • Second Semi Final: Live TV Show [Thursday evening]; Jury Show [Wednesday evening]; Family Show [Thursday afternoon].

Here is a breakdown of what each show will entail:

Jury show

The Jury Show is a full run through of the show that takes place the night before the televised show. This is also when the international juries cast their votes.

Audiences can stay for a randomised version of the qualifier/points revealed as the presenters will practice different scenarios.

Family Show

The Family Show is a full run through of the show that takes place earlier in the day, ahead of the Live TV show.

This show serves as one final rehearsal for the artists and crew. It’s much more convenient for those who wish to bring younger Eurovision fans.

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This show also features randomly generated presentations of the qualifiers and points.

This is a live television broadcast. Audiences across Europe and Australia will get to cast their votes to add to the Jury scores. This is the real deal.

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