The international musical extravaganza will take place at the M&S Bank Arena Liverpool in May after the city was chosen to host the competition on behalf of the 2022 winners Ukraine following the Russian invasion.

As part of the UK’s commitment to honor Ukraine in the song contest, some 3,000 tickets will be made available to displaced Ukrainians so they can attend live performances.

The UK government has also announced £10m funding to “help ensure the event truly showcases Ukrainian culture” on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of the country.

Russian invasion of Ukraine
Ukrainian folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, which triumphed in last year’s competition in Turin, Italy, will perform during the upcoming show (Yui Mok/PA)

The money will support Liverpool City Council and the BBC’s partnerships with Ukrainian artists and performers to create a show “that celebrates music and how it unites people around the world.”

It will also support security, visa arrangements and other operational aspects of the competition, as well as Liverpool City Council’s schools, community and volunteer programmes.

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine means the contest cannot take place where it should be. But we are honored to support the BBC and Liverpool in hosting on his behalf, and we are determined to ensure that the Ukrainian people are at the center of this event.

“Today’s announcement means thousands of tickets will be offered to those displaced by war, so they can take part in a performance honoring their homeland, their culture and their music.

“As always, we stand with the Ukrainian people and their struggle for freedom.”

Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko added: “Allocation of almost 3,000 tickets to displaced Ukrainians for the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool will allow our compatriots here to enjoy the event and celebrate the rich culture and music of our country.

“The UK’s strong support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion has been exemplary and this gesture is yet another example of that commitment.

“The £10 million in funding to showcase Ukrainian culture is also greatly appreciated and will help put on a collaborative show that brings people from all over the world together.

“We are grateful to the UK Government, Liverpool City Council and the BBC for their efforts to honor the culture and people of Ukraine through this event.”

Eurovision 2023
Turin Mayor Stefano Lo Russo and Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson at St George’s Hall in Liverpool as the Eurovision Song Contest officially passes to the city of Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA)

Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson said Ukraine will be “at the center” of all her Eurovision plans.

He added: “By working with our Ukrainian community, we are shaping a powerful and thought-provoking program that is all-encompassing and representative of modern Ukraine – inspiring, moving, funny, beautiful and moving.

“We are delighted with the news that displaced Ukrainians are being given the opportunity to come to the city in May; after all, this is your Eurovision.

“Our team have been working tirelessly behind the scenes and we can’t wait to give them a warm Liverpool welcome and, fingers crossed, make them proud to the rest of Ukraine and the UK.”

Among the tributes, the Ukrainian folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, which triumphed in last year’s competition in Turin, Italy, will perform during the upcoming show.

Ukrainian broadcaster Timur Miroshnychenko, who has commentated on Eurovision in Ukraine since 2007, will also appear during the live shows to give insight into Ukraine’s comment box at the Liverpool Arena.

This announcement comes on the anniversary of the Russian invasion that forced millions of Ukrainians from their homes, many of whom found refuge in the UK.

Those who are based in the UK through the Ukraine Homes Scheme, the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Ukraine Outreach Scheme will be able to apply for tickets to the song contest.

Tickets for displaced Ukrainians have been subsidized by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with a £20 charge to be applied to each sale.

Slots will be offered for all nine live shows, including the semifinals, preliminary shows and the live final on May 13.


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