Contest switched

Sturgeon flags Glasgow as host of Eurovision

The Karush Orchestra won on an emotional night

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is pushing the case for next year’s Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Scotland after the organisers ruled that this year’s winner Ukraine could not be expected to host the event.

Talks are under way with the BBC to “potentially host” the 2023 event and Ms Sturgeon took to Twitter to say there was the “perfect venue” on the River Clyde.

Her comment prompted a flurry of speculation that the Ovo Hydro was being lined up.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced today that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will not be held in war-torn Ukraine, and that it is currently in talks with the UK as runner-up in this year’s competition.

In May, the Ukrainian band Kalush Orchestra won the contest in Turin with the song “Stefania” in a highly symbolic victory. President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed to host the Contest one day in the bombed-out city of Mariupol.

The EBU said that following a “full assessment and feasibility study” it had concluded the “security and operational guarantees” required to host the event cannot be fulfilled by Ukraine’s public broadcaster UA:PBC.

In a statement posted online, the EBU thanked the UA:PBC for its “wholehearted cooperation and commitment in exploring all scenarios” but shared its “sadness and disappointment” that the contest cannot be held in the country.

“The EBU has been supporting UA:PBC across a whole range of areas since the invasion. We will ensure that this support continues so UA:PBC can maintain the indispensable service they provide to Ukrainians,” it said.

Ovo Hydro
Possible venue: Ovo Hydro on the Clyde

“As a result of this decision, in accordance with the rules and to ensure the continuity of the event, the EBU will now begin discussions with the BBC, as this year’s runner-up, to potentially host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in the United Kingdom.

“It is our full intention that Ukraine’s win will be reflected in next year’s shows. This will be a priority for us in our discussions with the eventual hosts.”

The BBC has said it will “of course” discuss hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest following the announcement that Ukraine will not be able to host the event next year.

A statement from the broadcaster said: “We have seen the announcement from the EBU. Clearly these aren’t a set of circumstances that anyone would want.

“Following their decision, we will of course discuss the BBC hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.”

There has been no indication of which city would host the Eurovision Song Contest – however, traditionally the event is not held in capital cities of the host nation.

The Hydro has listings such as the Magic Mike arena tour on April 25, Andre Rieu on May 27 and Ozzy Osbourne: No More Tours from June 2-4, but currently nothing else in the month of May.

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