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Nine Things To Consider For Eurovision 2023 Written by on August 12, 2022

Now we have our shortlist of venues for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, various elements of Eurovision are going to be closely considered so they can fit around the unique circumstances of the 67th Edition. Ewan Spence takes a look at some of those considerations.

The Competitive Side Of The Contest

From the competitive point of view, the EBU has confirmed that Ukraine’s entry will be treated in the same way as any other host’s entry and be given an automatic slot in the Grand Final. As the host broadcaster, the BBC will also be given an automatic slot, although as a member of the “Big 5” this was already the case.

Assuming qualification remains the same from the Semi Final, we will have 26 songs in the Grand Final.

A Joint Vision

Mykola Chernotytskyi, head of Ukraine’s public broadcaster, UA:PBC, signalled the joint approach between the BBC and UA:PBC on the feel of the show when the United Kingdom was offered hosting duties:

“I am confident that together we will be able to add Ukrainian spirit to this event and once again unite the whole of Europe around our common values of peace, support, celebrating diversity and talent.”

There are countless ways this could be achieved, from simple steps such as showing both countries’ flags inside the Eurovision heart logo, right up to a stage that is built around two different worlds coming together in a shared space open to all. This process will take time, just as every year’s design elements need to work through not just the creative process but also the signing-off process from various stakeholders. 2023 will be no different, even if the requirements are wider than usual.

The Legend Of “The Legend Of Fire Saga”

Given Netflix’s Eurovision saw Edinburgh picked as the Host City, with Glasgow’s Hydro Stadium as the venue, and the filming taking place in Tel Aviv (and a London-based green screen), there’s going to be a lot of looking at Will Ferrell’s attempts to divine the future. Now that Glasgow is confirmed as being on the shortlist the visuals of the Hydro Arena in the aforementioned film have gifted it a sense of inevitability in the eyes of many.

Which has nothing to do with the real-world nuts and bolts of a bid, but Netflix’s “Perfect Harmony” is a wonderful slogan given the circumstances.

Hosting Duties

Who’s going to host? There are a number of obvious names from the BBC pool of Saturday night live regulars, and if that was the only consideration you’d consider Graham Norton and Tess Daley on stage with Claudia Winkleman in the Green Room as the odds-on favourite (with a dash of Rylan Clark and Scott Mills in the mix).

But this isn’t the only consideration, because Ukraine should be as visible, if not more. Let’s add Ukrainian host Masha Efrosinina into the mix to host alongside Graham Norton (much as Norton joined Petra Mede at Eurovision’s 60th Anniversary show). Depending on circumstances in May, Ukrainian commentator and host Timur Miroshnychenko may also be an option.

Choosing A Host City

The bidding process is under way, and with the shortlisted cities we know that the BBC and the EBU have multiple options to choose from that all meet the initial criteria.

While the Song Contest community has some very strong views on where would work, the logistics around the Contest are far more complex than “which venues are big enough, near an Airport, and have existing bookings that can be rescheduled.”

Those are considerations, but you also have to think about elements such as hotel capacity, accessibility of the venue, support from local government, locations for extra-curricular activities such as the official launch party and Euroclub, local suppliers for various elements, and much more..

Thankfully Reddit’s suggestion of Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch 2023 didn’t make the shortlist.

A Warm Welcome

Let’s just say that some parts of the United Kingdom’s political fabric are going to have to come to terms with this friendly and supportive mix of  Eurovision, Europe, BBC, and the UK welcoming in the wider world.

Meanwhile, everyone else is going to love the shared experience that reaches across borders.

Look At Our New Shiny Show

The Eurovision Song Contest is a reflection of television and media. What new reflections will we see this year from the BBC?

Notable changes have been made by the Corporation over Eurovision’s history, such as  organising the first Contest in colour back in 1968, and the inclusion of the current country’s name on screen for easy reference in 1998. Both were natural evolutions, the former around broadcast technology and the latter about meeting viewer expectations.

What can we expect from the 2023 Contest? A wider adoption of 4K broadcasting seems an easy win. This was piloted in Rotterdam 2021, and Turin was broadcast on Italian broadcaster RAI’s 4K channel. A wider roll-out, perhaps with more practical and cheaper hardware, would be a technological win for the BBC.

What else could change, either on the technology, organisational, or presentational side of things is something that we ask each year. Every host broadcaster has the opportunity to re-shape the show – that’s why it stays fresh. What will the BBC bring now it has a substantive input?

The Demand For Tickets

Tickets for any Eurovision Grand Final are always in short supply, and 2023 will be no exception. With an audience of over 10 million watching Turin 2022 and Sam Ryder’s second place, the United Kingdom is ready to fill whichever stadium we will find ourselves in. When the tickets go on sale (and that’s likely to not happen before December) the Saturday night show tickets will go fast.

Yet the Eurovision community know that there are nine shows with tickets on sale. The live Grand Final and two Semi Finals. The jury show of those broadcasts, and the findal all-up rehearsal in the afternoon before the live show badged as the Family shows. Tickets for those are usually easier (and cheaper) to find, and provide not only almost the same show of the entries and interval, but also let you go home and watch the TV show on the TV.

One final thought on tickets. A certain level of priority should be given to Ukrainian nationals in the United Kingdom. The BBC is the host broadcaster but of a joint show. It’s only right the audience follows that lead.

Everything Changes, Everything Stays The Same

No matter what happens in the run-up, no matter the issues, it’s going to be alright on the three nights. We’ll get our Song Contest, we’ll get a winner, and the circle of Eurovision will start all over again with one more stitch in the fabric of the Contest

What are you looking forward to for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023? What do you think will change? And how do you think it’s going to look on screen? Let us know in the comments.

About The Author: Ewan Spence

British Academy (BAFTA) nominated broadcaster and writer Ewan Spence is the voice behind The Unofficial Eurovision Song Contest Podcast and one of the driving forces behind ESC Insight. Having had an online presence since 1994, he is a noted commentator around the intersection of the media, internet, technology, mobility and how it affects us all. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, his work has appeared on the BBC, The Stage, STV, and The Times. You can follow Ewan on Twitter (@ewan) and Facebook (

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