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Looking Forward To Liverpool 2023 With A Few Predictions Written by on October 12, 2022

With the announcement of Liverpool as the host city for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, the team at ESC insight and some friends of the parish look ahead to the 67th Contest and make some predictions.

Ewan Spence: The Hit Machine

Once is happenstance, twice is a coincidence, three times is a musical certainty.

The success of Duncan Laurence’s ‘Arcade’ in both the online viral music charts and in the wider and more established charts around the world was seen as somewhat surprising following the song’s victory at the Song Contest. Måneskin’s steamrollering of the music world with ‘Zitti e Buoni’ eclipsed ‘Arcade’… and you could argue that ‘Think About Things’ would have joined this successful run if it hadn’t been for a cancelled Contest.

Turin 2022 delivered two massive music wins that will help drive the Contest forward from the musical business point of view. The United Kingdom – arguably the biggest musical market represented at the Song Contest until Spotify is declared an EBU member – found its own superstar in Sam Ryder who caught international attention, sold rather a lot of records, and started a lot of streams.

More importantly, Armenia’s Rosa Lin has taken ‘Snap’ into the charts in nearly thirty territories. This is the sort of success at the Song Contest the industry wants to see. The Contest can make international stars of those taking part, not just those who win.

I’m expecting the industry to have a renewed focus on the Song Contest, and at least two more ‘star making’ myths to be built around Eurovision 2023.

Ben Robertson: Evolving Community Coverage

We all anticipate that this Eurovision Song Contest will define what it means to be Eurovision in the post-covid era shows. RAI’s Contest was still in the shadow of the global pandemic, and while Covid will not go away, 2023 is the first contest that can take us into a new normal. That includes how the Song Contest and the community work together.

There are always new problems to solve and old problems to re-assess. It could be that the smaller press centres of Rotterdam and Turin continue; it could include a larger online press centre with more options for streaming. There may be a secondary venue in Liverpool for community media to work in, collaborate with each other, and to organise artists’ meets and press conferences.

The BBC and EBU has a real opportunity to guide the culture of our shared community for the next generation.

Sharleen Wright: The Tickets

The demand for tickets has already exploded following confirmation of Liverpool and the dates for the Contest, and is likely to represent an all-time high in terms of demand. The expectations placed on our new hosts will be near impossible to meet.

No matter how many tickets may be assigned through both OGAE and any other arrangements for the wider community, it is likely never going to be enough to keep people happy.  The BBC  continues to show this is a partnership with Ukraine. I would argue that the usual ticket allocation for fans should instead go to Ukrainian refugees to attend.  Will the community agree this is fair and be ready to accept it though?

Chris Halpin: The Big Five Resurgence To Continue

Two contests and four podium spots later, the members of the Big Five (France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom) are riding high for the most part (apologies, Germany). After years in the doldrums, it seems that momentum and excitement for the Eurovision Song Contest is starting to peak in these key countries.

With artists starting to recognise the potential of post-Eurovision success (as Ewan has outlined above), there’s plenty of reason to believe this success will continue. Italy’s relentless pressure and success with San Remo is unlikely to shift, whilst the UK, France and Spain all clearly have a path to success in front of them.

And what of Germany? Having been accused of “playing it safe” the last few years, it would be wonderful to see them take an alternative route. The potential is there; let’s hope for them to come out fighting.

You can follow Chis’ Eurovision thoughts over on his YouTube Channel ‘Chris Talks Eurovision‘.

Genevieve Hassan: Will We See A K-Pop Entry?

The first American Song Contest this year may not have set the world alight, but its winner made headlines for being a K-Pop singer. AleXa’s theming, costumes and dance routine wouldn’t have been out of place on the main Eurovision stage (minus five of her ten dancers of course).

With a clear synergy and K-Pop becoming more mainstream thanks to BTS’s plans for world domination, could 2023 be the year K-pop breaks through to Eurovision?

The road has already been part-paved: Many songwriters behind Eurovision hits have also penned tracks for some of the biggest K-pop acts. Among them is Charlie Mason – who wrote Conchita Wurst’s ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ – who’s also credited as a writer and producer on a number-one album for Girls’ Generation, the biggest South Korean girl group of all time. And Dutch winner Duncan Laurence co-wrote a song for one of the longest-running K-Pop bands, TVXQ, in 2018.

It’s not a great leap to suggest a K-pop act could team up again with a past collaborator to entertain Europe…

As the genre rises in massive popularity Down Under, and with a number of homegrown idols already including Blackpink’s Rosé, Australia is the likeliest candidate to deliver the K-Pop goods. It’d be very interesting to see what Eurovision makes of it.

You can listen to Genevieve’s podcast ‘Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did‘, click here or search in the usual places.

Matt Baker: Watch This (Digital) Space, Man!

Following on from Ewan’s point about the Eurovision Song Contest arousing new interest from the music industry, the National Broadcasters could look into a more digitally focused approach, especially when it comes to selecting this year’s artist and song.

Whether we’re talking about curating a National Selection or internally selecting an entry to go direct to Eurovision, we might see Broadcasters scouring social media and online spaces to find emerging talent. The BBC’s selection of Sam Ryder last year (and the way in which it was carefully announced) was a masterstroke. I wouldn’t put it past the BBC to walk us down a similar avenue this year, but I expect other broadcasters, especially those with smaller budgets, to follow suit. The level of performing experience needed from new singers, aside from just vocal talent, is a discussion for another day but I’m expecting varying degrees of success if we do see multiple broadcasters sending artists from social media.

We’re a long way off a Digital Contest in the metaverse, however, broadcasters will be foolish to ignore the huge music industry successes that are being driven by online communities. After all, Sam Ryder didn’t get his record deal until he went viral during the CoVID lockdowns.

Fin Ross Russell: The Debut of the Co-Hosting

For the first time since 1980, Eurovision will not be hosted by the previous year’s winning nation. It is heartbreaking that we’ve arrived at this situation as a result of the tragic conflict being waged across Ukraine and it is a strange path that has finally allowed us to arrive at the first co-hosting in Eurovision history.

Make no mistake, this Contest is happening on British soil but for all intents and purposes, this is still Ukraine’s party and the EBU will be working hard to ensure that that is represented in the BBC’s production of the final show. Look out for Ukrainian hosts, Ukrainian interval acts and as much made of cultural links between the United Kingdom and Ukraine as possible (with specific reference to host city Liverpool’s twin relationship with Odessa). Ukraine will also have an automatic spot in the Grand Final.

But beyond the cultural significance of Eurovision being hosted in this unique format during this unprecedented moment of European history, are there elements of the co-hosting model which might work well for future Song Contests whilst reducing the pressure on host nations?

Liverpool’s plans for hosting include street art collaborations between Ukrainian and British artists, a display of Ukrainian eggs in the city centre leading to cultural engagement programmes in schools and organisers working with Ukrainian designers to create outfits for delegations based on traditional Ukrainian designs. Cities and countries coming together to collaborate whilst exchanging cultural practices to expand our creative perspective on the worlds we live in is a strong part of modern Eurovision.

Would similar co-host setups in the future really be such a terrible idea?

John Lucas: The Return of the Eurobanger

For many, high-energy Europop bangers are a core part of the Eurovision Song Contest’s DNA, but in recent years they’ve been relatively thin on the ground. With the juries increasingly boosting more self-serious entries – even ones that get nul points from the public, it turns out – many fans speculated that the age of the tightly choreographed diva was drawing to a close.

Mercifully, in an otherwise notably midtempo year, a saviour arrived in the form of Chanel from Spain, who virtually carried the genre on her diamante-encrusted shoulders in 2022. ‘Slo Mo’ may not have won, but it seems likely that other artists in the pop genre will be paying attention.

Much has been made of the fact that a twentieth-placed midtempo from Armenia has been the streaming hit of the year, but artists with big pop aspirations are still very much on the scene.  Chanel’s success should highlight that the Eurovision Song Contest offers a rare and tantalising platform for these artists to really show what they can do.

What are you expecting from the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023? Who do you hope to see? And what do you think will be introduced? As always, the comments are open!

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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