The government will donate £10 million to the Liverpool song contest for Eurovision 2023

Kalush Ensemble

The UK government has announced that the Eurovision Song Contest, which will take place in Liverpool in May, will receive £10 million.

The money will be used to cover administrative expenses, such as security and visas, as well as to ensure that the event "showcases Ukrainian culture.".

The local government of Liverpool has already committed £4 million in funding.

According to information obtained by the BBC, the Italian government did not directly contribute any funds to the yearly event last year.

Instead, the host city of Turin spent about £10 million on the song contest, and according to officials, tourism made that money back "seven times" over.

The government also announced that approximately 3,000 tickets to the song contest will be made available for Ukrainians residing in the UK across the nine Eurovision performances.

Due to the war, Liverpool is hosting the event at its Mandamp;S Bank Arena on behalf of Ukraine, whose Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 competition.

After 25 years, the UK will host the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time.

Sam Ryder
In 2022, Sam Ryder finished second for the UK after a string of disappointing performances.

According to Vadym Prystaiko, the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, the tickets for Ukrainian residents in the UK allow "compatriots here to enjoy the event and celebrate our country's rich culture and music.".

For those eligible to apply who are on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, the Ukraine Family Scheme, or the Ukraine Extension Scheme, the cost will be waived by the DCMS; however, there will be a £20 fee for each sale.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) stated that the government funding is meant to "support security, visa arrangements and other operational aspects of the competition.".

According to a statement, the funds will also help Liverpool City Council and the BBC, the event's host broadcaster, work with Ukrainian acts "to ensure a collaborative show celebrating music and how it unites people.". It is the first time the government has acknowledged its monetary support.

Last year, more than 160 million viewers watched performances by groups like Moldova's Zdob.

Due to the higher costs of transporting equipment as a result of the UK's departure from the European Union, some broadcasters are understood to have been hesitant to compete in 2023.

This year's competition in Liverpool, according to a delegate from a rival broadcaster who declined to be identified, "will have an extra hassle.".

According to them, delegations typically have the option of either building the props in the host country or creating them themselves and shipping them there, as they explained to the BBC.

They argued that because there are "more forms," shipments to the UK cannot be guaranteed to arrive on time. They added that they thought it was much simpler in previous years because props and other materials did not need to go through customs.

Unusually, the DCMS confirmed that the BBC will receive financial support as part of the £10 million UK government commitment; however, neither it nor the BBC would specify how much.

The government claims that the majority of the funding will ensure "the inclusion of Ukrainian culture," but when pressed for more information, it remained silent.

The BBC will bear the lion's share of this year's Eurovision's expenses because it accepted the invitation when organizers said it could not take place in Ukraine due to Russia's invasion.

The corporation is expected to spend between £8 and £17 million putting on the song contest, which is a significant increase from the amount it typically spends on participation at a time when it is cutting channels, programs, and staff in order to save millions of dollars.

The 37 participating broadcasters each pay an entry fee, which in recent years has added up to about £5 million overall. The BBC keeps its contribution a secret.

Subwoolfer performing on stage last year
The week following the King's coronation in May marks the date of this year's Eurovision.

According to the BBC, more information on general release tickets will be released as soon as possible.

Prior to the grand final on May 13, fans will be able to purchase tickets to two semi-finals and six preview performances.

"We are honored to be supporting the BBC and Liverpool in hosting it on their behalf, and are determined to make sure the Ukrainian people are at the center of this event," said Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary. ".

Regarding the funding announcement, Labour declined to comment.

A brand-new BBC podcast called Eurovisioncast explores all the build-up, insights, and analysis every week.

is Eurovisioncast. accessible via BBC Sounds. or look there, or wherever you get your podcasts.

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