Liverpool’s cultural credentials are known the world over. But this year, they got a glow-up like never before as hosting a singing competition became a seminal moment in our city’s events history.
The journey officially began on 7 October 2022, when the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union officially announced that Liverpool would host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, on behalf of Ukraine. As soon as those winning words left Graham Norton’s mouth, it kick-started an epic seven month planning and delivery project which would result in this year’s competition being hailed as the most successful Eurovision ever and in the words of ESC’s Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl ‘Eurovision 2023 will be remembered as something unique, incredibly generous, emotional, welcoming, well executed, professional and spectacular’.
But now the sequins have been swept up, the glitter balls have been taken down and the life-sized Sonia cut-outs have been packed away – what is the afterglow of this seminal event? On Thursday 26 October 2023 we found out. ‘Liverpool Calling – And the Results Are In‘ was a special one-day event which looked back on the city’s Eurovision journey, taking a deep dive into what was achieved.
The morning session began with a special live performance and saw hosts Daniel Rosney (Broadcaster & Journalist) and Ngunan Adamu (Presenter) welcome keynote speakers to the stage including Liam Robinson – Leader of Liverpool City Council, Claire McColgan CBE – Director of Culture Liverpool, Phil Harrold – Company Secretary and Chief of Staff at BBC, Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram – Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Jean Philip De Tender – Deputy Director General and Director of Media EBU.
Speeches were followed by a panel discussion about the evaluation of Eurovision in Liverpool, the methods and areas of research, the purpose behind it and what has been revealed so far. Joining Professor Matt Ashton (Director of Public Health at Liverpool City Council) on the panel were members of the working group including Professor Iain Buchan – Associate Pro Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Public Health, Policy and Systems, University of Liverpool, Professor Mark Bellis – Director of Research and Innovation, Liverpool John Moores University, Amy Coleman – Head of Media Analysis at Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Amy Finch – Head of Policy and Impact, Spirit of 2012 and Graham Russel – Chief Executive of AMION Consulting.
The afternoon saw multiple sessions discussing the biggest host city programme of its kind; sessions included Operational Delivery, Public Health & Wellbeing, Cultural Programming & Diplomacy, Education & Community Impact, Funding, PR & Communications, Visitor Economy and The Impact of Major Events on Cities. Key speakers included Martin Green CBE – Managing Director, Eurovision 2023, Patricia Yates – CEO, Visit Britain, Shanaz Gulzar – Creative Director of Bradford 2025, Caroline Clift – Editor in Chief at StandOut Magazine, Masha Vynogradova – Ukrainian Radio & TV Presenter, Maria Panayi – Music Marketing Lead at TikTok Europe, Africa and Middle East, Shanaz Gulzar – Creative Director of Bradford 2025, Francesca Hegyi OBE – Executive Director of The Edinburgh International Festival, Hayley James – Board Director at Chartered Institute of Public Relations, Jane, Lady Gibson OBE – Chair, Spirit of 2012, Christine Wilson – Director of Research & Insight, British Council and many more.
It all took place at ACC Liverpool and just like the majority of our Eurovision host city activities, it was totally free.
This event was brought to you in partnership with: