Eurovision 2023 hosting: Belfast City councillors call for a Eurovision host bid

Eurovision 2023 hosting: Belfast City councillors call for a Eurovision host bid
Tuesday, 21 June 2022

  • Some of Belfast's city councillors are calling for a bid to host the 67th edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. 

    Namely, councillors Anthony Flynn and Seamas De Faoite have addressed a letter to the city's coucll asking them to launch a bid to host the next Eurovision Song Contest. 

    The two councillors that come from the Green Party and the SDLP are making call to the city's administration to pursuit a potential hosting of Eurovision 2023 as the city fulfills the criteria to host such major music event. 

     Specifically the two of them mention the following in their letter: 

    “We are writing to you to urge that Belfast City Council and Visit Belfast play a full part in promoting Belfast as the UK destination for hosting Eurovision 2023.

    Belfast is already well equipped to host an event like Eurovision, with the appropriate venue capacity and accommodation available, as well as transport links around the city and beyond.

    The Eurovision song contest is watched by millions of fans around the world and host countries often use the opportunity to promote their countryside, towns and cities beyond the host city limits, so not only would this be a huge opportunity for Belfast, but also for the whole of Northern Ireland to be shown off on the world stage.

    Belfast already has a successful history of hosting large global events, such as the Giro d’Italia in 2014 or the MTV EMA awards in 2011.

    We believe it is time for Belfast to take centre stage again in 2023, and we can get Douze points!”

    EBU's requirements of hosting Eurovision 

    In order for a city to host the Eurovision SOng Contest in 2022 it must meet a specific number of  requirements. Namely the host city must have: 

    • An international airport no more than 90 minutes from the city.

    • Over 2,000 hotel rooms in the area close to the event.

    • An infrastructure (stadium/venue/centre) capable of hosting a large-scale live broadcast with the minimum requirements listed below.

    In addtion the infrastructure should:

    • Be indoors with air-conditioning and have a well defined perimeter;

    • Have an audience capacity in the main hall of around 8,000 – 10,000 during the event (which corresponds to 70% of maximum capacity of that venue for regular concerts, taking into consideration the specific stage and production needs of the Eurovision Song Contest);

    • Have a main hall with the capacity to house the set and all other requirements needed to produce a high level broadcast production (this includes good specifications of load capacity in the roof, clearance to low beams, easy load in access, etc);

    • Have ample space within easy access of the main hall to support additional production needs, such as: a press centre, delegation spaces, dressing rooms, artist facilities, staff facilities, hospitality, audience facilities, etc;

    • Be available exclusively for 6 weeks before the event, 2 weeks during the show (which will take place in May) and a week after the end of the event for dismantling.


    Belfast as a potential Eurovision 2023 host city

    Belfast, is the capital and largest city of Northern Ireland, standing on the banks of the River Lagan on the east coast. 

    Potential venue: In Belfast is located the Odyssey Complex, a sports and entertainment complex located within the Titanic Quarter of the city. The complex originated in 1992 and came into fruition in June 1998. It opened in December 2000, with expansions opening in March and May 2001. The complex consists of: a multipurpose arena, science centre and shopping centre. The shopping centre houses a movie theatre and bowling alley, alongside a selection of restaurants. Formerly the Odyssey Arena from 2000 to 2015 is Northern Ireland's biggest indoor arena, with a capacity of 11,000+.

    Transportation:  The city has two airports: Belfast International Airport offering, domestic, European and international flights such as Orlando operated seasonally by Virgin Atlantic. The airport is located northwest of the city, near Lough Neagh, while the George Best Belfast City Airport, which is closer to the city centre by train from Sydenham on the Bangor Line, adjacent to Belfast Lough, offers UK domestic flights and a few European flights. 

    Accommodation: Belfast is one of the most visited cities in the UK,and the second most visited on the island of Ireland.In 2008, 7.1 million tourists visited the city. Thus, the city provides already a wide number of hotels and appartments to house the incoming visitors. In 2018, six hotels were opened, with the biggest in Northern Ireland, the £53 million Grand Central Hotel Belfast officially open to the public. The other hotels included AC Marriot, Hampton By Hilton, EasyHotel, Maldron Belfast City Centre and Flint. The new hotels have helped to increase a further 1,000 bedrooms in the city.


    News Source: Eurovoix

    Cover photo: 

    Image: wikipedia