Eurovision ‘first’ set to come to UK as festival to mark celebrations confirmed

A unique, never-before seen cultural event called EuroFestival will be held in Liverpool in the run up to the Eurovision Song Contest.

EuroFestival is a first for any host city in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest and will present 24 commissions – 19 of which are collaborative projects between UK and Ukrainian artists – to showcase the uniting power of music and art.

Ukraine's act Kalush Orchestra won the 2022 contest with their track Stefania, with hosting duties usually passed down to the winning country.

READ MORE: Eurovision 2023 hosts announced including BGT's Alesha Dixon and Graham Norton

However, with the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, it was decided that the UK would host instead, after Spaceman singer Sam Ryder placed second.

The two-week festival will be held in Liverpool between May 1 to May 14, 2023, with the grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place at the M&S Bank Arena on May 13.

Speaking about EuroFestival, Eurovision Minister Stuart Andrew said: "EuroFestival will be a spectacular showcase of artistic and creative talent from the UK and Ukraine in a wonderful collaboration.

"From installations and performances to 900 kites flown by British and Ukrainian children, this two week cultural festival will bring people together and create long-lasting memories for visitors to Liverpool as they get involved in the Eurovision Song Contest.

"This programme has Ukraine at its heart. It shows we are not only united by music but we are united in our support for our friends in Ukraine."

Commissions as part of the festival include Welcome to Eurotopia, which taps into the Eurovision’s United by Music ethos.

As part of Welcome to Eurotopia, a supergroup of Liverpool musicians with collaborate with Ukranian artists to perform a mix of original and existing music.

Artists performing as part of Welcome to Eurotopia include Natalie McCool, Stealing Sheep, She Drew The Gun’s Lou Roach and Ukrainian artists Krapka Koma, Iryna Muha and Helleroid and many more.

Ukrainian Eurovision Song Contest winner and singer songwriter Jamala will also premiere a poignant new album of music, based around Crimean Tatar folk songs and will be accompanied by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra as part of QIRIM on 11 May.

Chavasse Park, Liverpool will be also be home to EuroCamp presents…, an LGBTQI+ focused three-day festival featuring drag, performance, choreography, vogue, music, carnival, circus and more.

Further commissions announced today will see The Nelson Monument, located in the city's Exchange Flags, host Protect the Beats – with screens on the structure premiering a new short documentary highlighting how live music and performance continued throughout last year, showing in one piece the protection of both physical and musical culture.

Immersive audio experience Fire and Rage (which visitors can access via QR codes located around the city) will follow the stories of artists on the frontline in Ukraine and combines testimony with video, visual art, poetry and music.

Meanwhile, Soloveiko Songbirds will see 12, large scale, light-up nightingales located around Liverpool that will be accompanied by bespoke audio soundscapes to represent different regions of Ukraine. The Songbirds will make up a beautiful trail which can be followed by the public over the two-week festival.

Land & Sky, Home & Dreams, will also see 450 children from Ukraine and 450 children from across Merseyside take part in a simultaneous mass participation event, where kites that the children have designed and painted themselves, will be flown in New Brighton and in four locations across Ukraine.

Further commissions announced today also include Xpressia Festival, which will be brought to life in several locations across Liverpool, along with Storyville Live, an award-winning documentary series set to stage its first ever film festival at the Everyman Cinema, celebrating both Ukrainian and music documentaries.

HOME will showcase Ukrainian photographers examining the concept of ‘Home’ at the Open Eye Gallery, while online commission Queerovision will show digital video reportage of Liverpool's Queer Fringe throughout the festival period.

Liverpool's Unity Theatre will also act as a hub for theatre performances engaging Ukrainian artists across theatre , poetry and food offerings. This includes performances at the Invisible Wind Factory and commissions including UKRLAND: Stories from Ukraine, Maria, featuring five refugee Ukrainian actors from across the UK and critically acclaimed contemporary media-opera Chornobyldorf.

In collaboration with Ukrainian curator Olena Kasperovych, the Dialogues project will be an evolving exhibition taking place at The Bluecoat, while Sound of Freedom will also see large scale mural commissions from Ukrainian and UK artists placed around the city.

There will also be a mass participation dance event called The People’s Flag and The Big Eurovision Read, choosing a shortlist of books inspired by the theme of ‘United by Music’.

Further events include Late at Tate: The Spirit of Eurovision, National Museums Liverpool x Eurovision, and You’re a Vision! at the Everyman, who will also house activity across the two-week celebration.

The commissions announced today join projects already announced for EuroFestival including The Blue and Yellow Submarine Parade by The Kazimier, English National Opera does Eurovision, Izyum to Liverpool by Ukrainian artist Katya Buchatska and Rave Ukraine.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan CBE, said: "EuroFestival is unique in every sense. No other Eurovision host city has ever curated a creative programme of such scale and scope, paying homage to the culture and heritage of both Liverpool and Ukraine in the most unforgettable way.

"Evocative, thought-provoking, joyous, celebratory, reflective, hopeful – these 24 commissions cover the whole gambit of emotions which will draw in the audience and make them really feel truly part of this Eurovision experience.

"It’s a programme of glorious brilliance, made by artists with open hearts and the will and commitment to present a show in less than five months, to reach across countries and genres and to produce this Scouse/Ukrainian mashup of brilliance."

For more of the latest showbiz news from Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.


  • Netta reveals Eurovision winners' backstage moment fans would dream to be part of
  • Will Ferrell 'begs' fans for spare room to stay in as Eurovision hotels sell out
  • RuPaul's Drag Race's Danny Beard reveals they were once in the running for Eurovision

Source: Read Full Article