‘Not the end of Newcastle Eurovision journey’: Council releases statement after announcement ‘disappointment’

Newcastle missed out on making the final two for Eurovision 2023, but it doesn’t mark the end of the council’s desire to embrace the event.

Newcastle City Council has reassured Geordies that today's announcement from the BBC is "not the end of Newcastle's Eurovision journey".

On Tuesday afternoon it was confirmed that Newcastle would not host Eurovision 2023 when it comes to the UK, with Liverpool and Glasgow named as the final two cities in the running for the privilege.

Cabinet member for a Resilient City Cllr Alex Hay admitted he was "disappointed" by the news and labelled the city as a "strong contender" to have been given the nod.

Speaking on behalf of the Council, Mr Hay went on to say that the news did not mark the end of the city's Eurovision enthusiasm going into next year.

He said: "Naturally I am very disappointed. Right from the very start our residents, businesses and communities have come together to get behind our campaign, and I couldn't have been prouder with our efforts, and I would like to thank them all for their amazing efforts.

“Newcastle was a strong contender throughout the process, but I take my hat off to Glasgow and Liverpool the two remaining shortlisted cities and I wish them all the very best.

“I am sure I speak on behalf of the city when I say Newcastle wishes them both good luck. This isn't the end of Newcastle's Eurovision journey. We'll be hosting all sorts of events in the city to celebrate Eurovision and Ukrainian culture which residents and visitors can get involved in.”

Newcastle had made it to a shortlist of seven cities to hose the song contest next year, which was due to be held in Ukraine. Kalush Orchestra triumphed at Eurovision 2022 earlier this year, but organisers deemed it to be unfeasible for Ukraine to host the event next year after the invasion of Russia.

Choir of young Ukrainian residents performed on Newcastle quayside to support the bid for Eurovision 2023. (L to R) Zhanna age 17, Cabinet member for a Resilient City Cllr Alex Hay, Lyza age 12, Cabinet member for a Vibrant City, Cllr Lesley Storey and Vlada age 13.

As a result, second-placed United Kingdom was given the chance to hold the event and will organise a night that pays homage to Ukraine.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative was also involved in the launch of Newcastle's bid wished the finalists luck and spoke of her hope to welcome major events in the region soon.

Chief Executive Officer Sarah Green said: “Congratulations to Glasgow and Liverpool who both remain contenders to host an amazing Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

"Working with BBC, Newcastle City Council, and partners it has been an incredible opportunity to showcase the city and the brilliant people who call our region home. I know we demonstrated the warmth of our welcome and our spirit of collaboration to the best of our ability. This really was a region-wide effort and being a shortlisted host city has enabled us to tell the North East’s story nationally and internationally.

“I am immensely proud of the city and would welcome more opportunities of this scale. As well as having a great feel-good factor, events and conferences are significant to the local economy, helping fill hotels and restaurants and creating jobs. As a region, we are continuing to invest in this sector and we look forward to the opportunities created by the £300m+ brand-new international conference centre, The Sage, on Gateshead Quays which will enable us to welcome more visitors, international events, and further investment.

“I would like to say thank you to the Ukrainian community, our businesses, partners, and residents who showed immense civic pride. This is not the end of our journey. As a city, we will still be celebrating Eurovision, with the UK and the chosen host city.

“We know our city is full of world-class culture, infrastructure and ambition and we will continue to champion our destination as a place where people from all over the world are welcome.”