Eurovision 101 - Liverpool and beyond in 2023

Tuesday 07 March 2023
Man and woman toasting with white wine and beer

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual competition that brings together countries throughout Europe and further afield to compete for the highly sought-after Eurovision trophy and international bragging rights. Full of outrageous and over the top performances, the Eurovision Song Contest is a musical event like no other. This year, the song contest will be held at the Liverpool Arena, on behalf of Ukraine, last year’s winner.


To help you prepare for this year’s competition we’ve gathered everything you need know to follow along and enjoy the extravagant performances from artists around the world.


Britain is home to music legends past and present and up and coming talent continues to be a hit on the global stage. Sam Ryder, Eurovision’s runner up in 2022 will  perform in Liverpool in March as part of his UK tour - catch him while you can. Visit Liverpool, one of the UNESCO cities of music along with Belfast and Glasgow, or immerse yourself in the kaleidoscopic music scenes across British cities in the year of Eurovision.


What is Eurovision?

Eurovision was first created in 1956 by the European Broadcasting Union to help unite Europeans after World War II by coming together over a shared love of music. Today, Eurovision is one of the largest and most highly anticipated musical events in the world with unique, extravagant performances by artists from Europe and beyond. This year, Liverpool will host 56 competing countries to battle it out at the Liverpool Arena for the Eurovision trophy.

The slogan for this year’s competition is ‘United by Music.’ This slogan was inspired by the partnership between Ukraine and the UK host city, Liverpool, as well as Eurovision’s mission of bringing people together through the power of music. 


How does it work?

Broadcasters from each participating country are tasked with recruiting performers. The broadcasters will need to select an original song, along with an artist to perform and compete on behalf of their country. The artists are typically chosen through a televised national selection show, think American Idol or X-Factor, but every country’s selection process differs.

Once each country selects their participating artists, they prepare to compete in the semi-finals for a chance to qualify for the Grand Final. Half of the countries perform in the first semi-final on May 9th and the other half perform in the second semi-final on May 11th. Then, the 10 of the most highly rated acts will join the ‘Big Five’ broadcasters (Spain, France, Germany, Italy and the UK) and last year’s winner (Ukraine who automatically qualify) at the Grand Final on May 13th.


How do you win?

Each country has a chance to perform their original song and routine live in front of viewers from around the world. All songs in the Eurovision Song contest must be original songs, and cannot be more than 3 minutes long. All lead vocals must be performed live and no more than six performers can be on stage during a performance. The performances are typically full of glitz, glam and excitement.

After all of the songs have been performed, a combined score is determined by the votes from each country’s appointed judges and general public. Each country scores the other countries’ performances by voting on a scale of 1 to 12 points, 12 points being the first place and 1 point being the last place. The top-rated performances from each Semi Final round qualify for the Gran Final, and the country that receives the most points during the grand final are crowned the winner of Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

Mark your calendars and tune in on May 13th for to root for artists from across the globe during Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool this year!  


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VisitBritain Media Team