Glasgow and Liverpool are waiting to find out who will host Eurovision | Eurovision

Will they be made up in Liverpool or pure gallus in Glasgow? Crowds at the Bank Arena or hordes at the Hydro? Will there be parties at the Cavern Club or King Tut’s?

The cities of Liverpool and Glasgow should know in a few days which of them will host the Eurovision Song Contest next year and put on a unique show on behalf of Ukraine.

Last week, the two towns hosted members of the BBC judging panel as they presented their final arguments for an award that would be the economic and tourism equivalent of twelve points.

Neither will reveal how much they would spend on Eurovision – details are commercially sensitive – but previous events have cost between £8.5m and £21m, depending on location and host ambition. The city of Baku, Azerbaijan, has spent £48million to build a venue that will host the annual glitter party in 2012.

And there will be no time to celebrate the winner. Although the grand finale won’t take place until next May, the first of the approximately 10,000 people involved in the production should converge on Liverpool or Glasgow within a few weeks.

The two cities, once global industrial titans, both rely heavily on a tourism industry battered by the Covid-19 pandemic. They are run by councils that have struggled to find savings after a decade of public spending cuts, and they are both home to some of Britain’s most deprived areas.

Given the cost of living crisis and the prospect of further public spending underway, now may be an unusual time to spend millions of pounds throwing a big party. But both insist that Eurovision would offer more than good value for money.

Claire McColgan, director of CultureLiverpool, said the extravaganza would be a “lifeline” for the city’s hospitality sector, which is still recovering from the pandemic, and would “give hope” to businesses that were “likely going to be on their knees for Winter”.

Billy Garrett, Director of Sports and Events at Life in Glasgow, said the economic stimulus would last several months. There would be eight-week build events, he said, before the three live shows culminating in the Saturday night finale.

More than 160 million people watched the three live Eurovision shows last year. Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra was crowned the winner ahead of Britain’s Sam Ryder, but Ukraine was deemed unable to host next year’s event due to the Russian invasion.

Plans for Liverpool range from inspirational – adorning statues with traditional Ukrainian floral headdresses called vinoks, and decorating the city with Ukrainian street art – to absurd: a game of hide-and-seek at scale of the city involving cutouts of Skelmersdale-born Sonia. singer who came second at Eurovision 1993 with Better the Devil You Know.

Liverpool and Glasgow would open a Eurovision ‘village’ around the main venue, which is expected to attract thousands of tourists to either city. The stakes are such that both are carrying out “soft lobbying” operations to try to win the crown.

The Scottish Greens, big fanatics of Eurovision, are working with European colleagues in Brussels and Geneva to try to tip it over to Glasgow, the bookmakers’ favourite. Liverpool have contracted their Ukrainian sister city, Odessa, to lobby on their behalf.

Garrett raised his eyebrows last week when he said in a BBC Radio 4 interview that the broadcaster, which decides the host city, was only “delaying the inevitable” and Glasgow would win the competition.

He told the Guardian that Glasgow’s bid was “by far the most technically competent”, adding that the city’s secret weapon was its people. “We are the friendliest city in the world. The people of Glasgow have a gallantry – that mix of creativity, confidence and self-deprecation – and we sure know how to throw a party,” Garrett said.

Still, Liverpool are no stranger to a shindig. McColgan said the scousers’ enthusiasm for organizing the event had been out of scale. “It’s been crazy. Liverpool is just this really happy place that hosts events like no other city in the UK.

She added that it would be “more than a normal Eurovision and a big party. There are so many different layers. We’re good at that here. We are good at this community solidarity and we put our arms around someone else who is in distress.

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