‘We’re the very spirit of Eurovision’ - Bristolians back city’s bid to host iconic song contest in 2023

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‘Bristol is such an amazing city. We can do this!”

Bristol is now firmly in the running to host Eurovision 2023, and the feeling among Bristolians is clear.

The consensus is that the city emodies the very spirit of the world-famous song contest, and it’s our time to shine.

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Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees announced the city’s bid at Bristol Pride on July 9and the news received rapturous applause from a crowd of thousands.

Mr Rees said Bristol’s role as a ‘City of Sanctuary’ made it the right match for the show, which could be held at the Brabazon Hangars in Filton.

This year’s Eurovision Song Contest was won by a landslide by Ukraine following a flood of support for their entry ‘Stefania’ from Kalush Orchestra, with the UK’s Sam Ryder coming in second.

Due to the ongoing war with Russia, Ukraine is unable to host Eurovision 2023 and it was officially announced that the UK would step in on Monday (July 25).

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Sam Ryder at Eurovision Song Contest 2022.Sam Ryder at Eurovision Song Contest 2022.
Sam Ryder at Eurovision Song Contest 2022. | Getty Images

Bristol is up against 15 other UK cities hoping to be crowned host, and people have since flocked to social media to share their thoughts on why Bristol should win under the hashtag #ThisIsBristolCalling.

Amy Beardmore, a lecturer at the University of the West of England, said: “Come on Briz! Brabazon is not far from me either, I could very easily be there with bells on.”

Dr Finn Mackay said: “Bristol is the very spirit of Eurovision, independent, diverse, rebellious, cultural, green!”

Daryn Carter MBE, programming director of Bristol Pride, said: “Bristol is such an amazing city. We can do this.”

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Carla Martin said: “Bristol sounds like a good city to host the Eurovision especially as it has a huge intake of Ukrainians which is nice.”

Meanwhile Kaz Self thinks that the city’s international airport, hotel capacity, local BBC hub, transport links and vibrant and diverse cultural scene should increase its chances.

Unfortunately, despite strong local support, Bristol currently stands the joint-worst chance of hosting Eurovision.

Along with Leicester, bookmakers William Hill has Bristol at 50/1 to host the event.

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Among the favourite cities to host are Glasgow (5/6), Manchester (6/4) and London (5/1).

If things change and Bristol’s bid is succesful, the Brabazon Hangars has been earmarked as a potential venue due to longer-term plans to build an arena there.

Speaking to BBC Radio Bristol, Eurovision expert William Lee Adams warned that because the arena is not yet complete, it would be harder to coax Eurovision 2023 to the city - but not impossible.

He said: “[In] Copenhagen back in 2013, they used an abandoned shipyard with large hangars and they turned it into a musical space and it looked amazing on TV.

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People were saying it was one of the best TV moments in Eurovision history, they loved the stage and the atmosphere - so you can make it work but you have to be really creative because you don’t want people to know they are in this abandoned space, you want them to feel like they are in the O2, or Manchester Arena.”

Andy Taylor tweeted:”To all that have had there head in the sand for the past few years, there is an 17,000 seater Arena currently being built @YTL_Arena and it is more than achievable to have everything in place for Eurovision and it would be huge for Bristol.”

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