The bidding war for Eurovision 2023 is underway – and York should throw it’s hat in the ring.
Who says so? Sam Ryder.
No, not the Space Man singer who came second in this year’s Eurovision, behind Ukraine.
But this Sam Ryder is also a lynchpin of the showbiz sector – he’s the general manager at York Barbican.
He says: “Come on Eurovision Song Contest – if a venue is managed by the namesake of the country’s entry, surely it’s in with a shot?
“York Barbican is ready – it’d be intimate, but it’d be joyous. And people might stop joking about my name!
“Alternatively, it could go to one of our amazing arenas and we will just hold the biggest Eurovision party York has ever seen!”
Sam told Ben Fry on the YorkMix Radio Breakfast Show this morning that he now needs a way of getting in touch with the Eurovision authorities to pitch the idea.
“I’ve looked for the phone number for them, but to be honest I can’t find it anywhere. They’re very difficult people to get hold of.
“In all seriousness, obviously we would be a snug venue, but I see no reason why we can’t at least hold a really big Eurovision party – big screen, music on the big speakers, and just have a really good time with it.
“But do you know what, if they want to come to York, it’s a great city, it’s got the history.
“It came to Harrogate in the past, so why not?”
York’s hosts lined up
YorkMix are proud media partners of the York Barbican, so Ben had another suggestion. “I presume in your pitch to the people at Eurovision you would suggest me and Laura hosting the event?”
Our Sam agreed. “Graham could do with the rest. He’s done it for a few years in a row.
“So yeah, absolutely. I can make this promise now. If York Barbican is successful in attracting the Eurovision Song Contest, then I’ll make sure that you two are absolutely primed to be hosts.”
Sam’s idea has already won support. One fan said: “Sam – I can’t think of a better person to manage it.”
Tony Gill said: “Having been directly involved when Harrogate staged it was an amazing experience!”
Glasgow is the early favourite to host the contest, after the European Broadcasting Union awarded the event to the UK having decided that they couldn’t hold it in Ukraine because of the Russian invasion.
This was despite Ukrainian entry Kalush Orchestra triumphing at this year’s competition in Turin, Italy, with Sam Ryder the runner-up.
London, Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds also want to host the competition.
The bidding process will begin this week, with the BBC and EBU jointly making the final decision on which city will host.
Any winner would require a large events space, suitable accommodation and international transport links for the competing countries and their delegations.