IGN Insights

Eurovision 2023

Centre for Progressive Policy Francesca Cave square

Francesca Cave

IGN programme coordinator

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In 2023, Liverpool hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine, the winner of the 2022 competition. Liverpool made Eurovision its own, building on its thriving cultural sector, extensive experience of hosting major events since European Capital of Culture in 2008 and consistent investment in culture by the City Council.

Liverpool put inclusive growth at the core of Eurovision 2023. The city capitalised on the opportunity presented by the event by:

  • Leveraging a strong history of investment in cultural capital and infrastructure
  • Adopting a collaborative multi-agency approach to deliver an inclusive event
  • Looking beyond economic impact to proactively generate health and wellbeing benefits

Funding creative activity

Investment in activities around the main event played an important role in maximising the cultural value of Eurovision.

'We offered an opportunity for people to put forward proposals saying how they would celebrate Eurovision. This way, we funded different creative activity. It did not come from us. It came from our community and the community saying “this is what I want to do".'

- Claire McColgan CBE, Director of Culture, Liverpool City Council

The Eurovision Village had capacity for 10,000 people and was free to the public, offering food and drink, information, cultural insights, and innovation. Events featured an educational programme for children to learn more about Ukraine and why Liverpool was hosting, and an outreach initiative to engage diverse and marginalised communities and the city’s Ukrainian community.

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Engaging a wide audience

Recognising the economic and confidence barriers to participating in the main event, EuroStreet extended the reach of Eurovision into smaller community spaces. This approach enabled often overlooked communities to engage in other activities.

In addition, EuroLearn provided information and resources for schools and other educational settings to engage in Eurovision-themed events. Incorporating creative writing, storytelling and reading, the resource pack focused on the themes of belonging, welcome, home, hope, loneliness, wellbeing and celebration.

Success beyond economic impact

Evaluation was built into event delivery from inception, involving a multi-agency steering group with representatives from academic partners, the BBC, the Department for Culture Media and Sport, and British Council.

‘We made sure we embedded monitoring and evaluation right from the start. This enabled us to measure and capture the amazing inclusive growth impact of Eurovision through a combination of compelling statistics and captivating stories, and allowed us to show the true value of Eurovision.’

- Professor Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health, Liverpool City Council

Eurovision 2023 brought £54.8m net additional spending to Liverpool City Region. But the success of the event was defined by more than its economic impact and included cultural relationships, health and wellbeing. The broader impact of Eurovision included 2 million people reached through education and community programmes, and around 93% of participants feeling a sense of belonging during the event.


These findings clearly demonstrate how cultural events can bring more than financial benefits to a region and showcase Liverpool’s success in fostering a sense of inclusion, wellbeing and belonging across a diverse city community.