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First ever Liverpool UNESCO City of Music Award to be awarded

The team that helped bring one of Liverpool’s biggest music events to the city will be honoured with an inaugural music award.

On Wednesday (14 June) the Eurovision Song Contest host broadcaster, the BBC, and event owners, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), will be awarded the first ever Liverpool UNESCO City of Music Award – an annual recognition for individuals or organisations who make an outstanding contribution to the city region’s music sector and further develop Liverpool’s UNESCO City of Music credentials.  

A special ceremony will take place at Liverpool Town Hall, where the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Mary Rasmussen, will join Cabinet Member for Culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, and Director of Culture Liverpool, Claire McColgan, in presenting this brand new honour to those who headed up the record-breaking arena event, which was the most-watched Eurovision Song Contest Final in UK history.

Liverpool City Council Leader, Councillor Liam Robinson, and Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, will also be in attendance.  

Music throughout the event will provide some Eurovision sparkle, including Sense of Sound who will perform the Eurovision classic Euphoria, as well as The Beatles track All You Need is Love – the song which acted as an emotional finale and closed the host city’s Eurovision Village after a hugely successful ten days, welcoming 250,000 people. 

And it wouldn’t be a Eurovision event without a glitterball or two, and an appearance by some of the Spot Sonia cut-outs!

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is hailed as the most successful host city programme ever, with early indications showing an additional 500,000 visitors were attracted to the city during the first two weeks of May, bringing in millions of pounds to the local economy. 

A full evaluation of the impact of Eurovision Song Contest is currently taking place, the results of which are expected to be ready in July.

Liverpool’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Councillor Harry Doyle, said: 

“We couldn’t let this unforgettable chapter in our history pass without giving recognition to the BBC and EBU who were pivotal in Liverpool’s success as Eurovision host city. 

“This was a Eurovision like no other – we were throwing the party on behalf of Ukraine, and all partners felt the weight of that responsibility throughout this entire journey. 

“We were never in doubt that the BBC would stage an incredible show at the Arena – and the record-breaking viewing figures are testament to their achievements – but what is really special is how they, and the EBU, embraced the city, they got to know our story and our heritage and they helped us showcase the very best of Liverpool to the world. 

“Both organisations are worthy recipients of this inaugural award and I’m looking forward to thanking them in person.”

Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, Steve Rotheram, said:

“Home to more number one hits than anywhere else, it’s safe to say that Liverpool wouldn’t be Liverpool without music – and music wouldn’t be music without Liverpool. While few places can claim to have made such an impact on world music as we have, I think the real reason we came out top in the race to host Eurovision was because, quite simply, nowhere else can throw a party quite like us! 

“Staging a global spectacle like Eurovision is no mean feat and it took a huge, collective effort from across the Combined Authority, Liverpool City Council, Eurovision, and the BBC to put on a night that will live long in people’s memories. This is a way of demonstrating our appreciation for their contribution in helping us to put on an unforgettable show – and showing the world the real Liverpool City Region. Now the work begins to build on the legacy of Eurovision 2023 to ensure that our region’s creative and music scene continues to thrive for years to come.”

A gallery of images from Liverpool’s Eurovision host city events (which includes photos from the Eurovision Village, the two-week EuroFestival programme, EuroLearn and EuroStreet) will be available on the Visit Liverpool website in the coming days.

Photo Credit: James Stack

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