The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and the BBC confirmed that the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest will be hosted in the United Kingdom on behalf of this year’s winning broadcaster, Ukraine’s UA:PBC with the Host City bidding contest beginning this week.
UUP Alderman Derek Hussey brought forward the proposal saying: “I feel this would present an opportunity for our events team to again exhibit the expertise that they have exhibited over so many events around our city.”
Proposing council officers investigate the feasibility of submitting a bid, Alderman Hussey continued: “I realise there would be many logistical and resource, including finance issues around this but I think we should investigate and get the feasibility as to putting in a bid. I’m not proposing we put in a bid but that we investigate it and a report be brought back.
“Given the historical connections the city has with Eurovision with Dana we should be considering this.”
SDLP councillor Brian Tierney said his party would like to see the potential pros and cons of putting in a bid for Eurovision calling for a report to be brought to the next Business and Culture committee.
Declaring himself a Eurovision ‘fanatic’, Aontú councillor Emmet Doyle said: “I fully support the ambition that Derek has put forward. There are so many people who have contacted me over the past number of months over this issue of Belfast being mooted as this City of Music and I’ve mentioned it here before.
“Sometimes I think the reason they get the hop on us with some of these things is because we aren’t ambitious enough at times with regards to the things we try and do.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that in a basement office somewhere in Belfast someone is already doing this for Belfast City Council and there is no reason we shouldn’t do it so I’m fully behind the proposal.”
Sinn Féin councillor Christopher Jackson stated his party had no issue with the proposal, however, he said there were issues with ‘commitment over the costs.’
Supporting the proposal going forward, DUP Alderman Devenney said: “We always cry about what Belfast gets but we in the north west have to put our best foot forward and see if we can get the costings to see how we can move it forward.”
The proposal passed unanimously.
By Gillian Anderson
Local Democracy Reporter