Glasgow odds on favourite to host Eurovision

THE leader of Glasgow City Council has promised that a Eurovision on the banks of the Clyde would be a “Ukranian event.”

Susan Aitken told the BBC that whoever wins the competition to hold the contest would be a “venue city or a location rather than a host.”

So far, Glasgow is the only Scottish city to confirm that they are entering the competition to hold the international pop spectacular.

Edinburgh is waiting until they have more detail on what’s expected of the host city, while Aberdeen is looking “at the implications for the Council”. 

According to Betfair, Glasgow, at 5/6, is the odds-on favourite to be named host, while Edinburgh is at 18/1 and Aberdeen is far behind on 25/1.

Speaking to the Today programme, Cllr Aitken said Glasgow had everything Eurovision required. She said: “This is a challenging event to host, it’s complex. The logistics involved are actually nearly as significant as a COP. 

“And of course Glasgow has just hosted a COP and we did so in very challenging circumstances and extremely successfully.

“We have all of the basics that are required for an event of this size, but we’ve also got that extra something, being a UNESCO city of music, famed for the warmth of our welcome, and literally actually named in an Abba song, which I think gives us a bit of an edge as well. 

“We’ve got the backing of a Eurovision winner, Lulu, as well. So we think we’re well pleased but certainly, I will heartily congratulate any of the UK cities who takes this on, remembering of course that we’re doing this on behalf of Ukraine. So whoever it is, would be a venue city or a location rather than a host.”

Jonathan Pryor, the leader of Leeds Council, agreed, saying this would be “Ukraine’s party.” 

“We’re just inviting them to hold it in our house,” he added. 

In a statement, the City of Edinburgh Council Leader Cammy Day pointed out that Scotland’s capital was twinned with Kyiv. 

He said: “Edinburgh had the pleasure of hosting Eurovision 50 years ago at our very own Usher Hall – the first time it had been held outside London. 

“Of course, I’d far rather the event was being held in Kyiv but, as its sister city and new home to many thousands of Ukrainians, Edinburgh would be a fitting host. Clearly, the scale of the event has grown since 1972, but we’ll look at all options and make a decision on whether to bid as soon as we can.”

An Aberdeen City Council spokesperson said officers were looking “at the implications for the Council of hosting this international event and its huge fanbase.”

They added: “The Eurovision Song Contest is a massive event with a worldwide audience. We have the city, the people and infrastructure to support international events such as this and it would provide a major boost to the Aberdeen and Scottish economies and raise the city’s profile with potential investors and visitors.”

Glasgow’s bid received a boost on Monday night from previous contest winner Lulu. 

She told Newsnight: “It has to be Glasgow because that’s where I come from. They’re so politically savvy, they’re the most fabulous hosts, they absolutely are music mad.

“I think it would be just the most fabulous thing, and I would be there. I just cannot wait.”

Lulu represented the UK at the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest with the song Boom Bang-a-Bang. It was voted one of four joint winners that night.

Betfair spokesperson Sam Rosbottom said: “After the European Broadcasting Union confirmed the UK will host Eurovision 2023, Glasgow have emerged as the 5/6 odds-on favourites to anchor the song contest. Other potential host cities include Manchester at 10/3 and London at 5/1, while Birmingham is 9/1.”


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