Posted: Wed 3rd Aug 2022

Cardiff withdraws from race to host Eurovision in 2023 due to scheduling clash at stadium

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Aug 3rd, 2022

Cardiff is no longer in the running to host the 2023 Eurovision song contest due to a “significant number of scheduled events in the Principality Stadium.”

Although Ukrainian group “Kalush Orchestra” were crowned the winners of this year’s competition, it was announced last month that the 2023 competition would be held in the UK due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The UK finished second in this year’s competition.

Since it was announced that the UK would host the 2023 event on behalf of Ukraine, the Welsh Government had been working alongside Cardiff Council, Eurovision and the Principality Stadium to establish the feasibility of a bid to host the event in Wales’ capital city.

However it has been confirmed today by the Welsh Government that the city is no longer in the running to hold the event due to scheduling issues at the Principality Stadium.

Dawn Bowden MS, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip, said: “Cardiff’s very strong track record in hosting major events, and the world-class Principality Stadium, would have made it a natural fit for such a significant production.

“The BBC, as the event organisers, have released detailed specifications for each city wishing to bid to host the event.

“As partners, we have been working through these in detail. It is clear that on many of these, Cardiff would have a very strong case to become the host city for Eurovision 2023.

“However, the complexity of staging the event means that a significant number of scheduled events in the Principality Stadium during Spring 2023 would have to be cancelled as a result.

“These include the European Wheelchair Rugby Championships, ‘The Road to Principality’, a key event in the WRU community rugby calendar, and a major international artist contracted to appear, among other events.

“We have been in rapid discussion with the BBC to explore any potential options which might have been able to accommodate the event alongside the existing schedule.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to find a workable solution, and therefore we have collectively agreed that it will not be possible for a Cardiff bid to go forward.

“We thank the BBC for their positive engagement with us, and we wish the winning city all the best in staging the 2023 competition.”

However today’s announcement has been slammed by the Welsh Conservatives, who said it shows a “lack of ambition” from the Welsh Government.

Commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Culture Minister Tom Giffard MS said: “Bringing Eurovision to Wales is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put our nation on the map, and to see the Welsh Government and Cardiff Council fail to deliver it is really disappointing.

“Whilst I understand that there were particular challenges in bringing the whole event to Cardiff, it doesn’t seem that the Welsh Government looked at any options outside of the capital city.

“The semi-finals may have been able to have been held in the new Swansea Arena, for example. But this avenue doesn’t seem to have been explored.

“The Welsh Labour Government has always been lukewarm on the idea of bringing Eurovision to Wales, as they demonstrated in our Senedd debate on the subject back in June.

“Given the way Labour is attacking our tourism industry at the moment, I’m not surprised to see their continued lack of ambition in bringing a highlight of the global cultural calendar to Wales.”

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