Around 3,000 Eurovision tickets destined for Ukrainians living in UK

The British Broadcasting Corportation (BBC) has published a funding update relating to its Eurovision spending. The BBC stepped in to host the 67th Eurovision Song Contest after the EBU deemed hosting the event in Ukraine to be impossible, making this the first Eurovision held on British soil since 1998.

To make Eurovision 2023 both a reality and a success, for the first time, the UK government has given the BBC £10 million (€11.29 million) to assist with costs. This is in addition to the £4 million (€4.51 million) in funding the Liverpool council has already contributed to the project.

One highlight of the funding update was that around 3,000 tickets will be made available to Ukrainians living in the United Kingdom.

These tickets will cost only £20 (€22.57 or 877.59 Ukrainian hryvnia), as it will be subsidised by the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). Ukrainians in the UK on the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, the Ukraine Family Scheme, and the Ukraine Extension Scheme will be able to apply for these tickets.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, was thrilled at this announcement:

“compatriots here [can] enjoy the event and celebrate our country’s rich culture and music.”

The bulk of the money will be spent to “support security, visa arrangements and other operational aspects of the Contest”, according to the DCMS. It will also allow Liverpool City Council and the BBC to partner with Ukrainian acts “to ensure a collaborative show celebrating music and how it unites people.”

Interestingly, this funding announcement comes at a time of austerity at the BBC, when it is doing things like streamlining content and combining news channels in order to save money. Jobs have even been cut in the process. Yet it is estimated that the final price tag to host Eurovision 2023 will fall between £8m and £17m (~€9-19 million).

To put that total in some context, while the BBC never discloses how much it spends on its annual participation fee, last year’s total for all 40 participating countries was approximately £5 million (€5.64 million), marking a huge increase in Eurovision spending from 2022.

The live shows will air on the 9th, 11th, and 13th of May from the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

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