Marketing Liverpool. The Blue and Yellow Submarine at Eurovision 2023

This report tells the story of the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023, when the UK found itself as host on behalf of the 2022 winners Ukraine, due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of the country in 2021. It deepens our understanding of the role of Eurovision and mega-events more broadly in international relations, peace, place, and too in 'soft power', and it explores the special moment of Liverpool and Ukraine collaborating to host Eurovision 2023.

In partnership with Liverpool City Council and the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport, we commissioned this research to respond to a series of questions:

  • The story of Eurovision 2023 and what was learnt from the UK hosting on behalf of Ukraine?
  • What is Eurovision’s role in developing and crystallising shared values?
  • What is the role of culture in conflict and does Eurovision play a contributing role?
  • Which brands (such as the BBC) are pivotal in adding credibility when we talk about values?
  • Does Eurovision create ‘soft power’ effects such as future visits, new business opportunities, and reputation uplifts?

The report also celebrates EuroFestival — a two-week cultural programme which engaged with local communities, and showcased UK/Ukrainian partnerships, facilitated by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute as a legacy of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture. 

The report suggests recommendations for Liverpool and the culture sector, future Eurovision hosts, participating broadcasters and for future research.

The research project was led by the University of Hull in collaboration with consultants from the University of Brighton, the University of Glasgow, and Royal Holloway (University of London).