Eurovision: A distinctly Ukrainian feel in Liverpool as EuroFestival gets under way
With the Eurovision Song Contest just days away, the preparations in the stand-in host city of Liverpool are well under way.
The Eurovision Village is under construction, and there's a distinctly Ukrainian feel down at Pier Head.
Eurovision will take place in Liverpool after the UK was chosen to host the competition on behalf of war-torn Ukraine, which won the last contest.
Some 24 installations, 19 of them by Ukrainian artists, are in place to reflect that connection. Among them are the Soloveiko songbirds, a collaboration between UK, Ukraine and Australian based artists.
Simone Chua, from art group Amigos & Amigos, is part of the collective. She said: "It's important for us to talk about what's happening over there, but to bring some positive stories about Ukraine too."
Claire McColgan is Liverpool's director of culture and is overseeing the art installations and the creation of the Eurovision Village.
"There's a whole food program of Ukrainian food," she said.
"There's also a Ukrainian village being built here to show off the culture, and there are commissions to make people think a little more deeply about exactly why the contest is here."
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It will be the first time the competition has been held in the UK for 25 years.
There have been some concerns, mainly over ticket availability and the probability of a rail strike on the weekend of the final.
The city remains undeterred though, and its EuroFestival starts today and lasts for two weeks.
The first semi-final gets under way on 9 May, with the second on 11 May, and the final on 13 May.