Manchester ‘has already proven it can host Eurovision in 2023’

·3-min read

Manchester has already proven itself capable of hosting Eurovision in 2023, its night-time economy adviser has said.

Sacha Lord, who is also co-founder of the city’s Parklife festival, said its rich musical history with bands such as New Order and Happy Mondays would mean it had a “strong bid”.

The BBC and the European Broadcasting Union, which produces the annual contest, will start the biding process this week after it was confirmed the UK will host next year on behalf of war-torn Ukraine.

Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig has already announced the city intends to apply.

Lord told the PA news agency: “I wear Manchester on my heart and when I saw it breaking in the news, I thought, ‘It has to be Manchester, it really does’.

“Only a few weeks ago, we saw that the infrastructure of the city centre can absolutely cope.

“Speaking on a personal level, when my festival Parklife was on back in June we had 80,000 people there, we had about 50,000 people at The Killers… It absolutely works.

“I was delighted that at exactly the same time our new leader for Manchester, Bev Craig, came out and said, ‘Yes, that’s it, we are going to put a bid in’.

“I can’t think of any reason why Manchester wouldn’t get it.”

Noting that London has hosted the contest on four occasions previously, he added: “It feels like this is our time.”

Lord admitted he was “biased” because he grew up as part of the city’s famous Madchester music scene of the late 1980s.

He said: “I did start my career at the Hacienda, the explosion of Factory Records – New Order, James, Happy Mondays, all those amazing bands that were known as Madchester.

“Wherever I go on my travels in the world, especially when I’m on holiday, people say, ‘Where are you from?’, I say Manchester.

“We automatically get associated with music and football, and I think that’s what the city is known for.

“This will be a strong bid and let’s not forget we had the toughest restrictions than any other city region during lockdown.

“It felt like we’re in Tier 3 for decades.

“So what a boost for the whole economy that would be to land that.”

London and Sheffield have both also announced their intention to make a bid for host city.

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