Dr Jan Brown of Liverpool Business School looks how hosting Eurovision next year could impact the city's economy.
When news of Liverpool’s Eurovision win broke, The city’s Mayor, Joanne Anderson’s tweeted: “Nowhere throws a party quite like us. The people, communities & business of our city are ready to put on a show – for Ukraine, the UK & for Europe. Eurovision in Liverpool. Imagine.”
Her words demonstrate the passion and breadth of understanding of the impact hosting Eurovision could have to Liverpool and the wider Liverpool City Region and in return what Liverpool has to offer to the Eurovision contestants, countries and viewing audience.
From a short-term perspective hosting Eurovision would bring to the local economy the economic capital uplift that comes from not only the sales of tickets, the broadcasting and hosting of the event in Liverpool but also from the capital gained from the required event infrastructure that is needed to host such an event.
This hosting would demonstrate to a wide international audience how Liverpool and the LCR is agile enough to work together to put on a logistically complicated event in such a short time scale.
Capital of Culture
The confidence of being able to pull such an event off comes from the trust built between an established ecosystem of partners who have a wealth of experience in hosting numerous public-facing events successfully and builds on the reputation established prior to, during and post the Capital of Culture 2008 that contributed to a change in international reputation of the city of Liverpool. Building on work undertaken to receive the UNESCO Creative City of Music status and the continued purple flag award and status Liverpool not only knows how to put on a party but also to do it safely and to a high standard.
From a broader and longer-term perspective an inclusive event like Eurovision not only demonstrates the LCR’s solidarity with Ukraine by hosting their event for them when they cannot but also demonstrates how important international connections are to the city region.
Using music, which is at the beating heart of the region’s identity, to demonstrate that Liverpool is open for business post COVID, has an international outlook and reach, has the infrastructure and expertise to host large scale events and is continuing build its identity and its place brand as the region develops could demonstrate to a wide international audience that Liverpool and the LCR has strong ambitions and can deliver and that the stated LCR 2022 strapline of ‘a fairer, stronger, cleaner, connected city region’ is not just a slogan but is in action.
By using Eurovision as a catalyst connections with the wider city region can also be strengthened the connections between those organisations/sectors/industries who came together to host Eurovision and used as examples of good practice in the future. Eurovision could also be used to once again demonstrate and draw international attention to the importance of the creative and cultural sector to the region.
On the back of Eurovision and the international attention being drawn to the LCR a light could also shone on the multitude of inspiring practice being undertaken not only in Liverpool but also in the wider LCR event. For example making creative connections between the socially inclusive and established Eurovision with innovative locally socially inclusive music venues such as Future Yard in Birkenhead with their mutually inclusive global and local focus with community being at the heart of everything they do. As Mayor Anderson says “Eurovision in Liverpool. Imagine”… what the LCR could do with this opportunity.