Liverpool’s hosting of Eurovision 2023 has hugely enhanced its reputation as a fun, friendly European capital and set a model others could learn from, according to researchers.
A survey of more than 800 festivalgoers by Liverpool John Moores University has confirmed the event’s role in reinforcing the city’s image as a safe and welcoming place for a night out.
An overwhelming 96% agreed that they would return to Liverpool’s nightlife and the same proportion would recommend a visit to Liverpool to their friends and colleagues.
Equally positive about the city were the 95% who felt safe on days or nights out in Liverpool and the 98% who said people were friendly and welcoming.
Of the 800, 48% were non-Merseyside residents and 27% were non-British with the largest international groups being from Spain, Australia, Ireland, Israel and Ukraine, the original host nation.
Other responses showed:
- 98% praised the festive atmosphere during Eurovision
- 98% said Eurovision helps to celebrate different cultures
- 96% said it helps bring people together
- 85% felt part of a larger group
- 93% felt a sense of belonging
- 85% enjoyed meeting new people
Research lead, Professor Zara Quigg, of Liverpool John Moores University’s Public Health Institute, said: “It feels like Eurovision is a force for good and that Liverpool was the perfect place for such positivity to shine.
“People overwhelmingly felt that they enjoyed themselves and would consider coming back to the city and recommending it to others, so it feels like a success for Eurovision and for Liverpool."
Co-researcher, Professor Mark Bellis added: “It appears that the enjoyment and camaraderie between Eurovision festivalgoers, no matter where they come from, is far stronger than the competitive elements and tribalism that can drive anti-social behaviour associated with some other competitions. Other events, including sporting ones, could learn a lot from Eurovision, particularly in terms of how it brings different people and communities together."
The week-long festival of song in May was acclaimed a massive success after attracting 473,000 visitors to the city and delivered a £54 million economic boost to Liverpool City Region.
The PHI report is one of five independent evaluations announced today (Thursday 26 October) by Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Liam Robinson and Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram.
The reports looked at the economic and social impact of staging the event on behalf of Ukraine, as well as the influence on cultural relations; the impact on wellbeing in the city and the wider city region; the visitor experience and the effectiveness of the strategic collaboration between delivery agencies.
Leader of Liverpool City Council, Councillor Liam Robinson, said: “This collective research proves that events like Eurovision can transcend boundaries, leaving a legacy of inspiration and goodwill. It was a milestone moment in our city’s history, and now we’re more than ready for the next one.”
The findings will be discussed at a special one-day Eurovision event taking place at ACC Liverpool.
Head to the official Liverpool Calling website for full details of the day which will include panels with the Liverpool Host City team who will give an insight into the complexities of staging an event of this scale.