This month Liverpool will host The Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.
An incredible fortnight-long cultural festival is taking over the streets, communities and people of the city, creating a moment of collective cultural resilience with Ukraine.
LJMU will play its own role through research, collaborations and celebrations, bringing together both student and staff contributions in this significant international event.
Liverpool Screen School students work at Eurovision Press Office
A lucky group of second year undergraduate and master’s students studying journalism with Liverpool Screen School are working with Liverpool City Council to deliver multimedia content and to work as part of the press office team.
Across the fortnight they will gain invaluable insight into media liaison and coverage of a mass-scale event under the world’s watch. Follow @LJMU on Twitter and Instagram to see some of the students’ video content from their exciting work experience.
Gym facilities shared with Eurovision contestants and BBC production teams
LJMU Sport is sharing its gym and fitness studio facilities with the BBC and song contest contestants throughout the duration of the Eurovision festival, to ensure that people working away from home can still keep on top of their health and wellbeing.
James Cullen, Sports and Facilities Supervisor, said: “After some discussions with BBC media teams and Eurovision broadcasting, we have offered our facilities out to artists and support staff, as somewhere to come before or after rehearsals or a long day of production. We have already had lots of interest for people wanting to attend from the contest and are proud to be sharing our fantastic fitness facilities with them throughout their time spent in Liverpool.”
Research into the impact of Eurovision 2023 on health risk
In conjunction with the Public Health Department at Liverpool City Council, experts from the Public Health Institute within LJMU’s Faculty of Health are undertaking research to look at the health risk of behaviours associated with nightlife during the Eurovision period.
A survey will examine individuals’ past, present, and future use of alcohol and drugs - as well as measuring sexual behaviours, exposure to anti-social behaviour and violence, and feelings of safety during Eurovision week.
A series of other evaluation studies, commissioned by Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, are taking place to determine the social impact of Eurovision 2023 on wellbeing, cultural legacy and the economy, and LJMU sits on the Steering Group to report back their findings for the final report.
Art student’s work to be exhibited in Liverpool and PhD student’s enduring links to Ukraine
Final-year BA History of Art and Museum Studies student, Eve Blunsden, recently curated ‘Tales of Yester-Queer: A Retrospective Exhibition of the LGBTQIA+ Clubbing Scene in Liverpool 1980s and 1990s’ which has now been picked up by RIBA North Gallery to run throughout Eurovision. It will be displayed as part of the Liverpool City Region Pride ‘Pride House’ programme.
PhD student, Nien-Ting Chen, a Taiwanese curator and artist, has been working with Ukrainian artists before the war broke out and has continued her collaborations during the conflict.
Having visited Kyiv and Dnipro in 2021, she went on to co-curate two exhibitions exploring the war and supporting the people of Ukraine in 2022. The first a virtual exhibition 'Unstable Condition: Greeting From A Stranger’ and the second in Taipei ‘News From The Fields’
In December she also participated in the ArtsLink Assembly 2022 in Poland, a platform that allowed Ukrainian artists, curators, and cultural leaders to share perspectives and ideas for the future of the cultural life of the country. Nien-Ting met Ilya Zabolotnyi who work as the co-founder and CEO of the Ukrainian Emergency Art Fund. The Fund provides emergency financial aid to Ukrainian cultural workers and artists who have been impacted by the war. Nien-Ting is expected to collaborate on an exhibition about Ukraine and Taiwan at Skovde Art Museum in Sweden in 2024.
Liverpool Cathedral to play role in EuroFestival
Liverpool Cathedral provides a backdrop for some of LJMU’s most significant university events, both past and present. From our inauguration as a university in 1992 to the graduation ceremonies we’ve held there for more than 30 years.
LJMU is a proud guardian of this iconic building which will also play its own role in Eurovision by hosting Ukrainian artist Katya Buchatska, and her video installation Izyum.
Running from 1 to 14 May, it will be free to visit between 10am and 4pm each day.
The multi-channel video installation, filmed in real-time, is an extraordinary window into the journey of escape many Ukrainians have taken since the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. Starting with views of liberated Ukrainian regions moving to apparently stiller Western cities.
In addition, Liverpool Cathedral’s School of Music is also running its School Singing Programme (April - July 2023) at 16 primary schools involving 1,000 school children across the city region in a singing programme called ‘Fit for a King: The Eurovision Big Sing’.
LJMU, under the direction of Dr Simone Krüger Bridge a Reader in Music and Cultural Musicologist, is contributing significantly to this fantastic initiative via a concentrated programme of research to understand the value of the School Singing Programme in terms of its social, cultural, educational and wellbeing benefits to the participants.
Many of LJMU’s schools will be hosting individual Eurovision-related activities for their students and for their staff.
Already the Faculty of Business and Law have celebrated Eurovision with their staff who shared Ukrainian cuisine and listened to local Liverpudlian musicians during an evening where people were in yellow and blue.
Meanwhile, visiting lecturer on our BA Fine Art programme, painter Gary Sollars, is running a Euro special version of his regular disco event ‘Dollman Disco: Euro Sparkles’ at District (61 Jordan Street, Liverpool) on Saturday 6 May 8.30pm til late, with a £7.99 entry fee payable on the night.
What’s on in Liverpool
Visit Liverpool has all of the information you need to know about free events and all sorts of things you can get involved with as the city plays host to Eurovision.
Making your mind up about study with LJMU
With a nod to Eurovision past and present, keep an eye out around the city and on LJMU social media channels for our own Eurovision inspired campaign that celebrates our 200-year history and the opportunities to study with us at LJMU.