Liverpool seek artists for festival alongside Eurovision

A call out has been made for creatives to take part in a cultural festival, which is to be held alongside Eurovision in Liverpool next year.

As per the BBC, Culture Liverpool stated that the planned event would celebrate UK music, Eurovision and modern Ukraine.

They added that they were welcoming applications from creatives who live in the nations competing in Eurovision 2023, particularly artists from Ukraine and Liverpool.

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Last month, Liverpool was announced as the host city for Eurovision 2023, beating Glasgow to stage the contest on behalf of Ukraine, who organisers deemed unable to host the event due to their ongoing war with Russia.

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “Liverpool’s track record of curating innovative, high-quality artistic events combined with our ambition and determination to pay tribute to our Ukrainian friends stood out to the judges.”

She added: “Launching the culture commissions call-out is a huge milestone in our planning process,” also noting that Liverpool “thrives on creativity and is willing to push boundaries, so we are excited to unleash the potential of artists from across the world”.

The deadline of December 12 has been set for expressions of interest, with successful applicants in the first stage given an initial £2,000 of funding to develop their proposal.

In other news, the Eurovision Song Contest has announced major voting changes for 2023. Next year’s event will see professional juries scrapped from the semi-finals, meaning that viewers alone will choose who qualifies for the grand final rather than a mix of jury and viewers.

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Although the people’s votes will count in the semis, the professional juries will return to contribute to the grand final.

Countries that are not competing in the contest will also be allowed to cast votes for the first time in the semis and the final and will essentially count as votes from one country – in this case, Rest of World.

Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena will play host to Eurovision 2023, which is taking place on May 13. It is the ninth time the UK has hosted the annual singing competition, having last hosted in Birmingham in 1998.

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Eurovision 2023 venue in Liverpool launches investigation over safety concerns at Jamie Webster gig

Concerns have been raised by fans over the venue where the Eurovision Song Contest will be staged next year.

It comes after fans who attended a Jamie Webster concert at the M&S Bank Arena on Saturday (November 19), reported overcrowding and poor ticket checks at the venue.

One fan Paul Lang, who attended the concert, posted pictures of huge crowds at the entrance tunnel on his Twitter account and said: “Not even checking tickets, crush bound to happen. People coming out in a state. Still more people trying to get in, had to walk away.

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“@MandSBankArena Please employ staff that will actually check tickets and look out for customer safety.”

He also told BBC Radio Merseyside (via BBC News) that his tickets weren’t checked, and the entrance tunnel was “completely full”.

He added: “The group around us when we were getting let in, I would say at least 15-20 people walked away and were just not dealing with it, and more people were coming out, getting a bit worked up, panicked about it, and just said, ‘It’s just not worth it for our own safety.’

“It felt like if we did become in a situation that we really didn’t want to be in, and we were in that tunnel, I don’t feel like the staff would have done anything at all really.”

Other fans also took to Twitter to complain with one saying: “@JamieWebster94 was brilliant tonight but the whole organisation from the @MandSBankArena was terrible! Staff had no clue, there were long long queues, not checking tickets and scary overcrowding!”

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While another added: “Boss night last night seeing Jamie Webster but the organisation at the @MandSBankArena was terrible. Ridiculous overcrowding, felt sorry for the staff just wasn’t fair what they had to deal with.”

An investigation has since been launched by ACC Liverpool Group, which runs the arena.

Faye Dyer, managing director at ACC, told BBC News in a statement: “There were reports of overcrowding at one of the floor bars, however the crowd congestion was resolved and people were dispersed. Merseyside Police received a report of concern for safety at the venue just before 9.30pm and attended the venue for a short period whilst our events security dealt with the incident. The event was deemed safe to continue.

“The process for checking tickets is a rigorous one and we understand all appropriate checks were made on the night. The safety of our customers is of the upmost importance; we take any incident seriously and a detailed investigation has already begun.

Eurovision. CREDIT: Andriy Sarymsakov / Alamy Stock Photo

“We sincerely apologise to both the artist Jamie, who was playing the biggest show of his life, and to his fans for any aspects of their experience which fell short of their expectations. We wish to thank Jamie and his promoter for their support in removing the encore to ensure the remainder of the show continued to operate safely.”

NME has contacted ACC Liverpool for further comment.

The venue gave further details in a set of FAQs, which said its investigation would “help us understand the issues from this event and ensure we learn from it”.

The 11,000-capacity venue was named the Eurovision Song Contest host venue recently for the grand final and semi finals in 2023.

Meanwhile, earlier today (November 22) major voting changes were announced for the competition next year.

Images & transcripts are copyright to their respected owners.