The Eurovision song contest will put Liverpool on the map for future global events. That is the view of Cllr Liam Robinson, the chair of the city’s transport committee.
Since the elation of finding out the news that Liverpool will host the contest on behalf of Ukraine, there have been setbacks such as nations pulling out over the cost of staying in the UK and hotel prices soaring. Despite this, the benefits are clear to see.
Speaking to MerseyNewsLive, transport committee chairman Cllr Liam Robinson said: “There are lots of Eurovision devotees right across this country and right across the whole of Europe that will come and visit Liverpool, stay at our hotels and spend money in our restaurants, pubs, bars and shops.
“There will be that economic boost that will come in but just as importantly it just continues to reoffer Liverpool’s status on the global map for hosting significant events that plays really well into our musical heritage.”
‘We’ve got really deep ties with Ukraine’
Cllr Robinson confirmed that the council will be making a capped contribution as well as the regional and combined authority but other bodies like the BBC will be contributing. Despite this he believes that the economic benefits will make up for it.
Liverpool will be hosting Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine who won the event but were unable to host because of Russia’s invasion on the country.
Cllr Robinson said: “I think we’ve got really deep ties with Ukraine we have our twinning with Odessa which goes back decades which shows we’ve got a really strong affinity and link with Ukraine.
“Obviously like many parts of this country we’ve providing sanction and shelter now to Ukraine refugees who are escaping the terror of war”.
As soon as Liverpool was announced as the winner’s hotel prices soared. Cllr Robinson said: “I don’t think we expected it in the level we did and obviously [metro] mayor Steve Rotherham been extremely strong in his criticism.
“We want businesses to have a profitable Eurovision and to do well out of the event, but we don’t believe it’s acceptable in the slightest to profiteer by frankly charging an extortionate amount of money. That’s not what Liverpool’s all about.
“This city is about opening its doors and welcoming people in”.
One of the other benefits to Liverpool hosting Eurovision is that it helps to reinstall the city’s UNESCO City of music status awarded to them in 2015 according to Dr Mike Jones, Reader in Music Industry at the University of Liverpool.
This is potentially one of the reasons why Liverpool and Glasgow, who both have the statues, were selected as the top two.
He said: “Having that recognition is fantastic and particularly when we think about, for many centuries Liverpool’s been a global city and a predominate player on the world map but certainly music in the 20th century was one of those things that continued to put us at the front of global popular culture but it’s not just about what happened in the 1960s.
“Hosting events like Eurovision shows how that story counties to be really strong here and it will continue to cerement our position on the international global map of being a key location for music.”
Featured image (c) Eurovision Song Contest