Belfast set to host Eurovision 2023, Ulster Unionist Party member says

Northern Ireland have given viewers of Eurovision 2022 the gift of Brooke Scullion – the ‘That’s Rich’ singer who won the Irish national final.

And now, if Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) member Julie-Anne Corr-Johnston is successful, then Northern Ireland will welcome the world to Eurovision 2023 in Belfast.

At the end of July, her political party posted a statement on its website in which she set out the reasons why The capital of Northern Ireland deserves this opportunity.

“In 2021, Belfast was named the best events destination in Conference & Incentive Travel magazine’s annual awards. In November of the same year, it was also awarded the prestigious status of City of Music by UNESCO.

“With over 3000 hotel rooms, two city-linked airports and one capacity venue, Belfast, not to mention our vast experience of hosting major events such as the Giro d’Italia, World Police Games and firefighters and the MTV Music Awards, is expected to be the UK’s main contender for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.”

“Northern Ireland has been at the center of European and British relations of late, it seems only fitting that we have this incredible opportunity to showcase our capital and demonstrate our growing capability.”

“I have spoken with my party leader, Doug Beattie MLA, who has written a letter to the Northern Ireland office and the UK Culture Secretary expressing our enthusiasm for Belfast and asking for their support.”

Belfast certainly has the place. The SSE Arena – formerly known as Odyssey Arena – has a capacity of over 11,000 for concerts and has hosted thousands of live events. From September it will host artists such as George Ezra, The Vamps, Westlife, Rod Stewart and Elton John.

Northern Ireland has produced its share of Eurovision stars. Dana Rosemary Scallon, winner of Eurovision 1970 with “All Kinds of Everything”, was born in Derry. In 2020, she closed the very first Wiwi Jam at Home concert with a beautiful Zoom choir.

Would you like to see Belfast host Eurovision 2023? Let us know in the comments box below!

Joseph K. Bennett