Eurovision: A defining moment for Liverpool

While Sweden's Loreen Sparkled at this year's Eurovision Song Contest - the Liverpool organisers win UNESCO music prize for their sterling effort
June 21, 2023

THE team behind the successful staging of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool has received an inaugural UNESCO award.

The Liverpool City of Music Award is an annual event recognising individuals and/or organisations who make outstanding contributions to the city region's music scene.

In Liverpool's case this would include Liverpool City Council and its cultural events team, the European Broadcasting Union, which organises the contest and the BBC, responsible for screening it on behalf of Ukraine.

Mayor of Liverpool City Region Steve Rotheram, Martin Green Managing Director Eurovision Song Contest, Director of Culture Liverpool Claire McColgan, Liverpool’s Cabinet Member for Culture Councillor Harry Doyle, Liverpool City Council Chief Executive Andrew Lewis (Image courtesy of Culture Liverpool)

At a special ceremony at Liverpool Town Hall earlier this month, the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Mary Rasmussen, was joined by the contest's Director of Culture Liverpool Claire McColgan, who headed up the record-breaking arena event - which was the most-watched Eurovision Song Contest Final in UK history.  

Ms McColgan said: “For some months we have been looking at establishing an award which recognises those who make a real impact when it comes to celebrating Liverpool and its music credentials – and after what we have experienced since the moment we were announced host city in October 2022, there was no doubt that our BBC and EBU Eurovision partners had to receive this honour.

“Eurovision has been a defining moment for us and its legacy will be felt for many years to come, and no more so than in our music sector.

The Mayor of the Liverpool city region, Steve Rotheram said: "While few places can claim to have made such an impact on world music as we have, I think the real reason we came out top in the race to host Eurovision was because, quite simply, nowhere else can throw a party quite like us! 

"Staging a global spectacle like Eurovision is no mean feat and it took a huge, collective effort from across the combined authority, Liverpool City Council, Eurovision, and the BBC to put on a night that will live long in people's memories."

He added: "Now the work begins to build on the legacy of Eurovision 2023 to ensure that our region's creative and music scene continues to thrive for years to come."

Some of the fantastic staff who worked at the contest including members from the BBC: Back row left to right: Jack May, Vanessa Scott, Martin Green, Ema Fowle, Will Hutchinson, Rachel Ashdown, Georgina Carey. Front row left to right: Phil Harrold, Gail Sullivan, Lorna Walsh, Ellie Devenish Image courtesy of Culture Liverpool)

The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 is being hailed by city chiefs as the most successful host city programme ever, with early indications showing an additional 500,000 visitors were attracted to the city during the first two weeks of May, bringing in millions of pounds to the local economy.

A full evaluation of the impact of the Eurovision Song Contest is currently taking place, the results of which are expected to be ready in July.

Header Image: Sweden's Loreen winning her second Eurovision title in Liverpool. (Image: