Looking back at Eurovision 2023

In 2023, the City of Liverpool was honoured to host the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Ukraine.

Liverpool ONE worked closely with city partners, cultural organisations, community groups and the Ukrainian refugee community to make sure Ukrainian culture was central to in the preparations for the event including…

Pysanka Giant Eggs Display

Giant eggs designed by children from across the Liverpool City Region and the Ukrainian community were displayed on South John Street. The display featured seven eggs, one for each city region, plus an additional egg to represent Ukraine.

The designs reflected Ukrainian culture and traditions, those of the other competing Eurovision countries and the wider Liverpool City Region communities. Inspired by the Ukrainian and Eastern European tradition of egg painting, Pysanka Eggs was a partnership between Liverpool City Council and Liverpool ONE. The project was part of EuroLearn, made possible thanks to funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund with additional support from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Pisanka Egg Display at Liverpool ONE

Working with partners across the city we hosted one of the official information points for Eurovision as part of our Visitor Centre, as well as hosting th official Eurovision Song Contest Store

‘The People’s Flag’ Project was a mass participation choreograph film that took part on Chavasse Park. 

The event saw 1,000 people wearing colourful blue and yellow ponchos and choreographed to create shapes designed to deliver a unique, warm welcome to all Eurovision-comers and honour Ukraine. This event was part EuroFestival.

© Culture Liverpool - People's Flag 1 (3)

Our piano festival, Tickle the Ivories, returned for a 3-week pop-up to champion local talent and fill the streets of Liverpool City Centre in the run-up to Eurovision. 

Local artists were asked to reskin the pianos with Ukrainian and Eurovision-inspired designs.

Eurovision took over Liverpool ONE. The takeover saw the return of our floral displays with an Eurovision twist inspired by Ukrainian colours including our bench, heart and floral features across the estate.

Eurovision and UK flags decorated South John Street, while stylist selfie mirrors took centre stage on Peter´s Square alongside artwork by local artist Rosa

Over on Chavasse Park, we hosted a free-to-attend week full of programmed dance, theatre, and music performances taking place on a specially-installed stage from Monday 8 May until Saturday 13 May.

For the first three days, in partnership with Culture Liverpool, EuroCamp took over the Stage at Chavasse Park featuring stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK as part of a programme of arts, cabaret and music performances commissioned for EuroFestival, the 14-day cultural festival across Liverpool featuring Black Gold Arts, Hackney Showroom and Homotopia.

On the remaining three days, Liverpool ONE’s community-led performances showcased up and coming local talent with staged performances planned in partnership with LIPA, LIPA Sixth Form and City of Liverpool College.

Eurovision Stage on the Park

Liverpool ONE hosted two of the Soloveiko Songbirds inflatable sculptures across the city.

We teamed up with global technology experts Thoughtworks to create a virtual gaming experience for children, taking inspiration from the Soloveiko Songbirds trail in Liverpool and the digital model of the city of Liverpool created by the University of Liverpool.

The new gaming initiative stood as a legacy for children and families to enjoy, with virtual and augmented reality technologies creating an exciting and interactive experience.

© Liverpool ONE - Nightingales filming

Following the success of Eurovision, we partnered with Liverpool John Moores University and clothing brand, Be Positive Taylored, to create ecological messenger bags, headgear, including unisex outerwear and t-shirts using the Eurovision flags and banners that decorated Liverpool ONE. A catwalk will take place in 2024.

BePo x Liverpool ONE - Eurovision (26)2

In February we invited talented local Ukrainian pianist, Alisa Bushuieva, to play piano following a one-minute silence that marked the anniversary since the start of the war in Ukraine. 

In a solemn and poignant moment, our team came together with members of the public to pay our respects to the Ukrainian community.

A girl in Ukrainian traditional dress plays piano in the foreground while people assemble

Working with partners across the city and volunteers from the Ukrainian community groups we introduced new plants, flowerbeds and poetry connected to Ukraine to commemorate Liverpool hosting Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine.

Memorial Garden is located at a cross section of the boundaries of Liverpool ONE, the Baltic Triangle and the Waterfront. Here once stood St Thomas’s Church of the inner-city parish.

New plants and flowers that are significant to Ukraine, along with common types that traditionally represent themes of love, family, beauty, youth, hope, wisdom and truth, were planted to create an inviting and peaceful space.

Poetry panels with references ranging from historical representations of home and hearth by poet Shevchenko in 1847 in Beside the house, the cherry’s flowering…, to a recent poetic cry from current Ukrainian soldier Vyshebaba in the stunning new elegy To My Daughter…. The mix of old and new chronicles the literary heritage of Ukraine, also including contemporary young poet Yuliya Musakovska.

This initiative would not have been possible without the financial support of Liverpool ONE, Grosvenor, McAleer and Rushe (developers of a building adjacent to the garden) as well as the volunteering support of Pagoda Nursery, Liverpool City Council and the Ukrainian refugee community.

© Liverpool ONE - Memorial Garden (16)

These are some of the best moments of Eurovision in Liverpool in 2023…