Whether you rate it dix points or nil points, Eurovision coming to Liverpool this year is pretty big news. Tickets to the main event are a bit spenny but you can still celebrate Eurovision here in Manchester with a party at Piccadilly Gardens.
While Liverpool has the honour of hosting Eurovision on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, Mancunians can watch the event live on big screens that have been set up in Piccadilly Gardens. Live coverage of Thursday (11 May)’s semi final will be broadcast as well as the final itself on Saturday 13 May which is hosted by Graham Norton with help from British TV stars Alesha Dixon and Hannah Waddingham and Ukrainian singer Julia Sanina. Expect Manchester’s party people to gather en masse to revel in all of Eurovision’s cheesy glory.
The semi-final heats will see the fan-zone open each day at 5:30 pm ahead of the live BBC coverage starting at 8pm, with the action ending at 11pm each night. On finals day, access to the raised platform part of the fan-zone starts from midday with full access across the fan-zone including the grassed area from 4pm until 1am on Sunday morning.
Food and drink stalls will be serving up Eurovision themed food and drink but you can also bring your own food and soft drinks (no glass bottles or alcohol) if you want. Bag searches will be in operation on entry and members of the public are asked to limit the size of their bag to that of a small rucksack.
Eurovision themed face painting for kids and adults fans will be on offer, and attendees are encouraged to wave flags. Cheese tunes will come from DJs including drag queen DJ Misty.
Entry into the fan-zone is free of charge but space is limited and admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Toilet facilities and first aid treatment will also be available on site.
Councillor John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said, ”We owe it to all our Ukrainian friends wherever they are in the world to make this year’s Eurovision the very best it can possibly be.
“So if you’re still making your mind up about where to watch Eurovision this year, think no more! Come and join us at the fan-zone in Piccadilly Gardens for a Mancunian Eurovision party like no other!
“Bring a flag, bring your friends, and bring it on for Ukraine – Eurovision 2023 is going to be spectacular!”