Thousands of Eurovision Song Contest tickets will go to displaced Ukrainians living in the UK.
The competition will take place at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool in May, after the city was chosen to host the competition on behalf of the 2022 winners Ukraine because of russian invasion.
As part of the UK’s commitment to honor Ukraine in the music competition, around 3,000 tickets will be made available so that those forced to leave the country can attend the live shows.
The UK government also announced £10 million in funding to “help ensure the event truly showcases Ukrainian culture” on the anniversary of the Russian invasion of the country.
The money will support Liverpool City Council and the BBC’s partnerships with Ukrainian artists and performers to create a show “celebrating music and how it unites people across the world”.
He will also support the security and visa arrangements, as well as other operational aspects of the competition, and Liverpool City Council’s schools, communities and volunteer programs.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine means the pageant cannot be held where it should be.
“But we are honored to support the BBC and Liverpool on their behalf and we are determined to ensure that the Ukrainian people are at the center of this event.”
Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko added: “The UK’s staunch support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion was exemplary and this gesture is another example of that commitment.
“We are grateful to the UK Government, Liverpool City Council and the BBC for their efforts to honor the culture and people of Ukraine through this event.”
Liverpool Mayor Joanne Anderson has said Ukraine will be “at the heart” of all of the city’s Eurovision plans.
She added: “We are delighted with the news that displaced Ukrainians are being given the opportunity to come to the city in May – this is their Eurovision after all.”
Ukrainian folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, which triumphant in last year’s competition in Turin, Italy, will perform during the show as part of tributes to the country.
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Ukrainian announcer Timur Miroshnychenko, who has been commentating on Eurovision in Ukraine since 2007, will also appear during the live shows to give insight into Ukraine’s commentary box in the arena.
This ad comes from anniversary of the russian invasion which forced millions of Ukrainians from their homes, many finding refuge in the UK.
Those living in the UK through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Ukraine Extension Scheme will be able to apply for tickets to the song contest.
Tickets for displaced Ukrainians were subsidized by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with a £20 fee being applied to each sale.
Spaces will be offered for all nine live shows, including the semi-finals, preview shows and the live final on May 13th.