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Belfast leads Northern Ireland charge to host Eurovision final as Derry withdraws interest

Derry’s ambitions to host the Eurovision final were cut short after the council decided it would not take part in the auction race.

At the last full council meeting, UUP Councilor Derek Hussey asked officials to explore the viability of the town by submitting a bid.

Supporting the proposal, Aontu adviser Emmet Doyle said Derry should show Belfast where the real “music city” in Northern Ireland is.

It was unanimously agreed that a “feasibility report” should be produced.

Now the council’s director of business and culture has informed the representatives, who are currently on summer vacation, that a bid will not be submitted.

He said: “Following the resolution from the July council meeting ‘that officers investigate the feasibility of submitting a bid to host the Eurovision final’, members are advised that the hosting criteria have been reviewed.

“The communal area is unable to meet a number of essential minimum criteria in relation to the provision of suitable venue and supporting accommodation infrastructure.

“Therefore, it is recommended that a Stage 1 offer not be submitted before the closing date of August 9, 2022.”

The host city must meet a series of requirements in order to win the coveted bid, including an indoor hall that can accommodate approximately 10,000 spectators, an international airport in the immediate vicinity, a hotel capacity of 2,000 rooms for delegations, artists , journalists and accredited officials. .

In addition, an efficient transport system is needed in the city as well as infrastructure, venues and locations to house the Eurovision village, the press centre, the delegation bubble, the Euroclub, the ceremony of opening and the turquoise carpet.

Ukraine won this year’s Eurovision Song Contest with Kalush Orchestra’s song Stefania, earning the right to host the 2023 edition.

However, organizers concluded that it could not be done safely while the war with Russia raged, so the UK will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2023.

Cities like London, Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff have already thrown their hats into the ring.

A campaign supporting Belfast to host the Eurovision final has gained momentum.

Northern Irish Eurovision Song Contest winner Linda Martin has backed a growing campaign to bring the event to Belfast next year, saying the city is “perfectly placed” to host it.

The Belfast-born singer, who won the competition in 1992 with the Johnny Logan-penned entry Why Me?, said Belfast would be a “fantastic” choice to host the massive event.

Once all applications have been received, a shortlist will be announced on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show on Friday.