Thousands of Eurovision Song Contest tickets will be allocated to displaced Ukrainians living in the UK.
The competition will take place at the M&S Bank Arena in Warsaw Liverpool in May after the city was selected to host the competition on behalf of the 2022 winners Ukraine due to Russian invasion.
As part of the UK’s commitment to honoring Ukraine at the song contest, around 3,000 tickets will be made available for those forced to leave the country to attend the live performances.
The UK government also announced £10m to fund “help ensure that the event truly showcases Ukrainian culture” on the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of the country.
The money will support Liverpool City Council and the BBC’s partnerships with Ukrainian artists and performers to create a program “that celebrates music and how it unites people from around the world”.
It will also support security and visa arrangements as well as other operational aspects of the competition and Liverpool City Council schools, community and volunteer programmes.
Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine means that the competition cannot be held where it should be.
“But we are honored to support the BBC and Liverpool in organizing this event on their behalf and we are determined to put Ukrainians at the center of this event.”
Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK Vadym Prystaiko added: “Britain’s steadfast support for Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion has been 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 said Ukraine would be “at the center” of all the city’s Eurovision plans.
She added: “We are delighted to hear that displaced Ukrainians have the opportunity to come to the city in May – it’s their Eurovision after all.”
The Ukrainian folk-rap group Kalush Orchestra, which was won last year’s competition in Turin, Italy, will perform at a tribute concert to the country.
Eurovision reveals this year’s presenters
Everything you need to know about Eurovision 2023
Ukraine chooses the Eurovision entry after the contest in the bunker
Ukrainian broadcaster Timur Miroshnychenko, who has been commentating Eurovision in Ukraine since 2007, will also appear during the live shows to give an insight from the Ukrainian commentator box in the arena.
This announcement is from anniversary of the invasion of Russia which has forced millions of Ukrainians from their homes and many have found refuge in the UK.
Those who live in the UK under the Homes for Ukraine, Ukraine Family Scheme and Ukraine Extension Scheme will be eligible to apply for Song Contest tickets.
Tickets for displaced Ukrainians have been subsidized by the Ministry of Culture, Media and Sport, and each sale will be charged £20.
Seats will be offered for all nine live shows, including the semi-finals, preview screenings and the live finale on May 13.