The 2023 Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Liverpool in May, and as ever will feature performers from across Europe and more, performing original songs which are performed on live television and radio, with the competing countries then casting votes to determine a winner.


What is the Eurovision Song Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest is an annual, international televised songwriting competition. It's organised by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), and the participants are chosen by EBU member broadcasters to represent their countries. Entries come from across Europe and beyond.

Each country has until mid-March to select the song and the artist who will perform it. These artists then compete at the Eurovision Song Contest Finals, which is held each May.

Who is hosting Eurovision 2023?

The UK is hosting the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held in Liverpool. Normally, the winner of the previous ear's Eurovision hosts the following year. Ukraine were last year's winners: however, given the current situation in Ukraine, the UK stepped in as this year's hosts.

How many nations are in Eurovision 2023?

This year's contest features 37 nations. They are:

Albania, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine and the 2023 hosts, United Kingdom

Rest of world
Australia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel

When was the first Eurovision Song Contest?

The very first Eurovision was staged in 1956. That debut Eurovision Song Contest was largely a radio broadcast, as televisions were still not yet in mass ownership.

How is the Eurovision winner selected?

Eurovision itself consists of three live shows. There are two Semi-Finals, this year on Tuesday 9 May and Thursday 11 May. Then, there's the Eurovision Grand Final on Saturday 13 May.

Of the 37 nations taking part, 31 compete in two Semi-Finals. From each of those two Semi-Finals, ten successful acts make it through to join France, Germany, Italy and Spain (members of the 'Big Five', see below), plus the host (and fellow 'Big Five' member) the United Kingdom, and last year's winners, Ukraine, in the Grand Final.

Is the UK always in the Eurovision final?

Yes. The UK is one of the ‘Big Five’ - nations whose broadcasters make the biggest financial contributions towards each year's Eurovision, and as a result their entries get an automatic place in the Final.

Who are the Eurovision 'Big Five'?

The Eurovision 'Big Five' - countries whose broadcasters make the biggest financial contribution to Eurovision, and who gain automatic entry to reach year's Final as a result - are France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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How many times has the UK previously hosted Eurovision?

The UK and the BBC have previously staged Eurovision four times, following each of their four outright wins: in London in 1968 and 1977, Harrogate in 1982 and Birmingham in 1998.

How many nations are in the Eurovision Grand Final?

The Grand Final will consist of 26 nations: ten winners from each of the two Semi-Finals, plus the 'Big Five' and last year's winners, Ukraine.

What are the Eurovision rules?

Eurovision has quite an exhaustive list of rules that it has finessed over its decades. However, the key rules are:

  • Songs must be original and no more than three minutes long
  • Lead vocals must be performed live
  • No more than six performers onstage during any one performance

How does Eurovision voting work?

In each show (Semi-Finals and Grand Final), all songs are performed before voting starts. Then, each country gives two sets of points, from 1 to 10. A jury of five music industry professionals from that country awards one set; the other is awarded by viewers watching the show in that country.

How can I vote at Eurovision?

Viewers can vote by telephone, SMS, or through the official Eurovision app. You're not permitted to vote for your own country.

At the end of the Grand Final, the song with the most points wins the crown. The artist then performs the song a final time.

How many times has the UK won Eurovision?

The UK has won Eurovision five times (strictly speaking four times, plus one joint win). Those wins were:

1967: 'Puppet on a String' performed by Sandie Shaw
1969 (joint): 'Boom Bang a Bang' performed by Lulu
'Save Your Kisses for Me' performed by Brotherhood of Man
'Making Your Mind Up' performed by Bucks Fizz
'Love Shine a Light' performed by Katrina and the Waves

Which country has won Eurovision the most times?

That would be Ireland, with an impressive seven wins. Sweden have triumphed six times at Eurovision, while Luxembourg, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom all have five wins to their credit.

Who is the 2023 Eurovision favourite?

Sweden and Finland are this year's favourites.

What is the UK entry for Eurovision 2023?

The UK's 2023 Eurovision entry is 'I Wrote a Song', performed by Mae Muller. The singer-songwriter co-wrote the song with Lewis Thompson and Karen Poole.

Who is performing at Eurovision 2023's Friday evening concert?

On the Friday evening, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will perform favourite Eurovision hits from the contest's six-decade history.

These will include 'Boom Bang a Bang' by Lulu; 'Save Your Kisses For Me' by Brotherhood of Man; 'Making Your Mind Up' by Bucks Fizz; 'Waterloo' by ABBA; 'Spaceman' by Sam Ryder, the UK's 2022 Eurovision entry; 'Love Shine a Light' by Katrina and the Waves; 'Diva' by Dana International; and 'Hard Rock Hallelujah' by Lordi.

How do I watch Eurovision 2023?

All of the shows will be broadcast live and available to watch on the official Eurovision Song Contest YouTube channel, as well as on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

What time does coverage start?

Semi-Finals: Tuesday 9 May, 8pm, BBC One and BBC iPlayer, and Thursday 11 May, 8pm, BBC One and BBC iPlayer.
Grand Final: Saturday 13 May, 8pm, BBC One and BBC iPlayer


Top pic: Michael Rice at Eurovision 2019. Pic: Martin Fjellanger, Eurovision Norway, EuroVisionary


Steve Wright
Steve WrightMulti-Platform Content Producer, BBC Music Magazine

Steve has been an avid listener of classical music since childhood, and now contributes a variety of features to BBC Music’s magazine and website. He started writing about music as Arts Editor of an Oxford University student newspaper and has continued ever since, serving as Arts Editor on various magazines.