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United By Music: Liverpool and Eurovision 2023

June 4 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

FREE but booking required - see entry for details


In 2023, the Eurovision Song Contest came to the UK for the first time in 25 years, when the BBC hosted it in Liverpool on Ukraine’s behalf. Eurovision hosts typically tell a story about their own country and its relationship to Europe, reaching more viewers than any other TV music event. However, the background of Russia’s invasion demanded a different approach. The BBC worked with Ukraine’s public broadcaster to make sure the TV shows still reflected Ukrainian culture in authentic, up-to-date ways, in a partnership summed up by the event’s slogan ‘United By Music’.

Liverpool meanwhile delivered a larger scale cultural programme than any past Eurovision host city had ever attempted, including an entire cultural festival plus community programming with thousands of participants – all while expressing itself as a European city, welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors and honouring Ukraine.

Join Catherine Baker of Hull University as she discusses the power of partnership created during this memorable event, both on screen and on the ground.

About the speaker

Dr Catherine Baker of Hull University is a specialist in post-Cold War history. She has researched the cultural politics of the Eurovision Song Contest for more than fifteen years, including what it reveals about changing relationships between LGBTQ+ and national identities since the 1990s. In 2023, she led research on the cultural relations impact of Eurovision for the British Council; the final report will be published by the time of the Festival of Ideas. Her next book project will investigate the “performance” of national identity through Eurovision since the end of the Cold War.

Free admission, but voluntary donation at the door

Booking required: barbara.lodge@alumni.york.ac.uk

Wheelchair accessible

Organised by York for Europe

York for Europe is a voluntary and informal group working to sustain York’s links with all European countries.



June 4
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
FREE but booking required - see entry for details


York for Europe
View Organiser Website


Friargate Friends Meeting House, Friargate, YO1 9RL
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