The UK Government has announced that around 3,000 tickets will be made available for displaced Ukrainians living in the UK to attend the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.
Liverpool is set to hold the competition in May, as 2022 winners Ukraine are not able to host after Russia invaded the country just over a year ago.
The UK Government also announced £10m (€11.3m/£20m) in funding to ensure the event truly showcases Ukrainian culture. The money will support Liverpool City Council and the BBC’s partnerships with Ukrainian artists and performers.
UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: “[Vladimir] Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine means the contest cannot be held where it should be. But we are honoured to be supporting the BBC and Liverpool in hosting it on their behalf, and are determined to make sure the Ukrainian people are at the heart of this event.
“Today’s announcement means that thousands of tickets will be offered to those displaced by war, so that they can take part in a show honouring their homeland, their culture and their music. As always, we stand together with the Ukrainian people and their fight for freedom.”
The funding will also support security, visa arrangements and other operational aspects, as well as Liverpool City Council’s schools, community and volunteering programmes.
Ukrainian Ambassador to the UK Vadim Prystaiko added: “The allocation of almost 3,000 tickets to displaced Ukrainians for the Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool will allow our compatriots here to enjoy the event and celebrate our country’s rich culture and music.
“The UK’s steadfast support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s invasion has been exemplary and this gesture is another example of that commitment. The £10m in funding to showcase Ukrainian culture is also greatly appreciated and will help to put on a collaborative show bringing people from around the world closer to each other.
“We are grateful to the UK Government, Liverpool City Council, and the BBC for their efforts to honour Ukraine’s culture and people through this event.”
The Grand Final of the 67th Eurovision Song Contest will take place at M&S Bank Arena on Saturday, May 13, with the semi-finals taking place on May 9 and 11.