Eurovision: Contest is a lifeline for Liverpool hospitality, firms say

By November 26, 2022Entertainment

Staging Eurovision could be a "saviour" for Liverpool's struggling hospitality sector, businesses have said.
Thousands of visitors are expected in the city when it hosts the 2023 song contest in May after 2022 winner Ukraine was unable to host it due to the war.
Businesses in Liverpool told BBC North West Tonight they were preparing to throw the "best party ever" on behalf of Ukraine.
Paul Askew, chef patron of the Art School restaurant and co-chair of Liverpool Hospitality Association, said many businesses were in a precarious position due to rising costs.
The event brought "hope" to businesses which had considered closing, he added.
Mr Askew said: "When we got the news about Eurovision it was just euphoria – the city was bouncing.
"It was like Liverpool was made to do this.
"It has always been that sort of hospitable, music-obsessed, edgy, arty place.
"If we know one thing in this city – we know how to have a good party."
He added: "This is going to give hope to this city because a lot of hospitality businesses were thinking of closing for January/February."
Eurovision "could literally be the saviour in terms of hospitality", he said, adding: "It's going to be amazing."
He said his restaurant was working to create a fusion of Ukrainian and Scouse dishes for Eurovision, taking on a Ukrainian forager who is helping source traditional produce.
Liverpool's Royal Court theatre is hoping for another hit show after commissioning Eurovision-inspired A Thong For Europe – Liverpool Calling – which will coincide with the contest.
Set in Waterloo, Liverpool, it will be packed full of Eurovision hits and the theatre's executive producer Kevin Fearon said it would have everything fans of the song contest will expect.
He said it would be "tongue-in-cheek, glitzy [and] outlandish" and "funny".
Ukraine will feature in the story and the theatre will be donating £1 from every ticket sold to the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal, he added.
Mr Fearon said: "It is going to be huge for us not just for us as a theatre; it is going to be huge for us as a city.
"Liverpool is thriving already."
"There is a real buzz… I think we can use Eurovision as a poster for what the city is, to bring more tourists into Liverpool," he said.
Liverpool Gin Distillery said it had "big plans" to mark Eurovision like a lot of other businesses in the city.
"Everyone is really excited and really want to make the most of hosting Eurovision," Rebecca Haycox, general manager, said.
She said she could not wait for "people to come from all over the world to celebrate" the event.
Because of the circumstances, she said the company wanted to incorporate Ukrainian culture in its special projects, too.
"It is great for the city but we also wanted to ensure we would be giving back where we could and celebrating Eurovision for everyone," she said.
It is launching a Eurovision gin and has asked Ukrainians living in the city to help with the design process.
The distillery is using Ukrainian botanicals – inside a disco ball bottle in a nod to Eurovision – and getting a Ukrainian artist to design the label.
The bottles will then be auctioned and the proceeds will go to charity.
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