It has been announced this morning that Newcastle is amongst the 7 cities shortlisted to host the Eurovision Song Contest in 2023.
Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield have also been shortlisted to battle it out.
This is a great opportunity for Newcastle.
NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) is delivering the bid on behalf of Newcastle City Council. Ian Thomas, Destination Director at NGI, whom delivered the bid to host on behalf of Newcastle City Council, said:
“This is a once in a generation opportunity to welcome a huge number of international visitors, performers and media to the North East of England and to showcase our world-class culture, rich heritage and vibrant region to the world…
“The potential impact of Newcastle hosting Eurovision 2023 is phenomenal. Eurovision will play a significant role in rejuvenating and sustaining our visitor economy, supporting our businesses and creating an even better place for our residents.”
This will be the UK’s ninth time hosting the Eurovision, and its first in 25 years, taking on hosting duties form Ukraine who are unable to host due to their war with Russia. The BBC however have assured fans that the 2023 competition will be a “true reflection of Ukrainian culture alongside showcasing the diversity of British music and creativity.”
The shortlisted cities will now go through to a second stage to discover which city scores the highest against the BBC’s criteria. The final decision is set to be revealed in Autumn.
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North East foodbanks to close on Monday as the Queen’s funeral is held
Several foodbanks across the North East will close their warehouses and distribution centres this Bank Holiday Monday, the day the Queen’s funeral is being held.
In the North East, Gateshead Foodbank has announced that it will be closed on Monday to reopen the following day. Sunderland and County Durham Foodbank will also be closed, as well as their foodbank warehouse.
It was announced that the day of the Queen’s funeral would be a bank holiday by King Charles III this weekend, as a national day of mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Her Majesty’s funeral will take place at 11am on Monday, September 19 at Westminster Abbey. The public will be able to pay their respects 24 hours a day for four days until 6.30am on Monday, while the Queen lies in state in the Palace of Westminster.
The Trussell Trust work to stop UK hunger and poverty, and their network of foodbanks provides emergency food and support to people in crisis. A spokesperson told the Mirror that food banks across the country were given the option to close or stay open depending on the needs of their community.
They clarified that “foodbanks are all independent, but we have emailed saying it is a bank holiday and they can decide what to do. It really depends on the local need on the ground, the volunteers will know if they are particularly quiet on a Monday, or if it is a busier day.”
The decision to close a number of foodbanks has proved to be controversial, with some slamming the move as classist. What are your thoughts?
Queen’s Funeral Date Announced
Details of the service and events in the coming days have been released by Buckingham Palace and the Earl Marshal, the Duke of Norfolk, who is responsible for the arrangements.
It was announced earlier that the day of the funeral will be a bank holiday.
The funeral of Queen Elizabeth II will take place at 11am on Monday 19 September at Westminster Abbey.
The Queen’s coffin – which is currently in the ballroom at Balmoral – will be carried by six gamekeepers from the Balmoral Estate tomorrow, Sunday 11 September, at 10am.
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Ticket touts selling Sam Fender tickets for substantial prices
Ticket touts are exploiting Sam Fender fans, with some charging over 10x the standard face value fee, despite efforts to avoid this.
On Friday, Fender announced that he will be living out a childhood dream of his and playing St James’ Park in Newcastle on June 9, 2023. The stadium is the largest in the North East with the capacity for over 52,000 fans.
Due to an extremely high demand and pre-sale tickets selling out in minutes on Wednesday, an extra date was added for 10 June. General sale went live at 10am this morning (9 September) and, once again, sold out in minutes, with over 100,000 people joining the queue at one point hoping for tickets.
Ticket touts have already begun using this situation to their advantage, with tickets worth £63 at face value being sold for prices as high as £720 on sites such as Viagogo. Such profiteering retail sites encourage ticket touting, which is a strictly illegal practice.
The 28-year-old musician has issued a statement on his Instagram story, alerting his fans to be careful. He stated:
“Please only buy tickets from the official vendors which are all listed on my website.
“Twickets or your ticket agent’s face value resale platform are the only safe places to buy tickets that people don’t need.
“Tickets bought and sold on other sites (such as Viagogo) are not valid and will not be accepted.”
Fender has partnered with Twickets, an official and ethical resale platform, to ensure that fans buy/sell tickets only at face value and that those being sold are not fake.
Did you manage to get your hands on yours – let us know our Facebook page – here
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