Eurovision 2023 live updates: The Song Contest Grand Final in Liverpool

Fans stand with a statue of the Beatles in Liverpool, England.credit…Mary Turner for The New York Times

Liverpool, which this year is hosting Eurovision on behalf of Ukraine, is among the most important cities in the history of pop music, and not only because it is the birthplace of the Beatles.

It’s a coastal town, on the bank of the River Mersey Estuary, and its unique mix of sounds comes from the influx of people over the centuries including sailors and enslaved people, according to Paul Skellin, author of Scouse Pop and lecturer at the University of Chester. “It has become a melting pot of cultures and musical influences, which has made Liverpool different from all other cities in the UK,” he said.

Merseybeat is a genre of music described as a British interpretation of American rock and roll, emerging from Liverpool in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Beatles and other homegrown bands, such as Gerry and the Pacemakers, were some of the most popular musical acts of the time, both in Britain and the United States.

Holly Tesler, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Liverpool, said that the Merseybeat era marked the first great arrival of British popular music. “It was the first time that a city outside London, certainly in the north, certainly in working-class communities, had its own music, its own identity, its own sounds,” she said.

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By the 1980s and amid economic depression across Britain, Liverpool was once again buzzing with a new sound, later known as New Wave. “It was really something innovative and given space to grow and develop outside of the London mainstream,” she said. Frankie Goes to Hollywood, a popular local band from that era known for the songs “Relax” and “Two Tribes”, They reunited on Sunday For the opening ceremony of Eurovision.

In 2008, Liverpool was selected as European Capital of CultureAnd, seven years later, he was named UNESCO City of Musicand join the ranks of Glasgow; Kingston, Jamaica; and Seville, Spain.

Liverpool’s appreciation for music is also evident in its architecture. st george hall, Neoclassical concert hall In the heart of the city, it was opened in the 1850s and hosts a show for the Eurovision final. The city includes dozens of theatres, venues and clubs, Including the Argyle Theatrewhere Charlie Chaplin performed, and Eric Cluba place that hosted punk bands.

A welcoming spirit emerged in the city as Liverpool prepared to host Eurovision, which would have been held in Ukraine this year, had it not been for the ongoing conflict there.

“In the past two weeks, everything has blossomed overnight,” Tesler said. “We have Ukrainian flags and Ukrainian songbirds,” she added. 12 large sculptures Spread all over the city.

“It was really cool to see that happen,” she said.

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