Super-fan Padrake on a mission to bring Eurovision to Belfast

A Eurovision Song Contest super-fan, who is campaigning to bring the contest to Northern Ireland, believe Belfast would be the perfect city to host next year’s event.

o Tyrone Man Patric Devlin, who has competed four times, believes the city has the appropriate infrastructure, space, hospitality and musical heritage to be considered a strong contender.

Padri, who runs YouTube channel Eurovision 365, was speaking after the BBC confirmed that the UK would host the 2023 show after Ukraine – this year’s winner – was forced to pull out because of the war.

The broadcaster said: “It is with great regret that our partners and friends in Ukraine are not able to host the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest.

“It’s a great privilege to be asked to host the biggest and most complex music competition in the world.”

London, Manchester and Sheffield are among cities that have offered to host a singing competition next year, with the capital’s mayor Sadiq Khan vowing to make it a competition that “celebrates the people of Ukraine and the people of Britain.” Shows the best people”.

Glasgow has previously expressed interest in hosting the competition, with the city’s OVO Hydro sector saying it would be “delighted” to join the discussion.

When asked if it would be interested, Belfast city council did not comment.

A spokesman said: “Any decision around [the council] Bidding to host the Eurovision event is a matter of the elected members.”

But Pedrick insists that the time has come to urge politicians, public and cultural organizations to do a bid to bring the show to the city.

“I am confident that Belfast can and should host the Eurovision Song Contest next year,” he said.

“For a start, we have a lot of history with the competition, producing winners like Dana, Linda Martin and Phil Coulter, who wrote a string and congratulations on puppeting the winning UK entries.

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“We have good infrastructure, an easily accessible airport, many hotels and a great location at the SSE Arena. Ormeau Park would be ideal for Eurovision Village.

“Not only that, but Northern Ireland is also such a powerhouse of filmmaking, with Game of Thrones, The Northman and Belfast showing that we can stage large-scale productions.”

Padri, who attended this year’s final in Turin, said no event had the potential to bring people together like Eurovision, describing it as a night of “shameless joy”. He said the people here know what it is like to live in difficult times and can sympathize with the people of Ukraine.

“I would like to compare my position to what is happening in Ukraine right now, but with our shared history and what we are doing, this could be an opportunity to shed light on what can be achieved when there is peace,” Patrick explained.

“We have such warmth and hospitality here too, and I think it will be wonderful for the people of Northern Ireland.

“We need to bring on politicians, the BBC and the cultural groups behind it to build momentum.”

Belfast councilors Anthony Flynn and Seamus de Faoit have already written to the chief executive officers of Belfast City Council and visited Belfast, suggesting that the city should be considered.

Seamus, whose great-uncle Cathal McCabe produced the previous Eurovision Song Contest in Dublin and Cork, said the potential impact on the tourism industry was enormous.

“I would love to see it come to Belfast. I saw the effect the competition had on Dublin and Cork and how it made them great destination cities,” he said.

“Some of the other cities that bid may have bigger and better resources, but we lobbied for the UNESCO City of Music and won. Belfast can punch well above its weight when we set our minds. ,

It is understood that behind-the-scenes talks are underway between council officials and the BBC to find out what would be expected and required to host the event in Belfast.

The report will be prepared and given to the members of the council.

Seamus said: “I think that’s what we need after two difficult years.

“It will be a wonderful opportunity to elevate the city, give it a sense of camaraderie and show the best of our hospitality.”

Ukraine’s entrant Kalush Orchestra won this year’s competition in May, while Britain’s Sam Ryder finished second in the country’s best result since 1998.