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REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw
UK News

Liverpool arena boots out planned Christian event due to Eurovision

by Tola Mbakwe

The organisers of a major Christian event have said it's likely they'll have to cancel their plans next year due to Eurovision being confirmed to take place in Liverpool. 

Organisers of the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) booked ACC Liverpool for 3rd-4th May 2023 many months ago, but now they've been booted out of their booking because Eurovision is due to take place at the same place and around the same time.

While decades-long tradition dictates that the winner of the contest gets to host it the following year, the European Broadcasting Union had said safety and security reasons meant runners-up Britain were instead invited to host.

Liverpool edged out the other candidate, Glasgow, as host city in a draw held live on BBC television on Friday.

CRE managing director Steve Goddard told Premier the whole situation has left them in a lurch: "When we waited, we waited with bated breath. To kind of quote Lulu and her Eurovision song contest winner, "our hearts were going boom, bang, bang", to know which way it was going to go, Glasgow or Liverpool. 

"Of course it went to Liverpool, which means that our exhibition, which was due in the week of Eurovision in the very same building that Eurovision will take place, was automatically cancelled.

"So this has affected us directly, and we have to refocus, and hopefully the exhibition will go ahead, but this time in 2024, and we're yet to discuss with the authorities there some form of compensation for what we've lost.

"We want to do the northwest, the northwest wants us to come to the area, and the church leaders have supported the initiative. We want to move forward, but obviously this has changed everything for us."

Last month, Goddard told Premier having to move the event would cost CRE in terms of promotion, marketing and time spent on sales. 

This year's CRE national event kicked off on Tuesday at in Sandown Park in Surrey. The three day event sees hundreds of vendors sell everything church related. 

For the first time this year, a vendor is selling battery-operated heated cushions for churches looking to keep energy costs down. 

Premier has contacted ACC Liverpool for a response. 

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