The fate of where Eurovision 2023 will be hosted in the UK has left a major Christian event in limbo.
The Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE), a big trade show of sorts for churches and Christian organisations, has booked the ACC Liverpool arena for the 3rd and 4th of May next year.
But its organisers have been told that if Liverpool wins the bid to host Eurovision, the competition will have priority and CRE will have to move their dates.
Steve Goddard, co-owner and managing director of the CRE told Premier: “We were informed several weeks ago that because the Liverpool City Council had joined forces with the ACC Liverpool to pitch for Eurovision, they would require the venue to be taken over for four weeks in the build up to the Eurovision, should they be successful.”
The BBC and the European Broadcasting Union and currently deciding on whether Liverpool or Glasgow should host Eurovision. Goddard said the announcement won’t be made for several weeks on where the competition will be held.
“What we are asking the BBC to do is to get a grip and to make a decision…we can't wait weeks. That's the problem. This is a very challenging situation for us”.
He added: “We will be delighted if Liverpool were to win Eurovision, but this affects a business like ours absolutely directly because we spent so much money already promoting the event, the marketing aspect, the time factor on sales, so it affects us directly.
“How can we sell next year's exhibition when we don't know what date we will have, indeed, if the event will go head at all?”
Some of CRE’s potential exhibitors have tried to book hotel rooms in Liverpool on 3rd and 4th May 2023 and were told none are available because of the Eurovision initiative.
CRE has been dubbed the nearest thing to a trade show for clergy and all those involved in the maintenance and mission of their local church. It attracts suppliers of everything from computers to candles, sound systems to stained glass, pianos to pews.
Most Rev Malcolm McMahon, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Liverpool, said: “CRE is an exciting and fruitful way of bringing people together from across the Christian traditions. The exhibition will provide unique resources to local church leaders and will offer, in creative ways, our talents for the common good."