Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens transformed into Eurovision fan party

Eurovision action comes to Manchester this week with the transformation of Piccadilly Gardens into a fun-filled official fan-zone for everything Eurovision, as music lovers from across the globe descend on the UK for the big event.

Whilst it's North West neighbours Liverpool who have the honour of hosting Eurovision on behalf of last year's winners Ukraine, Mancunians will be able to get their own piece of Eurovision action via big screens in the city centre gardens which will be showing the event live.

The Manchester fan-zone will show live BBC coverage of both semi-finals taking place tonight Tuesday 9 May and on Thursday 11 May, as well as all the live action from the final itself on Saturday 13 May - in what is sure to be a party atmosphere with plenty of singing and dancing.

The semi-final heats will see the fan-zone open each day at 5:30 pm ahead of the live BBC coverage starting at 8 pm, with the action ending at 11 pm each night.  On finals day however things get going a bit earlier with access to the raised platform part of the fan-zone from 12 noon, and full access across the fan-zone including the grassed area from 4:00 pm until 01:00 am on Sunday morning.

Food and drink stalls will be serving up Eurovision foodie treats and tipples, and members of the public can also bring in their own food and soft drinks (no glass bottles) if they want to, although bring-your-own alcohol will be not allowed on site.  Bag searches will be in operation on entry and members of the public are asked to limit the size of their bag to that of a small rucksack. 

Face painting for little and not-so-little Eurovision fans will - of course - be on offer, flag waving will almost certainly be obligatory, and DJs including drag queen DJ Misty will be getting the party started ahead of the big final on Saturday.

Entry into the fan-zone each day is free of charge but space is limited, and admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis.

Toilet facilities and first aid treatment will also be available on site.

Councillor John Hacking, Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, Manchester City Council, said: "We owe it to all our Ukrainian friends wherever they are in the world to make this year's Eurovision the very best it can possibly be.  

"So if you're still making your mind up about where to watch Eurovision this year, think no more! Come and join us at the fan-zone in Piccadilly Gardens for a Mancunian Eurovision party like no other!  

"Bring a flag, bring your friends, and bring it on for Ukraine - Eurovision 2023 is going to be spectacular!"


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