ORGANISERS of the Christian Resources Exhibition (CRE) that is planned for ACC Liverpool on 3 and 4 May next year are urging the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union to decide whether Liverpool or Glasgow hosts the Eurovision Song Contest, due to take place the same weekend.
Despite a contract that the managing director of CRE and a co-owner of it, Steve Goddard, describes as “solid — only a force majeure could shift it”, the ACC site would in effect be requisitioned if Liverpool won the bid, and the CRE would have to be moved.
The process for deciding who will host Eurovision 2023 began in May. Fifteen cities bid for it. “While we’re delighted Liverpool may be chosen, the BBC and the European Broadcasting Union do not seem concerned about the devastating effect the bidding process has already had on businesses like ours. It’s time they did a Bucks Fizz and made up their minds,” Mr Goddard said on Tuesday.
“We are waiting with bated breath for the outcome. We have lost weeks and weeks of selling time. It’s practically impossible to develop the selling campaign to bring exhibitors to Liverpool whilst this is going on.”
Potential CRE exhibitors trying to book hotel rooms in Liverpool have been told that nothing can be booked until the Eurovision decision is known. The National CRE that takes place at Sandown Park next week has 160 exhibitors, and presents a critical opportunity to sell space in Liverpool for 2023.
“The clock is ticking. We suffered with everyone else in the pandemic and weren’t able to hold two of our shows. We really didn’t need another problem like this,” Mr Goddard said. CRE has variously been told that the decision will be made “soon” and “in a few weeks”.
Some form of compensation had been promised, but CRE did not want to be in that situation, he said. Church leaders in Liverpool have warmly welcomed the prospect of the exhibition, taking place in the city for the first time.