While Liverpudlian music fans wait for the Eurovision Song Contest to take over the city of Lennon and McCartney, landlords and hoteliers are looking forward to collecting sky-high rents from the competition’s fans.
The city’s hotels are cancelling existing bookings for the weekend that Eurovision is taking place to capitalise on demand for accommodation.
Last week Liverpool was named the host of the music competition, which was supposed to take place in Ukraine before it was moved to Britain because of the Russian invasion.
Prices have soared after the announcement with Airbnb hosts offering accommodation for almost £8,000 on May 13, the night of the final.
A “modern and stylish” three- bedroom house in Anfield was advertised for £7,993 a night, including a cleaning fee. The property, which sleeps up to ten, is listed at £900 a night outside the competition weekend.
On Saturday, less than 12 hours after the announcement, Booking.com said that 99 per cent of hotels in the city were fully booked on May 13. The UK’s biggest hotel-booking website has three results in the city centre for two adults, with Eleanor Rigby Apartments in Stanley Street the most expensive at £5,580. The cheapest option was Dream Apartments in Dale Street, where a one-bedroom apartment is available for £1,999 for the night.
Fans who booked accommodation in the city in anticipation that the contest would be held there voiced anger at having their reservations cancelled. Buzz O’Neill-Maxwell, an events manager, booked hotel rooms in both Liverpool and Glasgow, the final two candidate cities to host Eurovision, before last week’s announcement. When Liverpool was selected, he received a message saying that his booking was cancelled. He said: “Total chancers. Prices now are insane.”
Lastminute.com has also been criticised after hotels began cancelling bookings.
The event is expected to provide a boost to Liverpool’s economy. Clare McColgan, the director of Culture Liverpool, said last week that the city was likely to be “packed out” for a month either side of Eurovision, helping small businesses to survive.
The contest will be paid for by a combination of the local authority, the UK government and broadcasters. More than 160 million people are expected to watch it on TV.