EDITORIAL – Recall your teenage birthday parties, when your mom made it possible for you to have a successful party and you have the best description of why Israeli Eurovision party was great this year: Tali Eshkoli, hosting just like your own mom alongside her superhero team, led by Shai Barak gave an outstanding hosting for the second edition of Israel Calling 2017.
Some might say, OK these guys from oikotimes.com just got another free press trip and now praise the Israeli party, but if your remember the first party review by this website, the report was argumentative enough and pointed out very negative aspects of the organising. This though didn’t stop the organisers from inviting us again.
Tel Aviv is known for having an administration which favours hosting big events to promote the city and furthermore the Israeli mentality of being a country which is ready to welcome everyone despite political developments and security risks. Tel Aviv is by definition an exotic city in which different cultures meet and collide, creating an amazing and outstanding feeling for the guests. A city that never sleeps (and trust me we do feel that in our body by now).
There are indeed several European parties in Europe: in Amsterdam, in London, in Riga, in Madrid, in Moscow, in Helsinki, in Luxembourg and even the oikotimes.com parties. But Israel makes it a marathon. 4 days of constant activities for the fans to promote their personalities with media coverage from all over the world and big respect to the fan site bloggers. Being into all of the parties mentioned, this team can surely say that the most respectful and honourable hosting was the one by Tali Eshkoli and her team. Imagine an exhausting woman, working 24 hours per day but at the same time smiling and hugging you when you need to.
Welcoming team at the airport made it possible for you to reach a wonderful accommodation such Dan Panorama Hotel is. The specific hotel besides its 5 star status, has one of the most amazing buffets for breakfast, launch and dinners i have ever seen. Transportation provided by the organisers surely worked better than last year and this time implemented busses with WI-FI. Though a minor problem both to the hotel and the bus internet access was the low speed provided but this must have been rather technical rather than intentionally bad.
Activities included a welcoming dinner at the 49th floor of a down town Tower Building with a view to a kill. The entire Tel Aviv was in your feet while tasting one of the most amazing food you could ever have. A tour to Jerusalem might sound as something cheesy due to its religious nature but many of us returned back to the hotel full of a weird spiritual experience (don’t ask me more as some of us cannot explain it in words). Visiting the Western Wall, the tomb of Jesus where the Holy Light is created every Orthodox Easter, touching the stone where the body of Jesus allegedly laid after his death can really cause an energy reaction in your body whether you are a believer or not.
Planting to the Eurovision Forest was another experience we all enjoyed. We loved seen two categories of Eurovision stars: most of them knew how to plant a tree and explained to oikotimes.com that they do that either in their own garden or in other places. Some of them didn’t know how to scratch the ground and it was very so nice to see the gesture of French HoD to help planting the Georgian tree. The symbolism was definitely there: most of the Eurovision stars think that even one person touched by this and become sensitive about nature, it’s already a success. Blanche had the honour this year to say the pray.
Organising a welcome gala can easily become a mess. NAMA restaurant welcomed the 28 delegations and invited fan and media journalists in an open air party where we were all dressed up. Besides the red carpet here was a chance to 1-1 interview with the artists. Unlike other websites, oikotimes.com turned this over: instead of interviewing the Eurostars we turned them into journalists. Lots of dance with Israeli songs and a sentiment of a family reunion were the characteristics of the party.
Under 30+ degrees Celsius it was a true summer event. Almost like been in Tel Aviv in July, the main party took place at the venue with a multi camera and live broadcast this year. Much better organising for the venue welcoming and VIP section arrangements without the chaotic and confusing arrangements of last year. Sparkling wine and beers were all over the place. The artists gave their performances and then returned to the VIP area interacting not only with the media and fan bloggers but also with the auditors. Organisers once again thanked the delegations and invited press with the amazing -417 products with minerals from the Dead Sea. The night couldn’t end of course without getting the artists to the City Hall for one more Family Photo.
There was also a press conference like never seen before. At the Dan Panorama hotel conference room, you expected to see a boring seating panel of 28 artists waiting to Q&A boring and typical Eurovision questions. Instead the press conference host gave it a theme: chase your dreams no matter the obstacles. The impact was immediate to all of us inside the room with Danish representative Anja Nissen bursting to tears from emotional overdose almost like we all felt.
The next day and for the first time, the delegations who left later in the afternoon like France, Malta and more, and the chance and pleasure to enjoy a totally summer yacht cruise outside Tel Aviv. We can surely assume from Instagram post that Claudia Faniello enjoyed it more than anyone else, unlike me forced to loose the activity due to a flight back home, which ended up with a 10 hour delay!
The oikotimes.com team would like to thank Tali Eshkoli, Shai Barak and the amazing team of volunteers, the embassies of Greece and Larnaka, Dan Panorama Hotel employees for giving a warm hosting to all 28 delegations. In this event we also noticed that we have one of the best group of Eurovision star participants set as 90% of them are willing to interact and become friends with you without any snobbism. In terms of performances we can surely say that the entries of FYR Macedonia, Ireland, Bulgaria, Moldova were actually cheered by all auditors while we can surely realise now which entries will definitely plunder in Kyiv but at the moment I will not reveal those names!