ISRAEL – KAN, the Israeli national broadcaster already launched a tender for the stage design in an internal procedure, obviously inviting specific companies and designers to participate and not a public call.
It is assumed by the regional press that LED monitors will return in the show, as already the 2018 host country skipped them to avoid the cost, something which was negatively criticised by most participants and fans.
Also the 1999 Eurovision in Jerusalem stage designer lashed against the 2018 stage design calling it a bad choice and to memorable.
This time the Israeli hosting will feature a LED stage for the first time in their hosting history. But the stage seems it will be smaller in scale.
It has also been instructed to those bidding for the stage design, that the stage must be completely visible from all areas of Pavilion 2. It will be smaller in scale and minimalistic.
“The design should include the use of the space of the chosen compound for hosting (the exhibition gardens) in a manner that will enable maximum viewing – in the seating and / or standing”, sources claim.
Tamir Dayan, CEO of EXPO in Tel Aviv, reveals plans to visit former host broadcasters in the coming months.
“At this point we haven’t seen the facilities of other countries from past contests, but we plan to fly to a few places in the near future to see how they did it, to learn from their lessons and do the best Eurovision that Europe has known to date.”
ISRAEL – Ronen Levin, set designer for the 1999 contest in Jerusalem, spoke of the requirements, citing the importance of international involvement.
“The main share of the set-up in such an event is actually a combination of video and lighting, so in any scenario a team of designers from different specialization fields is needed.
There are very talented people in Israel, but cooperation with international artists can always be fruitful and enriching.
In this production everyone knows that there is not only no room for error, but that there is an opportunity here to impress the world, especially since not every country has directors with experience of stage building of this magnitude.
The stage of the last ESC in Lisbon will not be remembered for the better. It was inspired by four points of Portuguese culture and history – navigation, sea, ships and maps.
It was not particularly beautiful, and certainly not a breakthrough. Will be remembered mainly because there were no basic screens and because of the low budget allocated for the competition.”
ISRAEL – Before worrying about tourists, accommodations have to be made for all delegation members arriving in Israel. The official demand is to set aside no less than 3,000 rooms for a two-week period, although this number is expected to drop. A conservative estimate is that the costs of the room will be over 6 million euros just to host the official representatives and accompanying media.
Eli Ziv, the director general of the Tel Aviv Hotel Association, believes that thousands more will come besides the representatives set to come, and many of them will end up in other cities like Herzliya and Netanya. Ziv added, “May is a business month in Tel Aviv when occupancy rates are at their highest for the year.”
Anyone trying to order rooms privately for Eurovision has already encountered rising prices for the weekend of May 17-19. A random check of prices on booking.com showed that the Crown Plaza and Carlton Tel Aviv are asking $809 and $911, respectively, for two nights that weekend. The weekend after costs just $524 and $763 for two nights at the respective hotels.
Hotel industry sources say that the prices are expected to climb even higher, and the biggest benefactors are expected to be Airbnb owners. There are approximately 9,000 available rooms for short-term rentals, and they are expected to be fully occupied.
Besides preparing for the tens of thousands of tourists who will arrive for the semifinals and finals, there is significant tourist potential for the Euro Village that the city is to set up. Just a day after Barzilai’s victory, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said that his ministry would launch a campaign in Europe inviting tourists to visit Israel.
“The Eurovision has an impact on two points in time – both during the run-up to the event next year, and during it,” said Levin. “There is no doubt that the victory generated interest in Israel.” Despite this, the Tourism Ministry has been in no hurry to comment how it expects to draw tourists to the event or what role it will play in the preparations since the announcement that the contest would be held in Tel Aviv and not in Jerusalem.
Tel Aviv municipal officials get the enormous potential. Eitan Schwartz, director general of the municipality’s City, World and Tourism Administration, said that a task force has been established, the goal being to look at how the city prepares for tourists and “leverages this event for additional benefits.”
Booking.com reported an immediate spike in reservations for accommodations in Tel Aviv within minutes of Israel’s winning the contest. The website noted that although no decision was made at the time of the victory whether the event would be held in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, the company saw an immediate rise in reservations for both cities. The Israel Association of Travel Agencies and Consultants, which is also preparing for Eurovision, commented, “Our colleagues abroad have already begun to inquire about packages and ground arrangements for the week of Eurovision.”
The major problems that organizers expect to run into are transportation, high prices, language difficulties and tough border controls that do not cater to tourists, who often are grilled upon entry to or exit from Israel. Eitan Schwartz said city hall hopes to preempt such ordeals. “We established a municipal task force to prepare for the event at the operational level, from the moment the tourist arrives at Ben-Gurion International Airport to his or her departure,” he said. “It is easy for us to think that Old Jaffa is wonderful, and that we hold a special exhibition there, but that is not the story. Rather, the story is transportation, visibility, information and the high prices here. Even if these matters are not under the authority of the municipality, we are prepared to solve them.”
Schwartz says representatives of the tourism and transportation ministries as well as the Airports Authority are part of the task force. “They have specific missions. For example, placing bus route maps in all the bus stops and increasing the number of shared taxi service lines to solve the public transportation issue on Shabbat,” he said. “Additionally, we are in discussions with the taxi drivers’ association. We are interested in getting to a point where there will be a clear price list for taxis and an explanation about the meter, passengers’ rights and the like.”
ISRAEL – After the announcement of the provisional locations for the Opening Ceremony and Eurovillage, KAN seems to have proposed for the Key Insignia Exchange and Semi Finals allocation draw, the location of the Tel Aviv Beit Ha’ir.
Recently renovated by the Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Jaffa, Beit Ha’ir sits in the historical Town Hall of Tel-Aviv and forms part of the Bialik Complex – a center of Hebrew and Israeli culture that comprises a pivotal chapter in the history and cultural life of the city. The Bialik Square and its surrounding buildings, including Beit Ha’ir, have been declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO and are included in the area of Tel-Aviv designated a “White City” for its unique variant of modern international architecture. The building was restored and preserved by the Tel-Aviv Development Fund under the planning of architect Meira Kowalsky.
Beit Ha’ir (Hebrew for Town Hall) is designed to be an open house for those residents, artists, writers, scholars, tourists, and other guests who want to become better acquainted with Tel Aviv and to partake in its story and spirit; a lively hub of exhibitions and information about the city in all its historical periods, as well as an active civic arena — a place to conduct current public debates and to advance urban processes.
ISRAEL – Eurovision will take place in Tel Aviv for the first time next year, as Israel hosts the song contest for only the third time in the competition’s 62-year history. More than 186 million people tuned in to watch Israel’s contestant Netta sing her way to victory in the 2018 final with her upbeat pop song Toy.
Now the contest will return to her home country for the first time since 1999. The choice of city was confirmed today, with Tel Aviv – Israel’s second largest city after Jerusalem – selected after an inspection of its venues and amenities.
Tel Aviv’s mayor Ron Huldai said: “The Eurovision is perfect fit for our city, which has been internationally acclaimed for its vibrant energy, creative spirit, its lively cultural scene and its celebration of freedom. We are looking forward to host a joyful and non-stop event.”
The semi-finals and final will take place at the EXPO International Convention Center, after an opening ceremony at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.
The Tel Aviv Museum of Art was established in 1932 in a building that was the home of Tel Aviv’s first mayor, Meir Dizengoff. The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art opened in 1959. The museum moved to its current location on King Saul Avenue in 1971. Another wing was added in 1999 and the Lola Beer Ebner Sculpture Garden was established.
The museum also contains “The Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Art Education Center”, opened since 1988. The museum houses a comprehensive collection of classical and contemporary art, especially Israeli art, a sculpture garden and a youth wing.
The city will also host what has been described as the world’s largest Eurovision Village, on the Tel Aviv boardwalk, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at Charles Clore Park.
In the late 1930s, the city council decided to build a promenade for separation between bathing areas and hiking or promenading paths. It extended from Bugrashov beach to where Geula beach is located now. The introduction of the promenade was a turning point in common perception of the city’s coastline.
At the same time, World War II started in September 1939, and the British Mandate Regime prohibited bathing in the beach. As a result of that, the city’s beaches were abandoned and neglected. In addition, the developing new city was pouring its sewage to the sea and the beaches were banned for bathing for sanitary reasons. Seaside hotels and cafés were turning into questionable bars, gambling joints and brothels.
The public abstained from the area, and the city’s recreational centers were transferred to the city center, to areas such as Dizengoff Street. In 1942, London Square was founded in the northern part of the promenade. In 1953, Gan-haAtsmaut (Independence Garden) was founded on the gravel hill above Hilton beach. In 1965, at the time of the opening of the port of Ashdod, the ports of Tel Aviv and Jaffa were closed.
In the 1980s, the Dan District sewage treatment facility was founded, and the sewage was transferred to the plant and not to the sea. That enabled the cleansing of the beaches and preparations to be made in order to open them again to the public for bathing. During that period, tombolo breakwaters were placed, causing significant expansion of the beaches allowing a greater number of people to enter. In the scope of the project, beach facilities were restored and reopened.
Currently,the municipality is advancing a project to join the promenade sections into one continuous platform.
“The city will be exposed to the world through the eyes of the 1,500 journalists and thousands of tourists that will descend upon the city for the Eurovision events,” Eurovision 2018 project director Gidi Schmerling said. “Dozens of events will take place throughout the city on top of the main events, turning the city into one big Eurovision celebration.”
ISRAEL – Preliminary reports by Israeli media claim that out of the 9,000 available seating plan in Pavilion 2, where the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will take place, only 4,000 will be available for the fans. This is due to the 2,000 seats needed for the stage and cameras and 3,000 for the EBU needs (delegations etc).
The fans went frantic on the news and today Israeli press claim there is a solution proposed for this. The solution is that the Green Room will be allocated to Pavilion 1. In that area 3,000 fans can attend as well watching the show from huge screens.
The overall idea shows that once again a Eurovision in Israel will be a small event but somehow bigger than 1979 and 1999 editions. Still security reasons and venue space availability clearly state that the event will be only for few fans. Having in mind that usually 40% of the tickets are sold to the host country residents and 60% to international audience and having in mind that OGAE clubs will also claim tickets as they do every year, the event is expected to be small ad somehow hectic.
Still, EBU and KAN have made no official announcements.
Now you can imagine what the press area will look like…
ISRAEL – On 13 September, the European Broadcasting Union & Israeli broadcaster announced that the centre will host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019. The semi-finals will be held on 14 & 16 May, with the final taking place on 18 May.
The Tel Aviv Convention Center, commonly known locally as Exhibition Grounds and also as Tel Aviv Fairgrounds, is located on Rokach Boulevard in northern Tel Aviv, Israel, adjacent to the Tel Aviv University railway station. It serves as a venue for a variety of events, including concerts, exhibitions, trade fairs and conferences.
Established in 1932 as “Yarid HaMizrach” in site of the Levant Fair beside the Tel Aviv Port, it hosts up to 2.5 million visitors and between 45 and 60 major events annually.
The fairground has ten halls and pavilions and a large outdoor space including an amusement park. Nearby is the Drive in Arena which was built on the grounds of what was once Israel’s only drive-in theatre.
The Levant Fair was an international fair site next to the Tel Aviv Port established in 1933 as an idea that was held in 1932, to showcase the accomplishments of the pre-state Jewish community in the sphere of industry. After the success of the first fair, permanent structures were built on a plot of land at the northern end of Dizengoff street on the banks of the Yarkon River.
Fairs were held in 1934 and 1936 with pavilions and halls constructed for the participating countries. The chief architect was Aryeh Elhanani.
A flying camel became the official logo. Richard Kaufmann planned the pavilion layout. Other leading architects were Arieh Sharon and Joseph Neufeld. The pavilions were designed in the International Style.
In 1959, the fairgrounds were moved to their present location near the Yarkon Park and the Tel Aviv University, and the new site was inaugurated with an exhibition marking Tel Aviv’s 50th Jubilee. In 1983, the convention center opened within the fairgrounds and at the end of 2003 the “Pavilion No. 1” was opened. It has 20,000 m² of exhibition space and is the largest object of its kind in Israel and in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In 2010, the “round pavilion” in the fairground was demolished. In its place began the construction of a new 10,000-seat congress and convention center called Pavilion 2, which was inaugurated in January 2015. The new pavilion hosted the 2018 European Judo Championships from 26–28 April. Pavillion 2 is now set to host the Eurovision Song Contest 2019.
In recent years, the center has been used for many musical concerts and shows. To date, the convention center has hosted such musicians as Iggy Pop, Nine Inch Nails, Thirty Seconds to Mars and more…
In 2011, the center hosted Megadeth, Moby, Interpol, Mark Ronson, Suede, Blonde Redhead, Jane’s Addiction, Roxette, and again Dream Theater.
ISRAEL – Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev expressed her objections on Thursday over the the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announcement that the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest will be held in Tel Aviv and not in Israel’s capital of Jerusalem as had been previously planned.
“As I said from the very beginning, I thought it was right that Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, host the Eurovision,” said the Likud minister following the final decision on the location of the contest, the final of which will take place on May 18 at the Tel Aviv Convention Center.
Israel has pushed to have the competition held in Jerusalem, which the United States has recognized as its capital, and in May moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
While it has long urged the world to recognize the city as its united capital, and more recently called on countries to follow the US lead in moving their embassies, almost all have refused, insisting that the final status of Jerusalem should be decided through peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Israel’s Netta Barzilai won the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest in a photo finish against Cyprus, netting the country its fourth ever win and the right to host next year’s contest. “Next time in Jerusalem!” Netta shouted in her post-win interview.
Despite her disappointment with the decision, Minister Regev said that she had no doubt that the State of Israel and Tel Aviv would host the Eurovision “in the best and most respectable manner.”
“I wish much success to the Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) that has confidence in the production and wish, of course, success for the Israeli performance that will represent us in the competition,” she said.
With the EBU’s announcement, Frank Dieter Freiling, chairman of the Eurovision Song Contest Reference Group, said “we expect to receive assurances this week from the prime minister about security, accessibility for everyone participating, freedom of speech and assurances that the competition will be of an apolitical nature.”
ISRAEL – Israel Hayom reports that only 4,000 tickets will bee available for sale to the fans. The news although to confirmed by KAN or the EBU created already frustration among the Eurofans community.
Many claim that Israel is trying their best to show off the best of their country and especially of Tel Aviv but it is now uncertain if tourists can actually go to enjoy the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
According to the Israel Hayom the venue has a capacity of 9,000 seats from which 2,000 will be blocked by the stage and cameras, 3,000 will be held for EBU’s delegations. Israel Hayom reminds us that Jerusalem bid offered a venue of 15,000 auditors.
If the news confirmed there will be a huge fight for the tickets when they go on sale. Ticket sales is believed to kick off o late December in several sale phases.