ISRAEL – Canadian-Israeli billionaire Sylvan Adams said Tuesday that it is “looking very good” that Madonna will perform at the Eurovision this year. Adams, speaking at the Keshet INTV Conference at the YMCA in Jerusalem, said he had gotten involved with the upcoming Eurovision in Tel Aviv in the hopes of bringing a huge-name artist to the show.
“We’ve reached out to Madonna to try to add a little bit of glitz to the event,” said Adams to Channel 12 News reporter Ben Mittelman. “It’s looking very good that she’s going to come here and participate in the Eurovision Song Contest.”
Last month, reports leaked out that Adams had approached KAN and offered to foot the bill for bringing Madonna to appear at the live grand finale in Tel Aviv on May 18. Ynet reported that Madonna had demanded more than a million dollars to appear at the show. KAN’s budget for the 2019 Eurovision – funded partly by a loan – stands at NIS 120 million.
Adams told the audience of global media professionals that hosting major international events in Israel is a serious boost for its image. The billionaire was a driving force behind Israel hosting the first three days of the Giro d’Italia bicycle race last year.
“There’s a steady drumbeat of negative news here, because of the density of journalists here in Israel, and here is one time where we were able to flip that on its head,” said Adams. “Here, for a few days, people got to see us unfiltered in their own living rooms through their TV sets.”
Adams, who describes himself as a “self-appointed ambassador at large for Israel,” said that events like the Giro d’Italia and the Eurovision are “a tremendous way to boost tourism. And I think the more people we bring here, the more people see our true nature, and the true beauty of our country and our people, and the freedom and openness and tolerance and safety of our country.”
He said he has been in talks with government authorities and ministries to establish a permanent fund to host and stage such events.
“The Giro d’Italia was proof of concept – it was proof that there is no event that we cannot host here,” Adams said. “We have the expertise to manage everything.”