Eurovision 2019 🇮🇱 Expo Tel Aviv: get to know the venue
Fotis Konstantopoulos (Greece)
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.