ISRAEL – It was revealed today that Tel Aviv has been selected as the host city for the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in 2019. The decision was taken by the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) Reference Group (the executive board for the Contest) after Israeli public broadcaster KAN were asked to present at least two potential candidate cities.
Tel Aviv will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time and the event will be held at the EXPO Tel Aviv (International Convention Center).
In addition, the dates for the 2019 contest have also been revealed. The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals will take place in Tel Aviv on the 14 and 16 of May, with the Grand Final on 18 May.
The city of Tel Aviv which originally withdrew from the race, entered back the bidding ad offered to help the financial support of the contest. The city is investing in international attention through major tourism campaigns, approaching actively the LBGT community and organising for three consecutive years the biggest pre Eurovision parties in Europe, called “Israel Calling”.
ABOUT THE CITY
Tel Aviv is the second most populous city in Israel – after Jerusalem – and the most populous city in the conurbation of Gush Dan, Israel’s largest metropolitan area. Located on the country’s Mediterranean coastline and with a population of 443,939, it is the financial and technological center of the country. Silicon Wadi is another name for Gush Dan, in comparison to Silicon Valley in the U.S. state of California.
Tel Aviv is governed by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality, headed by Ron Huldai, and is home to many foreign embassies. It is a global city and is ranked 34th in the Global Financial Centres Index. Tel Aviv has the third- or fourth-largest economy and the largest economy per capita in the Middle East.
The city has the 31st highest cost of living in the world. Tel Aviv receives over 2.5 million international visitors annually. A “party capital” in the Middle East, it has a lively nightlife and 24-hour culture. Tel Aviv is home to Tel Aviv University, the largest university in the country with more than 30,000 students.
The city was founded in 1909 by Jews as a modern housing estate on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa, then part of the Jerusalem province of Ottoman Palestine. It was at first called ‘Ahuzat Bayit’ (lit. “building houses”, the name of the association which established the neighbourhood), a name changed the following year to ‘Tel Aviv’.
Its name means “Ancient Hill of Spring”. Other Jewish suburbs of Jaffa established outside Jaffa’s Old City even before Tel Aviv, eventually became part of Tel Aviv, the oldest among them being Neve Tzedek (est. 1886).
The Tel Aviv Convention Center, commonly known locally as Gnei Hataarucha (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 theater.
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, Placebo, Dream Theater, Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Kaiser Chiefs, Simple Plan, Tokio Hotel, Faith No More, MGMT, Dinosaur Jr., LCD Soundsystem, The Drums, PIL, Missy Elliott, Akon, David Guetta, Avicii, Kygo, Hardwell, Armin van Buuren, Paul van Dyk, Steve Aoki, Bob Sinclar, Skazi, Infected Mushroom, Offer Nissim, Astrix and Balkan Beat Box, among others.
In 2011, the center hosted Megadeth, Moby, Interpol, Mark Ronson, Suede, Blonde Redhead, Jane’s Addiction, Roxette, and again Dream Theater.