TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – Today we managed to concluded the uploading of the materials from the Tel Aviv event, Israel Calling 2016 in which international fan sites among them, oikotimes.com, were invited to follow.
Before my arrival to Israel, I was reading various comments regarding the Israeli initiative to hold a Eurovision party for the first time in Tel Aviv. Some comments were already negative on whether Israel should have a party especially on a date close to Eurovision in Concert and also while other countries are hosting Eurovision parties already like Latvia, Moscow and The Netherlands. Well I guess the answer comes automatically out of my mouth: they have the right to hold as many Eurovision parties they want.
The Israeli hospitality, provided everything to the guests (delegations and press). The Israel Calling 2016 team made sure we were picked up from the airport, staying in comfortable hotels and arranged all of our transportation. The organisers amid to become the best hosts and produce a great event made a schedule which was exhausting as it had too many activities for he delegations and the press. The all day activities with the bad timing in transportation exhausted everyone! It was of course their first time and their enthusiasm carried them away. I am sure they learned from their mistakes.
The exhaustion was obvious during the press conference where the host of the event tried to make the press meeting session funny but the artists couldn’t hold their heads up from exhaustion. I am sure a better venue for the press conference will be chosen next year. In the meantime great compensation for everyone was the amazing Israeli food, with the existing flavours of Mediterranean all over.
The welcome reception (which I didn’t attend as I arrived in the second day only) was also said to be amazing and spectacular with the organisers providing amazing coverage with photos and videos from the event, while drinks and snacks were all over the event.
One more negative factor was the heavy rain. Especially during the planting tress activities which spoiled everyone’s mood and the rest of the day it didn’t get any better.
The big problem for me is not what I mentioned above but what happened during the live show on the final night. The sound in almost all songs was dreadful and the singers failed big time to impress the fans (or at least me). Theatre Club was not exactly full house as I considered 2/3 of the club to be full. The hosts and the opening act of the show were impressive and the last performing entry, Russia stole the impressions. What was amazing is that for the first time in a Eurovision party, all participants went on stage and had amazing dance and fun time.
In terms of personality and performance, meeting the Israel Calling 2016 participants (Estonia, Latvia and Norway cancelled due to illness – the official excuse) I think that the best on stage were: Russia, France, Serbia, Bulgaria and Azerbaijan. The rest of the singers failed to impress me but that be explained due to the bad sound we had all night. Yes, it’s also true and confirmed that Russian delegation had their own sound engineer brought to the party.
Overall it was a descent and worth to mention event. It was their first time and everything is forgiven. I am absolutely confident that next year Israel will make an even more impressive party for Eurovision. I would anyway give them 12 points for been open-hearted hosts!