The Uniqueness of Israel
Eurovision 2019 – Transforming Tel Aviv
This week Israel is host to the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest! The festivities kicked off on Sunday evening with the grand opening in Tel Aviv. All 41 contestants made their way down a special orange carpet in Habima Square in the centre of Tel Aviv, posing for photos and greeting fans.
Since Neta Barzilai won last year’s Eurovision with her song “Toy”, the country has been busy preparing to host this year’s contest, and it is set to be a true extravaganza. Speaking last month, Zivit Davidovich, the executive producer of the 2019 Eurovision, said that they have been working non-stop to make the show a success.
“As people across the globe look to Israel as the 2019 Eurovision hosts, we want to present Israel in the best way we can,” she said. “The Israeli team working on the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most experienced, both in terms of production and creativity. The Israeli Eurovision team [members] are working on the project with the deep aspiration and mission to represent Israel and to produce the best Eurovision Song Contest in the 64 years of the competition’s existence.”
The Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation, also known as KAN, has also been working extremely hard to ensure that the event is a success. They have secured the services of four hosts, including supermodel Bar Rafaeli and they have arranged for numerous stars to feature in the semi-finals and the grand finale. KAN has even arranged a performance from Madonna, as well as some of the most loved Eurovision acts from previous years such as Austria’s Conchita Wurst, Cyprus’s Eleni Foureira, Sweden’s Mans Zelmerlow, Ukraine’s Verka Serduchka and Israel’s Gali Atari.
It is thought that as many as 20,000 tourists will be arriving in Tel Aviv this week for the event and the city of Tel Aviv has worked hard to ensure that there is plenty to keep them entertained. There will be special events taking place around the city in bars, clubs, restaurants, parks, on the beach and so on. They have constructed the biggest ever Eurovision Village where there will be live performances from Israeli artists, a bar overlooking the ocean, giant screens, a food festival, and more. Serious Eurovision fans can even go to a special EuroClub on the Tel Aviv Port. It is the designated party spot for the delegations, press, and those who have purchased a special bracelet. It will be host to special parties as well as live shows from past Eurovision acts from both Israel and abroad.
Tel Aviv is already known as a party city, but they have lifted noise and business restrictions to ensure that fans can party even later than usual. The city has also worked hard to become even more tourist friendly with extra English signs and maps, fixed price food and drinks in certain locations, and even free transportation to the Eurovision Village on Shabbat when there is no public transport.
It is set to be a fantastic week and anyone in Tel Aviv is sure to have an amazing time over the next few days.