After weeks of speculation and debate, it’s now official. Israel’s broadcaster KAN and the EBU have confirmed the Eurovision Song Contest 2019 will be held in Tel Aviv for the first time in history! As speculated, the event will be hosted at Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.
This means that Israel joins the list of countries that have chosen to host the event outside of their capital city. It’s the first contest to do so since the 2013 contest in Malmö, Sweden — although the reasons this time are quite different!
The dates for the 2019 contest have also been confirmed. Semi-final one will be held on Tuesday 14 May 2019, semi-final two on Thursday 16 May, while the grand final will be held on Saturday 18 May.
In a promotional video, the Eurovision executive supervisor Jon Ola Sand explains the reasons behind KAN and the EBU selecting Tel Aviv. What it came down to, he explains, is that “Tel Aviv has the overall best setup to host the biggest entertainment show in the world.”
The host city race
Tel Aviv joined the contest to be host city quite late. Netta’s victory in Lisbon saw her spontaneous announcement, “next time in Jerusalem”. Some politicians’ comments also publicly favoured Jerusalem. Ron Huldai, Mayor of Tel Aviv, said the city would not apply to host unless specifically requested by KAN.
But whilst Jerusalem was the early favourite, the momentum shifted in recent weeks. Jon Ola Sand’s announcement last week — confirming the selected host city must allow rehearsals during Shabbat — was perhaps the biggest signal for a Tel Aviv contest. Jerusalem’s highly Orthodox community strictly opposes such acts.
Of course, Tel Aviv was also seen as the “popular” choice for host city. Many fans and even popular figures were calling for it to host very early on in the process. The reason why might be in an Israeli phrase: “Jerusalem is for praying, Tel Aviv is for celebrating!”
Even though the two cities are culturally different, their geographical distance is rather small — around 60 km (35 miles). This means that visitors will find it quite easy to travel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem if they want to combine the fun of Eurovision with some “spiritual” matters.
Tel Aviv – the city that never sleeps
But what about our new host city? Tel Aviv is also known as the “White City”, due to the white plaster used when the city was built in the early 1900s. It’s considered the cultural capital of the country: a hub for Israel’s start-up companies and an island of calm in Israel’s complex reality of conflicts.
Tel Aviv is also famous for its care-free atmosphere, thousands of cafes and – of course — for the tanned people who are strolling its streets and beaches!
In recent years, Tel Aviv has also played host to the Israel Calling pre-party concert. There’s absolutely no doubt that the city is going to be passionate about hosting Eurovision!
In terms of transportation, Tel Aviv is well connected to Ben Gurion Airport. If the new railway is complete by May, then this will become even easier – less than 10 minutes ride and only 30 minutes straight to Jerusalem. Commuting in the city is also quite easy, with the main attractions all very close to each other.
But there are also some problems still may need to be overcome. The venue for Eurovision 2019 — the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds — is considered quite small by recent Eurovision standards. It can house around 10,000 guests, just half the size of the Altice Arena in Lisbon.
Rumours suggest that there are plans to add another 2,000 seats. But we’re sure that even if fans can’t all fit in the arena, there’ll be plenty of parties going on in the city!
One thing is for certain though. Eurovision 2019 will be very colourful, just like its host – the lovely and naughty Tel Aviv. In the words of Nadav Guedj, it’s time to show you Tel Aviv!
Are you glad to see Tel Aviv chosen as the host city? Are you planning to go to the contest? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments section below!
Read more Eurovision 2019 news here
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Eurovision 2019 | Only 4,000 Tickets will be on sale for Fans
No surprise here. It’s the same every year, but this time we have a high-school gym for a venue. Perhaps, it’s better for KAN since they won’t get a shekel from government. In fact, it can be even less than 4,000 tickets left for fans. Everything is really space consuming in Eurovision. Where will +40 commentatoor booths go? There’s no free space behind long tribunes. Behind the short one there’s a litlle room, but not enough for +40 cubicles I think.
You right I don’t know how the EBU choose this venue, maybe they boycott Jerusalem so they didn’t care what the size venue in Tel Aviv, and I add photo better quality of the high school gym
Azuro, Sweden’ Malmo have only 340K people, and I dont remember you complainging about it. So just relax and stop with the unstoppable race to bash Israel.
‘Israel Hayom’ Israeli Biggest Newspaper: only 4,000 tickets will be sold
Bullsh*t article from a bullsh*t newspaper. The set design is totally unknown yet, as well as the total floor configuration and the tribunes design (that will be built especially for this event, and nobody knows what capacity exactly will they have), besides they mention here the green room which will be obviously outside the hall this time. So this whole thing is based on imaginary numbers and very very rough assumptions. Yeah, there won’t be too many tickets to buy. But it’s not like it’s easy to buy tickets even in a 12k or even 15k arena. Did Altice Arena… Read more »
Israel Hayom have credibility, they were first to report that Tel Aviv will host the contest
I said Pavilion 2 will host this event months ago. I have credibility. Nobody knows how large the set will be, what configuration the tribunes will be, we are in the beginning of this production. They simply found a new horror story because the story about “Eurovision hosting rights in DANGER??!” is not relevant anymore. I assure you the SAME article would pop up if it was hosted in Pais arena. You know that.
Yesterday Channel 2 reported that small amount of tickets will be sold around 6,000 it’s also fake news?
There will be ALWAYS a shortage…
Maor, my dear. I know that in your imagination Pais arena would magically contain 15k spectators, but i did the math, months ago. Little under 10k, that’s the capacity that would be there in Eurovision format. That means 7k tickets to the public. Wouldn’t there be the same hysterical reports? Calm the f*&k down already. You are exhausting
So they are now saying that Erez Tal and Shiri Maimon might be the two main hosts.
Just a quick question: is there no obligation that one of the hosts will speak French? Is that not part of the points awarding ceremony? the simultaneous translation into French?
Shiri’s English skills are not powerful. She has made a big step since 2005, no doubts about that, but she’s just decent and it’s not enough for ESC. We need a co-host who can joke in foreign language in natural way (or at least it should look natural). Besides, an ESC host often must find himself or herself in unpredictable situations, where scripted lines will not be helpful at all.
she going to act at Broadway now, so how the English will be a problem?
Just for your knowledge, Tel Aviv metropolitan area has almost 4 million inhabitants. That area is like one huge city, just like many other metropolitan areas whose center and the city that has given them their name is relatively small. TLV is no less than other European metropolis, if not much more, in some cases. I invite you to compare it to the big ones, you may be surprised.
Having said that, the smaller venue doesn’t necessarily mean a bad show. There’s no automatic connection between size and quality.
awesome…which countries need to confirm yet?
UK, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Greece, Italy, San Marino, most of former Yugoslavia (except Croatia), Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, Hungary I think. Probably forgot a few (Austria? Albania?).
they can confirm until which date??
Slovenia and Serbia has confirmed. We are still waiting for Australia, will KAN invite them? Also Kazahstan who said they would participate, will they?
As for Albania they are looking for songs to FIK but they have yet to confirm it as the national selection for ESC. Same with Italy.
Around 18 countries, mostly the eastern bloc + some southern countries and the united kingdom.
The Eastern Bloc lol
Hopefully we get a decent stage, not a repeat of Lisbon’s analogue nightmare this year.
in my opinion it was the second (maybe third) best stage ever, my favorite was the one in 2014, i also liked the one in 2009.
2014 is also my favourite. Along with those classy Danish presenters.
I feel like the 2018 stage wasn’t any worse than the usual ones we’ve had in the past. I didn’t even notice that the LEDs were missing.. The delegations found creative ways to make their entries pop and it worked for me!
Really liked the design of the competition this year. It’s good to have variation!
Sigh. More proof that this show is political
well, hopefully no one will boo netta when she mentions jerusalem
Works for me like Hooked on Phonics.
Not that I’d have been going. But thrilled to watch!!
I’m happy. Complaint about venue size fall a little flat when I remember 1999 – that really was a tiny venue (less than a thousand?), especially compared to Globen the following year.
2019 will be a special contest!
The main hall in ICC Jerusalem, Ussishkin Auditorium, had 3,100 spectators during ESC. You are wrong. Besides, it was a totally different contest. Interval act was spectacular though. Right outside the Old City.
I’m not wrong, I asked a question. It sure looked small on TV, which for the record I don’t mean as a bad thing.
The interval act was spectacular, you’re right – but not live (mostly).
So good to hear positivity:-)
Ok, Tel Aviv is a beautiful, young city, and it has an amazing beach, but in the end this pavilion 2 is more suitable for puppets show by its size.
So, you seem to forget Kyiv Exhibition Center. I think the capacity will be almost similar to that one, it will still be a big show.
Kyiv venue space designated for stage and audience was over 12,000 m2. Pavillon 2 has 6,470 m2 of exhibition floor. No matter how lovely Tel Aviv, its venue is disgraceful for Eurovision we all know.
This just ended the Eurovision venue contest and we all knew the winner in the first place.
Good choice! I’ve never been to Israel, but it seems to me that Tel Aviv would suit better as a host city than Jerusalem in this day and age. I am interested in seeing what this smaller arena will look like, it’ll be a good intimate atmosphere and some clever camera work will mean t won’t look small (Riga 2003 always looked pretty big, despite a small venue. They didn’t show the audience!) . As I understand, Tel Aviv does have a big indoor arena, but it would be too busy for basketball, and not all that big for concerts.… Read more »
Great decision! Finally Nadav Guedj will get the chance to show us Tel Aviv.
Now dance! Dance! Dance! Dance!
Delighted with this news. In my opinion, Tel Aviv was the only logical choice.
Looking forward to the show Tel Aviv. Let’s make it a good one.
There is a train station right there (The University station ) so you can travel to the North (up to Nahariya) as well as the south..and more – there is so much to see – the North should be in your list !! Very easy to get there…People speak English everywhere..Many people immgreted from France , Russia, Ukrain and from U.S.A in the last 10 years without knowing Hebrew and they managed very well. Most importaned – THE ISRAELI MEN – OMG !!!! Enjoy – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3R5OXhN2yk
To no one’s surprise!
At least now Nadav can show us Tel Aviv. He’s been waiting since 2015!
Not only Nadav… Everyone here can take you around…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3R5OXhN2yk
Finally, I’m so happy. I hope they’ll bring back the led screens.
Happy with this decision. I’ve been to Tel Aviv once before and it’s a wonderful city. Regarding the size of the venue; wasn’t the audience at Eurovision in Copenhagen 2014 also around 10 000? And Malmö was just 11 000. I don’t think the number of audience members matters that much for the TV-experience. Hell, it could even be better with a smaller venue because the noise from the audience will be even more impactful. Remember in Eurovision 2009 how quiet the audience was before every performance compared to how wild it was in Copenhagen 2014? As long as the… Read more »
I disagree. For me, the noise from the audience and the eurovision fans is part of the whole thing. Hope that one day, we’ll have a Eurovision with like 15.000 people.
You know, the noise depends only on whether a mic will be open on the audience or not (example – Istanbul vs. other Vienna and the fake cheers) also, in smaller halls the sound actually bounces back better. But it’s really an irrelevant discussion now as the choice has been made. as 99% of the people will watch it on tv, I suppose what’s more important for the EBU is how it will look on tv, and there were contest with smaller venues that looked pretty big too. I also don’t think they have bigger venues had, let’s say, Cyprus… Read more »
The audience singing along to Undo was nice but kinda off-putting. On the other hand, it really worked for Greece that year. On the whole, I’m not really a fan of focusing too much on the audience, especially as you can literally see the same faces year after year.
I couldn’t agree more on that point. I find it so off-putting in many cases when they show close-ups of the same OGAE people in the audience freaking out every year. Like, after O’G3NE performed and all three of them were overcome with emotions the cameras immediately turned away to some crazed fan club fans laughing and screaming their lungs out. Talk about killing a moment.
I had supposed that he guy that featured heavily during Netta’s performance this year was Israeli, they cut to him so often – you can see him at 01.37 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84LBjXaeKk4 …but then I noticed the exact same guy dancing away during Basim’s 2014 Denmark performance…see him here at 03.12….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnCTsJkieY4…he’s even wearing the exact same shirt. I also hate all the phones being held up. They know the best production team are professionally recording the show, why do they need grainy close-up obscured shots of the song? The worst is when the hosts go into the crowd to mingle. It’s always… Read more »
It has happened before: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen 2001, with 35,000 present.
Proving impressively that bigger does not equal better.
The number will be around 8k. In eurovision configuration this venue can’t hold 10k viewers. But it doesn’t matter. The live audience is just part of the set, and if the set is good then it won’t matter how big it is.
It seems to be the best choice since it will avoid a lot of unnecessary endless discussions. Let’s not forget that Jerusalem already has hosted the contest twice, so it’s nice to offer the opportunity to a different city. As L’oiseau pointed, it will be interesting to see how the producers will handle a smaller venue. Remember when some people were so desperate about the lack of huge screens on Lisbon’s stage? Creativity is much more important than size. Also, if we want to see smaller countries hosting in the future, we need to be used with that kind of… Read more »
Be prepared for some sleepless nights in May 2019 wiwi, because ESC Tel Aviv means it’s going to be partying non-stop !!!
Time to find the Israeli husband….we will all come to the wedding…”wedding bells are ringing”…
I’m already seeing myself playing Golden Boy on repeat. And I’m loving it! <3 A very good deciision to choose Tel Aviv… That city is perfect for Eurovision.
Gordon Beach is calling….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3R5OXhN2yk
Oh, come on! If you are so into appearance, go to Gordon Beach. You can even wait until it gets dark and move to adjacent park to catch some STDs. There are much more beautiful beaches just outside Tel Aviv.
gonna be fun
This is so exciting!
Tel Aviv is one of the most lovely, dynamic and colorful cities in the world! The best host city for this event!
Can’t wait to experience Eurovision there!
What are you talking about? It’s important to see beaches and gay community, who cares about the venue. I would like to see what’s in the brain of those ones rooting for Tel Aviv, sure if they have brain. Awful choice. Can’t wait to see you all complaing and crying in May 2019. Bookmark me, ’cause you’ll see.
I agree with you. As an Israeli I was really hoping for Jerusalem. I would like my country to send a deep, meaningful message to the world from the city which is not easy, but life in Israel is not easy in general. Plus, we would count then on extra funding from gov.
The pics from Pais Arena looks Eurovision-like:
Pais Arena would be a really great choice, it was such a bad decision to pick Tel Aviv’s Fairgrounds. Pavillon 2 apart from being too small is also a bit ugly. Pais Arena looks awesome.
But Tel Aviv is fun and gay. That’s what really matters.
Millions of people watching it from home agree with you.
Pais arena wasnt available in the first place
It was available, because the municipality of Jerusalem is owner of Pais Arena.
it dosent matter if no countries will show up to the arena anyway!
They are planning on placing extra seats
Bring in the foldable chairs! Keep the faith.
Tel Aviv is also considered to be the vegan capital of the world.
A lot of vegan restaurants and eateries all over the city, and almost all of the regular restaurants have a vegan section on the menu. If you’re going to Tel Aviv in May you must go to at least one vegan place – it’s a significant part of the Tel Aviv experience.
I love this detailed information!
I always though that Madrid and New York are the cities that never sleep…
As a Madrid person who knows Tel Aviv, i can tell you that the vibe in both cities is surprisingly similar!
Great choice! there arent any proper photos of the venue, just these videos from pavillion 2’s official youtube channel!
Not as big as lisbon but still impressive!
There are plenty of proper photos of Pavillon 2. People just ignore them. Video nr 2 was not made inside Pavillon 2.
First video: 1:20 Pavillion 2 AND 1:30 Pavillion 1 (I think).
Second video: 0:12 Pavillion 2
And that’s all, folks.
Yes, 1:30 is Pavillon 1 – probalby the future location of Press Center. The green room will be in the tent since the other Pavillons are too small.
the video description translated said these were the events that toke place in ‘pavillion 2’ lol
They lie lol
Brendan, give it a rest. Today, people believe what they want to believe. They will complain in May about stage and camera shots. I agree that not everything must be about the capacity. Even 7k in a huge arena can be wonderful, but the exhibition floor size in Pavillon 2 is of just 6,740 m2 when standard hockey pitch is 5,027 m2. I’m really fed up of these exaltic comments about Tel Aviv. For sure it’s a very colorful and vibrant city, and I really love Tel Aviv too, but these are qualities totally irrelevant for the biggest TV show… Read more »
Thanks for your kind words, Harel, it means a lot, trust me. I’m really, really sad that everyone’s thinking I am an enemy (that’s why there are so many minuses on my comments), when I am probably much better fan than many of the people posting here. I don’t give a f*ck about city, beaches or gay community, Tel Aviv is really great city and I have NOTHING against the city and people living there. I really care about Eurovision, it’s standard and all those pictures that will be sent to the world in May 2019. That Pavillon 2 is… Read more »
Fantastic, best decision. Let’s avoid stirring up drama and being sensible–Jerusalem is only half an hour away for those who want to visit the splendid capital.
I am actually not that upset. Either way in whichever city in Israel were to host it , it is such an honour to be hosting one of the biggest if not the biggest event in the world. I’m sure Tel-Avi will do wonders. Besides the size of the stadium being rather small they will work around that to make sure this Eurovision becomes one of the best and most memorable.
OH MY GAWD, THIS WAS UNEXPECTED… or not?
At least it’s official now.
Iceland confirmed its participation in 2019 and the decision about choosing Tel Aviv was enough http://esctoday.com/168461/iceland-ruv-confirms-participation-in-eurovision-2019/
Seems like the right choice. Also, it sets an interesting precedent of having a smaller arena. It will be interesting to see how the organisation will handle the size of the pavillion, but I am sure there are creative solutions.
You’re right. It’s obviosuly smaller than any ESC venue we remember, but it’s not that small that can’t host the show. Just think about all the clubs and beaches 🙂
Not that bad!
A far more intimate setting, I’d say!
Lol. That’s like a high school gym.
I agree, L’ouiseau. Remember when some people were so desperate about the lack of huge screens in Lisbon’s stage? Creativity is much more important than the size of the venue. Also, if we want to see smaller countries hosting in the future, we need to be used with that kind of thing.
I’m so so happy! I’ve been there last summer. Tel Aviv is seriously the perfect choise to host ESC. And if to be honest, I think its one of the best options in the world.
Also, looks like Boycott Jerusalem 2019 will have to change their name.
I’m pretty sure they will change its name soon.
I doubt it. A lot of them will change their minds about boycotting now that Tel Aviv is the place.
Altice Arena vs Pavillon 2::large
Maybe they will reschedule Gay Pride for May?
Well, my dude, if you don’t like the size, you can watch it from home and imagine it’s as big as you want it to be. Or, if you have the option, you can go and suck it up. I know which one I’d prefer!
I just did post this pic I found on TT. I live in agglomeration of Tel Aviv.
Not a surprise, but I’m very glad it’s official now. Gonna be a fun year!
Also: after all that hoopla, Iceland has confirmed participation. No boycott here!
Even though the choice was kinda obvious, I’m happy to see that it’s finally confirmed! Can’t wait for Eurovision 2019 ??
I guess we’re gonna make Golden Boy the most watched vid on the official Eurovision YouTube account 🙂
Tel Aviv will be AMAZING!!
I’m so happy! (Also very easy for me to get to Tel Aviv from my city xD)
People here in Israel are so used to always think and act politically without thinking about the fact that Tel Aviv is simply the best option
Tel Aviv 2019 will be great 🙂
Mazel tov. It was literally never going to be anything else. The part from winning the 2018 final to right now was just bogus for the headlines. I hope they’ll bring back the LED screen.
The dates have been confirmed for 14, 16, 18 May.
Oh thank god!!!