After months of speculation and plenty of behind-the-scenes campaigning, the EBU finally announced that Tel Aviv would host Eurovision 2019. Ever since the September 13 announcement attention has been on the host venue Pavilion 2, which has since changed its name to the Tel Aviv Expo Convention Centre. The announcement was positively received by most of the public — especially fans — as it is no secret that Tel Aviv is considered a modern gay capital and one of the most appropriate cities to host an event such as Eurovision. We also favoured Tel Aviv and recommended it as the host city due to its liberal atmosphere and vibe…and the more secular approach to Shabbat with regards to public services and opening hours.

But once the dust settled, joy turned into frustration for many fans. This was due to reports in the Israeli media claiming that only 4,000 tickets would be made available for the public out of a total of 7,000 seats. The other 3,000 are to be allocated to the various delegations and EBU representatives.

Israeli media and fans did not hold back, unleashing a wave of rage and anger. Some fans claimed that the decision should be revoked and that Jerusalem would be more suitable to host the Eurovision, since it has a much larger venue in the Pais Arena, which has around 15,000 seats.

Here are a selection of angry comments we found in one of the biggest Eurovision fan groups on Facebook.

“This is a disgrace! We have been waiting for many years for Israel to host and look what happened.”

“This is so sad and unfair.”

“Why didn’t we insist on a bigger venue such as Pais?”

Others tried to be more optimistic and said that despite the size of the venue, the production will compensate for it and that this is only one aspect of the event. Someone even called the Israeli fans “whiny kids” and asked them to stop being so bitter…

But it now appears that KAN and the EBU have taken these concerns seriously or are at least considering the situation. According to Israel Hayom, KAN published a tender for the construction of the stage in which it had specified that the stage must be down-sized to increase the venue’s capacity. Whether this will be of comfort to the fans or not is unclear. But one thing is now clear: the Eurovision 2019 stage will be much smaller compared to previous contests.

Israel Hayom also reports that KAN has started to work on other plans for the competition with initial ideas being discussed. They intend to publish an overview on their weekend news edition so stay tuned for more updates coming shortly.

What do you think? Do you prefer a huge stage like the one we’ve had in Lisbon? Or an intimate one as we are probably going to have in Tel Aviv? Tell us what you think and perhaps your opinion will make the change!

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Ideas
Guest
Ideas

Well, slow songs will have the upper hand now, since the catchy song performers won’t be able to move around as much. They should consider a centered stage that has the audience all around it and just use holograms to create performances. It’s alternative and futuristic, perfect for Eurovision.

josh
Guest
josh

A big stage is more important than fitting in more fans. Think of the 200mil who watch from TV

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Oh, come on, are you going to follow and watch in in the end? It’s like you guys wanted Israel to win one time and now that we have this kinda problem you guys regret almost every choice being made regarding Israel as a host. It’s not like the EBU doesn’t want an impressive show.

Gili
Guest
Gili

You all including the ebu wanted tel aviv instead of jerusalem with the big venue due to political reasons..so dont complain now, you got what you wanted, now pay the price…

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

I’d prefer an enthusiastic fan more than a disrespectful fan, I’d say.

Fast Food Music Lover
Guest
Fast Food Music Lover

Good news to the stage invaders, at least.

EestiLaul2019
Guest
EestiLaul2019

Come to Eesti Laul!
We have seats for 5700 people
Cheap tickets and great songs and show.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

From the looks of it, Eesti Laul 2019 will also have a bigger and better stage than actual the Eurovision is this downsizing continues. 😛

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

* if

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

And possibilly the best music in all national finals.

Jonas
Guest
Jonas

The main audience are the people watching at home. This is who the show is for.

To scale down the stage just to squash a privileged few in is ridiculous. Chances are most of them have been to multiple contests already anyway.

Alex
Guest
Alex

I don’t care. Stage size doesn’t matter.

Seriously?
Guest
Seriously?

Smaller stage just to fill that tiny hall. I’m starting to get mad. 🙂

Nitz
Guest
Nitz

Why? I’m sure they’ll find a way to make everything work

Geo
Guest
Geo

I don’t care if it’s a huge arena or concert hall stage or it’s a stage suitable in a mall, as long as it has LEDS. The Portuguese stage was a total disappointment, very simple, bland and…boring!

Trh
Guest
Trh

Bland is your comment. What is this obsession with LEDs?!!! The Portuguese stage was brilliant, super creative and trendy. LEDs are so 2000…

BULSCHIET
Guest
BULSCHIET

Electricity is so 1900s lets light the stage with candles. The truth about LED is that it’s a tool that helps make a different appearance to the stage instantly. That’s why you don’t see any major tv set without them anymore. There is nothing good about eliminating such a versatile tool. If some countries didn’t want the LED they could ask to turn them off, that’s the beauty of that. 2018 stage wasn’t horrible but it sure was underwhelming, as the whole production.

KYLLITO
Guest
KYLLITO

Or you can be a country like Germany and if you want LED’s, you just bring your own. Stop whining about LED/non-LED!

Trh
Guest
Trh

What probably you don’t know is that the stage in Lisbon had state of the art lights and thousends of ultrasmart lamps, a much more advanced technology that LEDs. Every little TV show has LEDs. It has become vulgar. Besides, underwhelming was the use of LEDs in Kiev and those acts that relied heavily on them, such as Australia. The most striking performances were the ones that had other elements that caught the eye, like Sweden, Bulgaria or Romania or minimilastic like Portugal.

L'oiseau
Guest
L'oiseau

I think size doesn’t really matter, nor does LED’s… What is important is to do the most with what you’ve got and that can only be done with creatitivity. I am sure Israel will have a lot of that. I for one, am all in favour of a more intimate setting. In recent editions, the stage seemed too big and many acts seemed lost. That happened indeed in Lisbon (Australia comes to mind). Anyway, what really matters is the music and the performances…

beccaboo1212
Guest

Hmm… :/

Eurofan
Guest
Eurofan

I don’t really care about stage. I can’t wait to get wasted in Tel Aviv. The best PnP in Eurovision history! Cum together! 😉

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

Making a stage which is going to be seen by 200 millions of people smaller, so that more fanboys will get their chance to be in front of a camera, drunk. Great…..

Pancake
Guest
Pancake

I would love to see the idea of an 360° stage being use in Tel Aviv.

srulik
Guest
srulik

Guys, a smaller stage does not mean tiny. 2017 had a really small stage and it worked. I bet we will have a proper stage suitable for grandoise performances as well as solo singer ones. Look at lisbon, it had a very big stage – too big for most acts and it seemes too much for acts like latvia, iceland, greece, armenia and so on…they all needed props to fill in the void. Besides, camera angles and lighting help smaller stages look good on tv.

minus one
Guest
minus one

The 2017 stage will be double the one they are thinking for Tel aviv…

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

I agree with this, but I can’t say Kyiv had a small stage, because just look at the size of it when shot from above.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

So basically you took an obscured line from the Hebrew article and turned it into a huge article here… Way to go… Real professional journalism there… The only thing mentioned in the original article is that the tender specifies that “the stage should be constructed within the assigned area inside the hall in order not to catch more seating space”… There’s not a single word about a “fan mayhem” over the seats nor about “decreasing” the size of the stage more than initially planned. Stop trying to create a reality that doesn’t exist. Or perhaps the “fan mayhem” creation by… Read more »

Henry
Guest
Henry

As long as it’s not smaller than the 2007 or 2008 stage it’s alright. Just please have some wall and floor LEDs

Azuro
Guest
Azuro

This is what happens when you put politics before logistics.
Jerusalem is the only city in Israel with the capacity to host. Let tel Aviv have Israel calling

Paul
Guest
Paul

Not sure they’re going to change their mind now….

Denis
Guest
Denis

A small stage will look terrible on TV, it is very noticible. It can¨t be hidden. It is much easier to hide audience capacity plus few empty seats here and there no one notices. But everyone notices a small stage..
EBU needs to prioritise if they think it’s more important to squeeze in Joe and Andy from the pub than giving the performers and TV audience a decent stage

John
Guest
John

I honestly think that an artist or group struggling to fill an enormous stage with only their own face on an LED screen for company looks much worse on TV. A decent stage doesn’t have to be enormous. It’s only the fans who are moaning about it, the other 100 million plus people won’t even notice.

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

I’m happy with anything, but if you want to know once and for all, people didn’t care about the lack of LED in Lisbon, the negativity was about the attitude : Portugal won with real music, we will teach Europe that music is not fireworks. Be humble Israel, and is all right.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

200 million people watching at home vs 7000 people in the arena
after all it is a tv show set

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Let them cry!
Remember the LED crisis? seriously…

Joe
Guest
Joe

Are you satisfied now?

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

Valentina’s Backyard anyone???

Brooklyn
Guest
Brooklyn

We joked about it a lot but Karma!!!!! LOL

OrangeVorty
Guest
OrangeVorty

The stage is the most important element for a television show however Lisbon gave us a stage without an LED screen which made it feel quite unique. For me too many recent contests have been a clone from a Swedish blueprint. Maybe limitations such as these will bring about more innovation and distinctive responses to hosting the event.

Mirko
Guest
Mirko

A JESC stage for the main event? Compare to this year’s contest in Minsk this will be so unfair…

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

On the one hand, solo artists who perform alone on stage wpn’t make us feel like it’s too empty on stage
On the other hand, it might not look that great on TV, I think they should simply keep the stage as they want it to be and just sell 4K tickets
Most of the viewers are anyway watching it on TV and not live from the arena

John
Guest
John

We don’t need a massive stage. So many acts look so small and lost on such a big stage. Particularly when they insist on the singer being alone when they have no ability to fill the stage. Songs like ‘Euphoria’ or ‘Lie To Me’ could have been performed in a tiny studio and noone would have batted an eyelid, as the focus was all on the spot.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Aye! What Loreen did on that big stage in Baku (which didn’t require ALL of that stage), she could have done on the Eurovision 1997 stage (one of the best I’ve seen), with a platform that is just about 8 meters in diameter, or about 50 square meters (NOT counting the surrounding floor area, which would add at least another 100 square meters). Unless a contender is extremely heavy on props, who needs a stage that is more than twice the area of ESC 1997? Do we really need a stage that is as big as a football penalty area?… Read more »

Zama Muscat
Guest
Zama Muscat

NOOOOOOOOOOO!! WHAT A BAD CHOICE!!
The stage is more important than the audience capacity.
Shame on you!

Queen Netta
Guest
Queen Netta

Really wished Austria won… small countries like Israël had No problem hosting previous contests Because back then it wasnt as big!

But this… looks like Israël doesn’t have the proper money or venue to host this

Marcelo
Guest
Marcelo

In fact Israel has a venue but moving the contest there would be viewed as “too political” and controversial.

Weißbrot
Guest
Weißbrot

Noooo! A big stage is far more important than having thousands of more people in the audience. It wouldn’t be that difficult to hide that there aren’t 10,000 people there… Nobody watching at home would notice. But if the EBU is trying to bring us a stage the size of my terrace, people will 100% notice and it just doesn’t look good or impressive to have a very small stage. Seriously, keep everything the way it is or try to solve the problem in a different way, but don’t make the stage smaller.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Small does not mean tiny. If you noticed, Sweden’s hosting stages (2013 & 2016) are actually small in comparison to the other 2010s shows, but is it tiny? It ain’t for sure.

ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)
Guest
ESCFan2009 (male, 22, German)

“Huge stage” in Lisbon? Stage in Tel Aviv will be smaller? Sorry, but for me, the Lisbon stage was quite normal but not big… And a smaller stage is indeed as bad as less people in the arena. I am pro Tel Aviv, but if Jon Ola says, we will make 2019 the most impressive Eurovision ever (in the announcement video) then I should expect a vanue like 2014 please…

George
Guest
George

I’d argue that an impressive stage is more important than audience capacity – since the majority watch through a broadcast…

Ieva Zasimauskait?
Guest
Ieva Zasimauskait?

I remember seeing nicely produced talent shows in my high school gym, so what’s the problem here. This high school gym is a tad bigger so it’ll be fine, people!

minus one
Guest
minus one

To compare a high school talent show with the biggest show on earth is simply hillarious. Please, you are not a eurovision fan. Go away

Kris
Guest
Kris

I think the stage the past few years have looked excessively huge at times , especially considering the old 6 ppl rule is still in play. A smaller stage with sufficient space for props and good LED backdrop will definitely do good.

Note: I want a suitably smaller stage and not a SMALL stage.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

Someone here presented a plan that called for a stage 19 x 19 meters, or 361 square meters, which is quite big. We don’t need a stage bigger than that, unless they change the rules and allow as many as 10 people on stage.

Frisian esc
Guest
Frisian esc

Im willing to bet, that the same fans who complained about the small capacity will now start complaining about the small stage.

cyprus
Guest
cyprus

Why are the EBU allowing this?? Its like they dont care about making a great tv show anymore, as long as it’s in an LGBT friendly city..
The millions of people watching the show on tv doesn’t care about that, they expect a spectacular and huge show. Not a show from a small high school gym with a small stage.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Bad move. What’s more important? An impressive stage for the millions of viewers to watch or squashing in a couple more dudes?

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

Well, they still need to sell more tickets. And it’s a good change to see a smaller stage, considering that we have seen two huge stages lately.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
Guest
Mr. Vanilla Bean

Strongly disagree. The stage is what makes Eurovision such a visually impressive show.

Loin dici
Guest
Loin dici

The stage element is important, yes, but size are only one of the factors. There are design, lighting, and proportions that can come into play.
Well, to repeat this again, Sweden’ stages in both 2013 and 2016 have smaller stages compared to the other 2010s shows and both worked impressively because of interesting design, good material choices and supportive lighting settings.

José
Guest
José

I never watch the show from Arena, so I just hope that it’ll look good on TV. I’ll watch with my friends, so you better don’t embarass me, Israel.

Alison
Guest
Alison

If it’s done well I see nothing wrong with a small stage. Remember the huge majority of us are watching at home on tv and for that it is camera angles that matter not the size of the stage.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Is there no way in which they can increase the arena size or smth. I don’t really care about the stage size, because every year there is a lot of waisted space on the stage. I just want a pretty stage where a lot of props can fit.