Last week Israel Hayom revealed that KAN had published a tender for the construction of the Eurovision 2019 stage. In it they specified that they intend to increase the capacity of the audience, and it was suggested that KAN would consider downsizing the stage to achieve this.
We’ve now combed through their weekend edition and discovered additional details about the tender, which may offer insight into KAN’s general plans for the arena and the show. We’re happy to present you with the major points.
A sealed tender
The tender is a sealed one. This means that KAN and the EBU have invited specific candidates to apply. As this is a tender, no names were given but they contacted respected stage designers both in Israel and abroad. How much do you want to bet that a certain Florian Wieder was on their list?
Usually the best offer wins — and not just artistically but also economically. If two offers are equally good then an Israeli designer will probably be selected. While they’re thinking globally, the preference is likely to act locally. Beyond this the identity of the designer is irrelevant provided that they comply with the terms of the tender.
The main condition in the tender deals with the concept of the production as a whole. This has been defined as follows:
“Despite the fact that Israel does not form part of Europe, it has been connected to it since the beginning of history….in Israel this spirit and soul are embodied. Israel is a modern country representing globalization on the one hand, and personal interactions between its people on the other. Israelis like being together, and to feel united. Israelis live in a challenging area and are well-connected to the world surrounding us. Israel is a colourful, diverse and multi-cultural country. As such, it is based upon respect and acceptance. It is a traditional country but also an innovative and modern one, like the values of the Eurovision”.
Although this sounds quite general on first glance, there is also a message to Europe, which is perhaps delivered due to the calls to boycott Eurovision 2019 in Israel. Talk of boycotts almost seems passé now that 38 countries have already confirmed their participation before the deadline.
“Israel invites you all to celebrate the aspiration and desire to come closer and to be united. Israel is capable of doing this even better with you.”
One can’t help but wonder whether this invitation suggests that the Eurovision 2019 slogan will be based on a similar concept such as “when the past meets the future” as suggested by some fans.
Curiously, in a survey made by the biggest Eurovision Israeli fan groups on Facebook, the most desired slogan is simply “Shalom, Europe!”. Here at wiwibloggs a similar suggestion was made alongside some other original ideas.
It is also worth mentioning that the second most desired slogan is “Kapara Aleichem”, a slang expression used for exaggerated affection and appreciation, which is what Netta said after her performance both in the semi-final and in the final…
One of the main sections of the tender deals with the stage. It states that its design must be “iconic, with an Israeli identity, unique, modern, innovative and creative, significant and multi-purpose”. The conditions also require that the design would conform with the branding of Eurovision in general but also with the fact that the contest is taking place in Israel this time. This may also suggest that both modern and traditional elements will be brought together.
As regards to the stage itself, it appears that the LED screens are going to play a significant role, as indicated by one of the organizers:
“The stage is a very important part of the show and it must allow many options in terms of the production. In Portugal there were no LED screens. Instead, pyrotechnics and lightning were used which made some of the entries look the same”.
He also added that the stage will appear different for each entry and therefore it must be versatile to allow many alternatives. As Israel is a start-up nation with many hi-tech companies “the audience will expect to see a very progressive Eurovision in that aspect and this is what we intend to deliver“.
Although we suspect that Eurovision 2019 stage will be down-scaled, judging by the article from Israel Hayom and the statements made by the organizers, it appears that KAN knows that one of the key aspects for a successful Eurovision is the size of the stage. The organizers emphasise that the stage must be impressive and that KAN is open to various suggestions such as round or triangle shapes with or without a catwalk. The tender obliges each applicant to provide eight different vantage points of the stage, five different vantage points of the green room and three different vantage points of the EBU supervision area.
The show’s lineup
As we are in the very premature stage of the production, the line-up is still unclear, although some initial ideas are being considered. According to Israel Hayom, KAN plans to continue the tradition that started two years ago in Stockholm – a parade with all the candidates appearing from different sides of the stage.
Israel Hayom also confirms what has been speculated previously, namely, that the green room will be located outside of the venue due to its relatively small size. Under the tender’s conditions, the green room must include 26 separate areas for the delegations with at least 10 seats each, including a designated area for press. It is also specified that the green room should be “in line with the design of the stage and its space must be used effectively”.
The green room will also include 2,000 additional seats to allow more spectators to watch the show “as live as it can be”. The main reason is to increase audience capacity but also to ensure that more fans attend the show. This is because 60% of the tickets (c. 5,000 out of 9,000) are allocated to delegations and EBU associations, leaving only 4,000 for fans. KAN understands that more fans means more celebration and happy vibes as stated by one of the organizers:
“One of our concerns is that the audience will be “indifferent” because many of them are invited and are not typical fans. Fans are very important as they contribute to the energy in the arena. Our aim is therefore to sell as many tickets as we can to the public”.
A specific condition in the tender demands maximum security in order to avoid incidents such as the one we’ saw recently in Lisbon when a stage invader crashed SuRie’s performance. The tender reflects this: “the final design including any adjustments will be subject to the security demands, in specific, to disallow any access to the stage”.
International Convention Centre CFO, Mr Tamir Dayan, says that the ICC fought for the right to host the contest despite the relatively small size of the venue compared to the Pais arena in Jerusalem and that the ICC can assure that the preparation and execution will be “outstanding”.
Eurovision 2019 timeline
This is the estimated schedule for the upcoming events regarding the tender and constructions.
- October: submission of applications by interested applicants
- selection completed by KAN and EBU
- approval of the concept
- December to February: submission of a detailed plan
- End of March – Mid April: construction
- End of April: Technical rehearsals
- Early May: Artists’ rehearsals
What do you think about the initial plan? Can you imagine the stage already? Do you think that adding 2,000 seats will address fans’ concerns? What about the suggested slogans?
Share your ideas with us below!