Israeli media is reporting that the German designer Florian Wieder has won the tender to design the stage for Eurovision 2019. The award-winning designer is a Eurovision veteran, having previously designed the stages in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017 and most recently in Lisbon.
While the news has not been officially announced by the EBU, Israeli media is reporting that Wieder has been selected for 2019.
Florian Wieder is a respected production designer, with decades of experience. As well as working on many German television productions, he has also designed staging for America’s Got Talent, Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor (US and UK), and the MTV VMAs and EMAs and concert staging for artists such as U2 and Robbie Williams.
But Wieider is also known for designing five of the Eurovision stages in the past eight years.
One month ago, Israeli broadcaster KAN opened a tender process for the 2019 stage design. It was a sealed tender, open only to a number of established stage designers invited by the broadcaster.
The broadcaster specified that the stage design must be “iconic, with an Israeli identity, unique, modern, innovative and creative, significant and multi-purpose”.
While KAN did not directly say that LEDs should be part of the design, it noted that Portugal’s lack of LEDs had meant that many performances had a similar overall look. It specified that the 2019 stage design should allow for each country to present their song in a different way.
The stage design for Eurovision 2019 also comes with the additional challenge of size. The show will use two pavilions at Expo Tel Aviv, one for the main venue, the other for the green room. The design includes both spaces and must make the most of the venue’s limited capacity.
News site Walla reports that Israeli designer Maya Hanoch and her partner Avi Fahima narrowly missed out on winning the tender. Hanoch designed the stage for Eurovision 1999 and has been involved with numerous Israeli television productions.
Florian Wieder’s Eurovision designs
Florian Wieder made his Eurovision debut in 2011, when Germany hosted in Düsseldorf. His design for Esprit Arena involved a large round stage with a giant video wall behind it. He was brought back the following year to design for Baku Crystal Hall in Azerbaijan. That design featured sharp angles, multiple catwalks and was the last to have a fully seated audience.
Wieder’s next Eurovision experience was three years later, when neighbouring Austria requested his services. For the Wiener Stadthalle, the stage was encircled by a series of tubes and featured an “eye” design at the back of the stage. Two years later Wieder designed the stage for Kyiv, and was challenged by the limited size of the International Exhibition Centre. The design featured a round stage with a moveable “chandelier” lighting fixture above.
The German designer’s services were again used in Lisbon. His stage at Altice Arena featured many arching shapes, two outer catwalks and — controversially — did not use any LED panels.
Update at 15:00 GMT on 2 November
After we shared this post on social media, Florian shared a link to it on his personal Facebook page along with the words, “Yay! I’m so happy.” We’re going to take that as a confirmation.
What’s more, Israel’s Yediot newspaper is reporting that the stage will feature triangles inspired by the Star of David. Read more about that in our Insta post below.
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Yediot newspaper reports that the #Eurovision 2019 stage will feature moving triangles inspired by the Star of David ?? The article also says that initially seven candidates had submitted their application and they were later shortlisted to two — the Israeli design company Forma Studio (headed by Maya Hanoch) and Florian Wieder. Both of the leading candidates were required to submit an amended offer to the EBU and KAN. In the end, a professional committee chose Wieder’s sketch. The motif will be moving triangles symbolizing Judaism and the state of Israel. Israel Hayom also covered this and noted that the Israeli designers who lost are very disappointed. The original tender mentioned a preference for showcasing Israeli heritage and culture. #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision2019
What is your favourite Eurovision stage design?
There aren’t many people in the world who can design a stage for a production on the scale of the Eurovision Song Contest. But despite familiar names turning up, there is still a lot of variety to the stage designs. What is your favourite of the Eurovision stage designs seen in the past decade? Vote for your favourites in our poll. You can vote for as many years as you like, but you can only vote once — so make it count!
What do you think? What sort of stage design should Eurovision 2019 use? Should the LEDs come back? Tell us your thoughts below!