Last week we dug up some exclusive revelations about KAN’s plans for the production of the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv next May. And today we can bring you some juicy new details about ICC’s plans for the events surrounding the show. If the host venue — the Expo Tel Aviv (ICC) — manages to pull this off, then prepare yourself for parties to remember! And bring your fanciest frock…
As we know, the ICC is taking Eurovision very seriously. It recently dropped its old name — the “Fairgrounds” — for the more current and contemporary moniker Expo Tel Aviv. It may seat just 10,000 (that’s 5,000 less than Pais Arena in Jerusalem). But the EBU still thought it could contribute to an overall stronger package.
We’ve cobbled together the following details from the Israeli media. There is much less secrecy surrounding the ICC’s plans as they are open and ready to share their dreams and even their fears. Let’s dive in!
View this post on Instagram
Keeping it real! Tamir Dayan, CEO of #Eurovision2019 host venue the ICC, has given a candid interview to the Israeli press. He says that immediately after winning the right to host #Eurovision, he called the electricity company! "We wanted to make sure that there would be no sudden electricity shortages. Fortunately, the EBU reassured me that they will also supply their own generators". ???? #DareToDream #eurovisionsongcontest
Dare to Dream
In an interview with Israel Hayom, a leading daily newspaper, Mr Tamir Dayan, the ICC’s CEO, admits that they were terrified after learning that the’d host Eurovision 2019.
“We were thrilled but also shocked,” he says. “I said to myself – OMG, what are we going to do?! But once I realized that this is actually happening, I gathered my staff and told them ‘our dreams came true! We will be hosting Eurovision’.”
His concerns are understandable. After all, Israel is the smallest country to have ever hosted the contest (except for Luxembourg, which has been absent from the contest since 1993). The fact that Israel has hosted two contests in the past — back in 1979 and 20 years later in 1999 — is somewhat irrelevant. Since then Eurovision has evolved from a single three-hour into a huge production with nine shows (two semi finals, one final and 6 pre-show rehearsals with full audience) and over 40 participants.
To emphasise their fears, Dayan tells Israel Hayom that the first thing they did after Tel Aviv had been announced as the host city was to arrange a meeting with the Israeli electricity company.
“We wanted to make sure that there would be no sudden electricity shortages. Fortunately, the EBU reassured me that they will also supply their own generators”.
Creativity is the best cure for anxiety
But being concerned can also nurture creativity and interesting ideas, and this is exactly what Dayan, alongside his marketing manager, Iris Mezal, are doing to handle their stress.
One of the ideas they are now considering is to turn a big portion of the ICC into a designated area for the delegations and crowd as it is no secret that the arena itself is quite small – barely 10,000 people will be able to attend each live show.
Overall, 70% of the entire fairgrounds’ area (namely, numerous pavilions) will be allocated to meet the needs of the thousands of visitors.
We are loving this idea. Rather than trekking back into town for the party after a long day of rehearsals and interviews, we can just stay in the area and slay the night away.
Building a bridge
ICC’s plans extend beyond the Fairgrounds. The Rokach Bridge, which connects the Fairgrounds to the ICC, will be redesigned to reflect the Eurovision spirit. It’ll be colorful and festive with new lights and modern decorations.
As regards to the arena and its surroundings (Pavilion 1+2), ideas are being considered as to how to use its space more effectively. One thing is for sure – those lucky enough to get tickets will enjoy a very modern building with unique technology controlled electronically and with approximately 260 luxurious restrooms. We daresay that reliving yourself has never looked more fancy!
In addition, the ICC has also published a tender for the provision of signage in three languages— English, Hebrew and Arabic. Personnel who are able to communicate with the visitors in international languages will be retained to work at the site. Mezal says: “Everything must breath, eat and sing Eurovision”.
Eurovision Village beware – the Eurovision Avenue is behind you
But the highlight of the ICC’s plans is — without doubt — what they informally define as “the Avenue”, a 1.5km road that will encompass everything from parties and to special ceremonies conducive to mingling, food and drinks. As they say:
“During rehearsals, around 1,500 people will be on site, including journalists and production teams. As there will be 9 shows, we expect to see thousands of people every day. We therefore intend to build an avenue and a posh piazza where press teams can conduct interviews and ceremonies with some mingling”.
View this post on Instagram
The ICC — this year’s host venue for #Eurovision — has revealed plans for “Eurovision Avenue”. It will be a 1.5km stretch of entertainment venues, eateries and more where press teams can conduct interviews and share thousands of people can mingle and #DareToDream ?? #eurovisionsongcontest #eurovision2019
A message to Europe
“We have to maximize our skills and creativity so we can show Europe that Israel can deliver a good show. European standards are high and we aim to produce the best Eurovision that has ever been seen”.
What do you think about the ICC’s plans? Do you have any suggestions for an official name for Eurovision Avenue? If so be sure to visit Israel Hayom and share your comments in their special suggestions area.