Hangar 11 was the site of the EuroClub in Tel Aviv. And as we build bridges to the Eurovision Song Contest 2020 in The Netherlands, there’s another Hangar 11 in the mix. But this Hangar 11 isn’t a club — it’s part of Twente Airport in the eastern town of Enschede.
Yes, you read that correctly. The airport, which is actually a former military base, hopes to stage Eurovision 2020 inside one of its former plane workshops. Call it a case of “F16s to wind machines!”
Twente Airport no longer services military planes, but it does welcome charter flights and private jets. Speaking to Tubantia, its commercial director Marten Foppen said he isn’t crazy and that no dream is too big.
“People say it is especially nice that we stick our neck out and do our best for it. Some think that we have no chance because it will be organised in the west of the country. But, as I said on Monday, if you think that way, you will never achieve anything here in Twente.”
With a population of around 160,000, Enschede sits in the east of the country in the province of Overijssel. It’s just a few kilometres from Germany. The city was bombed several times during the Second World War, and was one of the first Dutch cities to be captured by the Germans.
Eurovision 2020 would occur during a solemn period for the town. May 2020 will mark 20 years since a massive fireworks explosion killed 23 people and wiped out the entire neighborhood of Roombeek. Eurovision would, in many ways, be a symbol of regeneration for a town that has stared tragedy in the face.
Today’s story is a happier one. Nodding to the city’s conservatory and pop academy, the local tourist board describes Enschede as the epicentre of music and culture in the east of the Netherlands, with a splendid range of shops and boutiques.” Apparently it also has “the most convivial public square in the Netherlands,” with Old Market Square surrounded by “several cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs.”
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This is Hangar 11 — a former workshop used to repair and service F16 aircraft. It’s located at Enschede Twente Airport, which is used by a handful of charter flight operators. The airport’s commercial director has ambitions of hosting #Eurovision inside the hangar. He told Dutch web site @ad_nl: “The economic impact will be huge. It is the way to put this region on the map!” ??? Apparently there are plenty of other buildings for a press room and other needed facilities. #ESC2020 #eurovision2020
So about Hangar 11…
The airport’s commercial director told Tubantia that he’s busy lining up potential partners and that there’s wide interest at home and abroad.
“Even from Germany, from parties from North Rhine-Westphalia. And from a hotel in Münster that would like to participate and asks how we can tackle this together…We visited the new Provincial State members of Overijssel and there too heard many positive sounds. This creates a domino effect. ”
He said they would decide over the next two weeks whether a bid is actually feasible.
The hangar is 10,000 square meters and has a capacity of around 10,000 people. One staffer told AD.NL that the space has strong acoustics — “even Madonna sounds good here”.
Foppen’s enthusiasm for his idea is endearing, even if it sounds far-fetched. He took AD.NL on a tour and you can hear him smile.
“This can serve as a press room, here we can make a Eurovision campsite, with a kind of village and large screens,” he said. “And here [pointing at the parking lot] we can easily park 3,000 cars.”
Any divas with their own private jets will feel right at home. “They can literally land here a stone’s throw away, in a private jet or Boeing 747, and thus enter the Eurovision Village.”
Curiously, we’ve found several videos on YouTube of airplanes conducting their final landings at Twente Airport. Apparently it’s a great place to land if you want your plane taken apart and sent to the scrapyard.
The above YouTube video was captioned:
“On December 6th 2017, this KLM 747 made its very last landing, at the small airport of Twente, The Netherlands. This 747 will be scrapped at the airport, and parts of the plane will be re-used. It was the biggest plane ever at Twente airport. The result was, that hundreds of aviation enthusiasts and other interested people showed up at the airport to watch this KLM 747 landing. Very happy that I was able to make this quite unique footage.”
How do you feel about all this? Does the idea of spending time in a former military base during Eurovision seem remotely feasible? Or is Mr Foppens just having a bit of fun with all of us? Let us know down below.