Several Israeli cities have actively been vying to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, a privilege the country won by virtue of Israeli singer Netta Barzilai’s first-place finish in the most recent contest last May, held in Portugal.
Today it was announced that Tel Aviv-Yafo was chosen as the venue. It is the first time ever that Tel Aviv is hosting the show (now entering its 64th season), which most recently attracted 186 million viewers and around 20,000 tourists.
The European Broadcasting Union and the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) selected Tel Aviv because “it is Israel’s financial and cultural center, an international hub of art and creativity, commerce and trade, media and academia. It is a city that celebrates pluralism and tolerance, warmly embracing the many communities that compose its unique human mosaic.”
The three main events — two semifinals and the final broadcast live — will take place at the EXPO Tel Aviv International Convention Center.
The opening ceremony and red carpet event will take place at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art; the official Eurovision key handover ceremony and semifinal allocation draw will be held at historic Town Hall on Bialik Square; and the largest-ever Eurovision Village will be on display at the Tel Aviv boardwalk overlooking the Mediterranean.
“Dozens of events will take place throughout the city on top of the main events, turning the city into one big Eurovision celebration,” said Gidi Schmerling, project director of the 2019 Eurovision on behalf of the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality.
This will be the third time Israel will host Eurovision. The other two times – 1979 and 1999 – the event was held in Jerusalem’s International Convention Center.