Tel Aviv has been selected as the host city for the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in 2019, the European Broadcasting Union has announced. The decision was taken by the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) Reference Group (the Contest's steering committee) after Israeli public broadcaster KAN was asked to present at least two potential candidate cities.
The European Broadcasting Union said, "Tel Aviv offered a very creative and compelling bid across all required areas. It was chosen following a strong city bid process which also saw Jerusalem and Eilat vie to host the world’s most hotly anticipated musical event, which reaches around 200 million viewers worldwide."
The Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals will take place in Tel Aviv on May 14 and 16, with the final on May 18 at the Expo Tel Aviv (International Convention Centre).
It is believed that the organizers were not enthusiastic about holding the event in Jerusalem because of limitations being placed on rehearsals during the Sabbath on Friday evening and Saturday.
Last year’s competition, hosted in Lisbon, Portugal, saw Israel's Netta Barzilai crowned the winner with “Toy”; the chart-topping dance track written by Doron Medalie and Stav Beger. Netta’s victory means Israel will host the contest for a third time having previously staged the Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem in 1979 and 1999. Israel has participated 42 times since its first appearance in 1973.
EBU’s Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest Jon Ola Sand said, “We'd like to thank all the Israeli cities who bid to host the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, and KAN who conducted an expert and thorough assessment to help us make the final decision. All the bids were exemplary but in the end we decided that Tel Aviv provides the best overall setup for the world's largest live music event. We are excited to bring the contest to a brand new city and are looking forward to working together with KAN to make 2019’s Eurovision Song Contest the most spectacular one yet.”
ESC Reference Group chairman Frank-Dieter Freiling said: “We are expecting to receive guarantees from the Prime Minister this week in regards to security, access for everyone to attend, freedom of expression and ensuring the non-political nature of the Contest. These guarantees are imperative in order for us to move forward with the planning of the event and to uphold the Eurovision Song Contest values of diversity and inclusivity.”
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 13, 2018
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