After months of speculation, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) today confirmed Tel Aviv as the host city for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest. The Grand Final is scheduled for 18 May at the 8,000-capacity Expo Tel Aviv - part of the Tel Aviv Convention Centre, known locally as the Fairgrounds.
Ahead of the final, there will be two qualifying heats - as usual on Tuesday and Thursday (14 and 16 May).
Jon Ola Sand, the EBU’s Executive Supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, said: “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.”
Two in the running
Although several Israeli cities expressed interest in hosting the annual musical event, there were only really two in the running. Jerusalem ran the eventual winner a close second, though concerns around pressures to observe a religious shut down from Friday evening through to Saturday are thought to have played a role in the decision.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai welcomed the announcement, having previously pledged to cover venue hire costs. He sees it as a chance to spotlight his city: "The event is broadcast to billions around the world, it will give exposure to the beautiful Israel that many in the world do not know.”
KAN also announced that the 'Red Carpet' launch party will take place at the Tel Aviv Museum and the Euro Village will be set up at the beach front Charles Clore Park.