Monday, 22 Jul 2019 - 19 of Tammuz, 5779

‘We’ve been waiting for 20 years for Eurovision to come here, to Tel Aviv, to Israel’

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Among the highlights of the festivities is the huge Eurovision Village, the largest ever seen, which opened on Sunday. It is  showcasing the city’s nonstop character and allows visitors to experience everything the city has to offer: wonderful beaches, warm weather, exquisite culinary scene and a selection of entertaining events.

TEL AVIV—“Thank you for coming! We’ve been waiting for 20 years for Eurovision to come here, to Tel Aviv, to Israel, and I’m so happy to be a part of it,” Kobi Marimi, Israel’s contestant for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest, as the Eurovision festivities kicked off on Sunday in Tel Aviv.

41 countries from Europe plus Australia take part in the contest with the two semi-final on Tuesday and Thursday and the big final on Saturday night which will also see Madonna perform.

The 64th edition of Eurovision, whoich takes place in Israel following Netta Barzilai’s win last yar in Lisbon, will be held at Expo Tel Aviv, in the city’s north.

This will be the  third time that Israel is hosting the Eurovision. Israel declined after the 1979 victory, citing financial constraints.

“We are very happy that we have the Eurovision here,” said Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.

‘’This is a unique opportunity for the city of Tel Aviv and it is an unprecedented mega show with various  side events and venue,’’ explained Eytan Schwartz, CEO of Tel Aviv Global & Tourism Mayor’s Office.

This represents a big boost for tourism in the city and globally Israel. Last year tourism to Israel broke a new record with the country welcoming some four million tourists, an increase of 13 % compared to 2017.

Among the highlights of the festivities is the huge Eurovision Village, the largest ever seen, which opened on Sunday. It is  showcasing the city’s nonstop character and allows visitors to experience everything the city has to offer: wonderful beaches, warm weather, exquisite culinary scene and a selection of entertaining events.

The Eurovision Village is open to the public at Charles Clore Park, on the beachfront,  from May 12-16 and May 18th from 17:00 until the evening, and on Friday May 17th from 12:00 until sunset.

The 2019 Eurovision Song Contest kicked off on Sunday at Tel Aviv’s Habimah Square with the 41 participants.

Before the Eurovision final event on Saturday night, visitors will be able to experience an Israeli Shabbat meal on Friday night as a courtesy of the City of Tel Aviv-Jaffa in collaboration with the communal eating app Eatwith. Shabbat dinner, held on Friday evenings, is a cultural staple of Israeli life for both religious and secular Jews. Family and friends gather for a homemade meal, to relax around the table and catch up on their lives.

The Shabbat Dinner project will match tourists with local host families for a dive into some experiential tourism.

Founded in 1956, the Eurovision Song Contest is a musical competition wich attracts every year around  200 million viewers worlwide.

Each country holds its own internal contest to pick its act for the general competition. All the countries then get together for a series of televised rounds, culminating in a  finale featuring performances by the top 26 entries.

Since 1973, countries have been able to sing in any language — previously they could sing only in one of the country’s official languages — and most entrants today perform in English.

Each country is given points to award an entry; countries cannot vote for themselves. After the performances, viewers vote on their favorites by phone  or on a mobile app. Those votes make up 50 percent of each score — the rest come from a professional jury. The country with the most points wins the contest.

The semifinals and finals of the Eurovision will be aired by KAN, Israel’s public broadcaster for the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

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