×

Eurovision Song Contest Set for Tel Aviv in 2019

The Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place in Tel Aviv for the first time in 2019, it was announced Thursday. The 64th edition of the annual international song competition will be broadcast around the world from the Expo Tel Aviv International Convention Center in Israel with semi-final shows on May 14 and 16, and the final broadcast May 18 next year.

Israel was set as the host nation for Eurovision 2019 following the triumph of its 2018 entry Netta Barzilai (pictured) with the song “Toy” in May this year, when the event took place in Lisbon, Portugal. “Toy” went on to top the Billboard dance club chart in the U.S. in August, a first for an Israeli singer. Eurovision tradition is that the winning nation hosts the following year’s event.

Israeli pubcaster KAN was required to present at least two candidate cities to the Eurovision board, which chose the Tel Aviv location. It beat out bids from Jerusalem and Eilat. Jon Ola Sand, executive supervisor for the Eurovision Song Contest, said that while all the bids received were exemplary Tel Aviv provided “the best overall set-up for the world’s largest live music event.” It marks the first time Tel Aviv has hosted the 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,” said Sand.

It marks the third time Israel has hosted the event. The country is the most successful non-European country to take part in the contest having won four times, with previous wins in 1978, 1979 and 1998. Jerusalem hosted the competition in 1979 and 1999. The 1980 event was hosted by The Hague after Israel declined to host due to expense, having won two years running.

Eurovision has become a much-loved annual event across Europe since it began in 1956 with just seven countries participating. Since then 52 countries have taken part with the competition growing beyond Europe, even including Australia since 2015. This year saw 43 countries take part, equaling the record for most participating nations in a single year.

The live show, which is watched by approximately 200 million viewers worldwide, sees each country submit an original song which is performed live. After all songs have been performed viewers in each country can then vote for their favorites, excluding the song from their own nation, with points awarded by ranking. The country with the most points is declared the winner. In 2008 the format was extended to include two semi-final shows, held on the Tuesday and Thursday prior to the final – which traditionally takes place on a Saturday – as the number of participating countries had swelled to preclude featuring every entrant in a single show.

Amongst the contest’s most renowned winners are Swedish pop group ABBA, who won in 1974 with the now legendary song “Waterloo,” and Canadian singer Celine Dion, who represented Switzerland in 1988 with the winning entry “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi.”

More Music

  • Billie Eilish 62nd Annual Grammy Awards,

    Grammys' Focus on Message Songs Meshes Well With Kobe-Mourning Mood: TV Review

    “It’s been a hell of a week,” said Alicia Keys, moments into her hosting gig on Sunday night’s Grammys telecast. “Damn! It’s a really serious one — real talk.” No kidding. Was this the first 99.9% joke-free Grammys, in the 62-year history of the telecast? Not that anyone should be complaining about that, exactly … not [...]

  • Billie Eilish Grammys

    Billie Eilish Makes History as She Sweeps Top Awards at 2020 Grammys

    Billie Eilish swept the top Grammy categories on Sunday night, becoming the youngest (and only the second) artist in history to win the big four.  In their spectacular Grammys debut, Eilish, 18, and her brother/recording partner Finneas O’Connell, 22, took home six of the seven awards they were nominated for on Sunday. Eilish won album [...]

  • I Sing the Body Electric

    'I Sing the Body Electric': How a 'Fame' Monster Was Reimagined for the Grammys

    Longtime Grammy telecast producer Ken Ehrlich has delivered his Grammy swan song (figuratively and literally), and it couldn’t have happened without … Walt Whitman. To usher out his 40-year era as the guiding light behind some of TV’s greatest musical moments, Ehrlich chose the song “I Sing the Body Electric” from the 1980 movie musical [...]

  • FKA Twigs and Usher62nd Annual Grammy

    FKA Twigs: I Wasn't Asked to Sing During Prince Tribute at Grammys

    Nearly four years after his death, Prince was honored Sunday night with a special all-star performance at the 62nd Grammy Awards that left some viewers scratching their heads. Usher, who anchored the medley of “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry” and “Kiss,” sang and danced onstage while longtime Prince collaborator and percussionist Sheila E. played [...]

  • DJ Khaled Nipsey Hussle tribute Grammy

    Nipsey Hussle Honored by John Legend, YG, DJ Khaled at Grammys

    John Legend, YG and DJ Khaled performed a medley of songs alongside Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch and Kirk Franklin as part of the Grammy Awards tribute to Nipsey Hussle. The heartfelt performance, introduced by Ava DuVernay, began with the late rapper’s friends and fellow musicians, Mill and Rich taking the stage to start off “Letter [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content