Tel Aviv 2019

Kan opens the bidding to create perfect Eurovision stage

The Eurovision stage is a fondimental part of the contest.  It gives the host broadcaster an opportunity to put together a unique, intimate setting that can be used to showcase a nation’s cultural history. Israeli broadcaster Kan have opened the bidding, to find a designer fit for the task.

Kan open to international involvement

According to publication Israel Hayom,  Broadcaster Kan has started preperations on creating the perfect stage for Tel Aviv.  Earlier this week, invitations for the project were sent out to leading stage designers across the country.  Ronen Levin, set designer for the 1999 contest in Jerusalem, spoke of the requirements, citing the importance of international involvement. 

“The main share of the set-up in such an event is actually a combination of video and lighting, so in any scenario a team of designers from different specialization fields is needed. There are very talented people in Israel, but cooperation with international artists can always be fruitful and enriching

Levin estimates that if two of the most promising bids are of the same level, an Israeli designer will be selected for the job. However, if an encouraging application is received from an international party,  it will most certainly be considered. 

In this production everyone knows that there is not only no room for error, but that there is an opportunity here to impress the world, especially since not every country has directors with experience of stage building of this magnitude. “

Stage of Lisbon’s Eurovision will ‘not be remembered for the better’

Levin,  who also co-owns the studio of design and architecture, Levin-Apteker, expressed his disappointment of this year’s Eurovision stage.

The stage of the last ESC in Lisbon will not be remembered for the better. It was inspired by four points of Portuguese culture and history – navigation, sea, ships and maps. It was not particularly beautiful, and certainly not a breakthrough. Will be remembered mainly because there were no basic screens and because of the low budget allocated for the competition.

Stage requirements outlined in bidding invitation

As reported by the publication, the opening section of the bid focuses on ‘tolerance, progress and unity‘.  Specifications for the stage design are clearly outlined, with words such as Iconic, unique, innovative and groundbreaking used to define Kan’s requirements.

A meaningful and multifaceted design that will create a unique atmosphere which will fit the Eurovision brand values. Including its suitability to the chosen structure to host the event and making any change, correction and adaptation of the concept according to the requirements of Kan and/or EBU. Until the final approval of Kan and/or EBU The design will be exclusively and exclusively for the ESC in Israel, and as a result must include elements that will be unique for this special occasion.”

The document states that the Green Room must be designed in a certain way, so that it’s presense in another hall will not be obvious to viewers. A source involved in the production goes on to say:

One of the fears is that there will be an invited audience that may be ‘dry’, as opposed to the competition fans who are a ‘live audience’ and are very important to the energy in the hall. The intention is to give as many tickets as possible to the public crowd and as few as possible to the invited guests.

Size is important as outlined in plans

Those involved understand the importance of the stage’s size and how it should transfer on screen. A circular, square or rectangular stage is not being ruled out, admits a source close to the production team.

Once a designer has been chosen, a 3D computerized model of the proposed set must be built and delivered to the broadcaster. Any modifications made to the design must be consulted with Kan.  A series of images showing both the stage and green room from multiple angles must also be submitted.

A return of LED screens suggested

Interesting information on the scale of the desired stage is also revealed, in amongst Kan’s requirements.

A space will be allocated to install lighting on the stage and to install video screens on the stage. A place for five hidden accompaniment singers at the front of the stage, on the right or left, as well as cells and shafts around the performance area.

Plans to reinstate LED screens in Tel Aviv are some what confirmed, with the mention of video screens. Portuguese broadcaster RTP deemed them unnecessary when drawing up plans for the 2018 contest. Their absense at this year’s event caused upset to many.

Tamir Dayan, CEO of EXPO in Tel Aviv, reveals plans to visit former host broadcasters in the coming months.

At this point we haven’t seen the facilities of other countries from past contests, but we plan to fly to a few places in the near future to see how they did it, to learn from their lessons and do the best Eurovision that Europe has known to date

Interested parties will have until the end of October to submit their designs. 

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