It was revealed today that Tel Aviv has been selected as the host city for the 64th Eurovision Song Contest in 2019. The decision was taken by the Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) Reference Group (the executive board for the Contest) after Israeli public broadcaster KAN were asked to present at least two potential candidate cities.

Tel Aviv presented 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 country’s second largest city is widely known as Israel’s self-defined non-stop city, located on the Mediterranean coast with a population of over 400,000 people. Tel Aviv will be hosting the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time and the event will be held at the EXPO Tel Aviv (International Convention Center).

In addition, the dates for the 2019 contest have also been revealed. The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals will take place in Tel Aviv on the 14th and 16th of May, with the Grand Final on 18th May.

Last year’s competition, hosted in Lisbon, Portugal, saw Netta Barzilai crowned the winner with Toy; the Billboard 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.