Tel Aviv won bragging rights and Israel’s third turn hosting the Eurovision song competition last May, when Israeli pop singer Netta Barzilai clinched first place at the 2018 Eurovision for her chickenesque dance moves and pop song ‘Toy’. Now the city is scrambling to creatively accommodate an anticipated 10,000 or more diehard fans and tourists who will descend on the Israeli cultural capital between 14 and 18 May to witness the 2019 Eurovision.
Tickets to the competition will go on sale in early February, and the pressure to provide room and board is on. Reservations (and rates) at the city’s many boutique and chain hotels are already skyrocketing, but Tel Aviv wants to make sure everyone can afford to partake in the fun. The solution? A comfortable yet inexpensive campsite in Park HaYarkon, one of Israel’s biggest urban green spaces, that can sleep around 2000 Eurovision fans.
‘It’s the largest urban park in Tel Aviv’, Margaux Stelman, Tel Aviv Municipality spokesperson told Lonely Planet Travel News, ‘and it is located at walking distance to the Tel Aviv Expo where the Eurovision is taking place’. This is the first time the municipality has ever set up a camping village like this for previous festivals or popular events.
Pop-loving campers will be able to select their preferred level of ruggedness at Park HaYarkon, from the elementary bring-your-own tent experience to either glamping tents or luxury caravans that can accommodate four people each. Given the timing of the festival during the warm month of May, the air-conditioned caravans are certainly the most temperate option. The campgrounds will be equipped with showers, refreshment stalls, a party area, bike rentals and places to lock up valuables while exploring Tel Aviv.
‘The Tent City is just one example of the many initiatives we are working on in order to create the perfect tourist experience and make sure that visitors can enjoy everything that the city has to offer’, Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor Ron Huldai, said in a statement. If you don’t snag your chance to glamp in one of these tents in May, they’ll be staying up through June for visitors to the colourful Tel Aviv Pride Parade, the city’s biggest annual event.
By Karen Chernick