Jon Ola Sand has sat down with KAN to discuss Eurovision 2019 and the big talking points around the competition.
Mr Jon Ola Sand the Executive Supervisor of the Eurovision Song Contest has sat down with the host broadcaster of next years contest, KAN. In the interview Mr Sand confirmed that Eilat was out of the running to host the competition, with the decision now between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. He also discussed three big topics; shabbat, speculation and boycotts.
Demand for rehearsals not to be held during Shabbat
Calls have come from some members of the religious community in Israel for rehearsals for the contest not to be held during Shabbbat. The demands would mean that no rehearsals or work on the competition could take place each Saturday during the contests preparations. Mr Sand explained;
Eurovision Song Contest you have to be able to work 24/7, for all the weeks, not only the production week. Not only the production and rehearsal week, but when you build the set design, adjust the venue.
I regret to say there is no way Eurovision Song Contest can be hosted anywhere without having the possibility to work also through Saturday’s. It’s absolutely impossible and that’s paramount for us.
Speculation and discussion in the Israeli Media
Following Netta’s victory in May there has been intense coverage on preparations for the competition. This has included a number of public arguments between Government officials about how the competition should be hosted. Jon Ola commented;
It’s actually the same every year. It creates a lot of attention in the winning country, there is a lot of people position themselves, would like to take part of it and have a statement about it and all this is quite natural.
I have followed the Israeli media and yes there has been a lot of speculation, discussion, not everything has been true, I must say. But it is quite normal.
Boycott of the competition
Since Israel won the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 there have been campaigns on social media by various groups for a boycott of the competition. Nations such as Iceland and Ireland have faced specific pressures. The Executive Supervisor however explains that such demands don’t appear to be affecting broadcasters wishes to take part in the contest next year;
We have had no serious talk about this, especially not from our members. They are all comfortable, they all believe Israel can host this very well. They have no issues travelling here. At least no one has told that to us, we are confident we will be able to invite everyone here and then everyone will come.
Watch the interview in full below;