With a staggering number of international musical acts streaming to Israel, does anyone even remember BDS?
The variations on “Hava Nagila” and “Hatikva” – two “Jewish” songs that foreigners most often associate with Israel – are going to be stretched to their limits over the next few months, as the onslaught of international artists performing at local venues rises to a crescendo.
That quaint obsession has turned into a clichéd but almost obligatory requirement for many visiting bands and artists from the US and Europe, and is a source of pride for concert-goers. But the musicians in question often come away from their experience in Israel with considerably less anachronistic, more vibrant impressions.
“Most of the artists that come here leave as goodwill ambassadors for Israel,” says Guy Beser, the CEO of Bluestone Entertainment, one of the country’s leading concert promotion companies.
“They feel the warmth of the audience and of the people. We take them to the North, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, and they fall in love with the country. And when they stay and perform in Tel Aviv, they immediately understand that the country is nothing like they expected. After experiencing the real reality of Israel, they leave with a different impression. And the artists talk to each other and the managers talk to each other.”
Beser – who together with his partners in Bluestone, including Madonna’s Israel-born manager, Guy Oseary, has previously brought Bon Jovi, Backstreet Boys and Enrique Iglesias to Israel – has an action-packed summer ahead, with shows by Aerosmith (May 17), Britney Spears (July 3) and Guns ‘n’ Roses (July 15). They’ve joined a thriving industry full of veterans like Shuki Weiss who have been importing entertainment to Israel for decades, including some of the world’s top entertainers like Paul McCartney, Elton John, The Rolling Stones and Madonna.