Update 21 January: Lollapalooza Israel cancelation confirmed
Plug Productions, the producer of Lollapalooza Israel confirmed the Tel Aviv festival’s cancelation today in a statement. Israel’s Ynet quoted the statement saying:
Lollapalooza Israel is a huge and complicated production. We are coordinating the technical details with the festival’s American managers. The event will probably be postponed until 2014.
The Ynet article also noted:
The festival’s main sponsor, the company NMC United, pulled out not long after the festival was announced, after the production was unable to guarantee that international artists would visit Israel.
Meanwhile Lollapalooza’s two remaining international franchises are going ahead in Brazil and Chile with line ups that include Pearl Jam, The Black Keys, Franz Ferdinand, The Hives, Deadmau5, The Flaming Lips and dozens of others.
The Lollapalooza Israel rock festival planned for next summer appears to have collapsed just months after it was launched, and all information about it has been removed from the official website of Lollapalooza, the US-based corporate concert franchise.
Israel’s Ynet reported in Hebrew that:
As had already been reported in December, many difficulties cropped up over the last few months in recruiting the famous artists to take part in the festival, and the production had also run into logistical and financial difficulties in its attempt to produce three consecutive days of performances at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv’s “HaYarkon Park,” notably, is built on the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha. Ynet said that the Israeli promoters, Plug Productions, posted a message on their Facebook page:
Dear friends, we really don’t like to discuss gossip, but we will do it this time: you don’t have to take seriously everything that’s written on Ynet. If you haven’t heard it from us, you haven’t heard it at all.
Lollapalooza Israel removed from official website
The screenshot right at the top of this post shows the official Lollapalooza website last month. Note “Lollapalooza Israel” in the top left corner, and the big announcement at bottom right.
The screenshot below shows the website today, with “Lollapalooza Israel” removed, but festivals in Chile and Brazil still apparently going ahead.
A link that used to lead to an announcement about Lollapalooza Israel now returns “Page Not Found.”
Lollapalooza founder raised money for Israeli army
Lollapalooza founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell, a pro-Israel activist, announced the festival to great fanfare last August.
Lollapalooza is held annually in Chicago’s Grant Park under a sweetheart deal that noted music critic Jim DeRogatis has severely criticized. Along with Brazil and Chile, Israel was to be part of the franchise’s international expansion.
During Israel’s 2008-2009 massacre in Gaza, Farrell performed at a benefit in New York to raise money for Israeli soldiers. But he made no mention of his Zionist politics in interviews touting the festival, instead emphasizing Tel Aviv’s marketing image as a “party town.”
Now it looks like the party’s over for Farrell and his effort to use Lollapalooza to whitewash Israel’s image.
The reports of the difficulties the Israeli festival had recruiting international stars will be seen as a victory for the Palestinian campaign for cultural boycott of Israel. In recent years, an increasing number of prominent international artists have heeded the Palestinian call.
With thanks to Dena Shunra and Daniel Bugel-Shunra for translation.