Lollapalooza, the corporate concert franchise founded by Jane’s Addiction frontman, pro-Israeli fundraiser and activist Perry Farrell, is to launch in Tel Aviv in August 2013. The lineup will be announced in January 2013 according to Haaretz.
Farrell previously raised money for Israeli army soldiers during Israel’s “Operation Cast Lead” massacre of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
The Lollapalooza music festival — held annually in Chicago — is run by the company of noted Hollywood agent and brother of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It will also be held next year in an Israeli park built over the ruins of the Palestinian village of Jarisha whose residents were forced to flee their homes under attack by Zionist militias in 1948.
The announcement is certain to fuel the international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS), which has appealed to artists – with increasing success – not to play in Israel due to Israel’s systematic denial of Palestinian human rights.
Rolling Stone reports:
Israel is about become the third international location for Lollapalooza, the music festival’s organizers announced on Saturday night. Lollapalooza Israel will take place in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park from August 20th through August 22nd, 2013.
“Lollapalooza began as music’s premier traveling festival,” festival founder and Jane’s Addiction frontman Perry Farrell said in a statement announcing the expansion. “As a musician, I really missed the days when we were on the move. In the last few years we’ve widened our scope, presenting Lolla to the ‘festival generation’ around the world. Next stop – Tel Aviv.”
Farrell explained to MTV that Tel Aviv’s character as an all-night “party” town was one of the key reasons Tel Aviv had been chosen, a message in accord with Israel’s international promotion and propaganda campaigns.
Raising money for Israeli army while it killed Palestinian civilians
When asked in another interview whether Tel Aviv had any “personal significance” to him as a choice of venue for Lollapalooza, Farrell responded, “let’s just say that I think that it’s a place that needs good music. It deserves it, it demands it, and so it shall be.”
What Farrell (born Peretz Bernstein) did not discuss is that he has been an avid supporter and political activist on behalf of Israel who has previously raised money for Zionist causes — including the Israeli army — and also has attempted to launch concert festivals in Israel.
In 2009 as Israel bombed the Gaza Strip, Farrell hosted a fundraiser with Alan Dershowitz for “victims of terror.” The event “Stand with Israel at Ground Zero” was by invitation only and organized by YJP International.
At the event, this video shows, Farrell asked participants to dig deep into their pockets saying that “All the money and the proceeds is going to be going to victims of terror and especially the soldiers that for the past few weeks have been risking their lives, have been putting their lives on the line for us so that we can remain in Israel.”
Farrell then announced that, “I came to bring some cheer and morale to the troops and private citizens.”
As Farrell spoke, on 21 January 2009, Israel was just completing its three-week long assault on the Gaza Strip which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians, including more than 350 children. In an apparent reference to this assault, Farrell said “I think we made our point in southern Israel.”
As far back as October 2000 — two weeks after the start of the second intifada — Perry Farrell announced plans to launch a concert festival in Israel the following year.
Farrell: Israel needs better PR
In another video interview at the 2009 fundraiser for Israeli soldiers, Farrell spoke about his love of Israel and his belief that it needed better public relations. It would appear that with Lollapalooza Israel, he is putting that belief into practice.
Farrell specifically called for people to pass around “viral” anti-Palestinian videos about “the children of Hamas, about how they raise their children.” Pro-Israel activists have often circulated videos demonizing Palestinian children in order to justify or excuse Israel’s killing of hundreds of them.
He also claimed Jews had been present in Palestine for “3,300 years” and that Israel’s existence was justified by the Torah.
The Lollapalooza Israel site posts details of the business relationships behind the new venutre.
Israel will join Chile and Brazil as the third international location for the legendary festival, in addition to the US festival in Chicago. Lollapalooza is being brought to Israel by NMC United, a prominent home entertainment and music distributor and publisher in Israel, and Plug Productions Generator, a leading production and promotion company.
A corporate product that shuts out local music scene
The Lollapalooza festival started in 1991 but fell apart when organizers failed to find a headline act for 1998. In 2003, it was revived with some difficulty until Farrell partnered with Capital Sports & Entertainment (now C3 Presents) and the William Morris Agency to produce a multi-million dollar event in Chicago’s Grant Park.
The contracts between Lollapalooza and the City of Chicago have been the subject of criticism both for being “sweetheart deals” between between the city and private interests but also for the harm caused to local music culture. As music critic Jim DeRogatis writes:
When the Chicago Park District crafted the new pact, Mayor Rahm Emanuel broke his oft-stated promise to ask the City Council to appoint an independent negotiator to handle any new dealings with Lollapalooza, which is co-owned by Austin, Texas-based concert promoters C3 Presents and William Morris Endeavor, the Hollywood talent agency run by the mayor’s brother Ari.
The Park District secured an extra $1.35 million a year from the festival, which previously benefited from an unprecedented tax-free deal negotiated by its attorney and lobbyist, Mark Vanecko, a nephew of then-Mayor Richard Daley. But it will continue to give the giant concert an exclusive lock on Grant Park, prohibiting similar events by other promoters in the city’s biggest public space.
DeRogatis discusses “radius clauses” in Lollapalooza’s contracts with performers which
prohibit artists from performing for six months before the festival and three months after it anywhere within 300 miles of Grant Park, which includes concert markets as far away as Milwaukee, Madison, Iowa City, Detroit and Indianapolis.
Musicians will perform on the ruins of Palestinian villages
“Israelis are really really counting on getting in on this fun,” Farrell said in a Lollapalooza promotional video about the expansion to Tel Aviv but did not address what might happen to Palestinians who might want to attend. They would be barred because of Israel’s apartheid-like restrictions on their movement.
While discussing Yarkon Park – the planned venue for the festival – during various interviews, Farrell did not mention the rights of the area’s original Palestinian residents forced to leave their homes during the 1948 Nakba and who have been kept out for 64 years effectively just because they are not Jewish.
Yarkon Park is a large urban park (940 acres) which was created in 1973 near the mouth of al-Awja River (or Yarkon River) in northwest Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv is a sprawling metropolitan area that covers hundreds of square miles, but Yarkon Park specifically contains the ruins of Jarisha, a small Palestinian village near Jaffa, one of about 500 depopulated or destroyed by Israel.
In All That Remains (pp. 246-7), Walid Khalidi documents:
The village was situated on a low hill on the central coastal plain, on the south bank of the al-‘Awja River. It was linked to Jaffa and Haifa by the highway connecting the two cities. … In 1596 Jarisha was a village in the nahiya [subdistrict] of Bani Sa’b (liwa’ [district] of Nablus), with a population of 121. It paid taxes on buffalo, goats and beehives. The village may have been called Jarisha (from the Arabic verb jarasha “to mill”) because it was located near grain mills. In the late nineteenth century, Jarisha was a village built of adobe bricks and flanked by an olive grove. It had its own well and a mill.
The modern population was entirely Muslim. With its convenient location, near woods, and its cafes, parks and gardens, the village attracted Jaffans who came for recreation. Its outline was rectangular and its houses were made of cement, stone and adobe. The residents worked in service industries but also grew fruits and vegetables. In 1944/45 a total of 302 dunums of village land was devoted to citrus and bananas and 80 dunums were irrigated or used for orchards.
Occupation and depopulation
The fall of Jarisha occurred some time before the end of the British Mandate on 15 May 1948…. It may have been affected by events in the adjacent village of al-Shaykh Muwannis [to the north near modern day Ramat Aviv]. An earlier agreement between the villagers of al-Shaykh Muwannis and the Haganah to observe a truce in the area did not deter the Irgun Zvai Leumi (IZL) from striking at the community leaders. The IZL infiltrated into the village at the end of March 1948 and kidnapped five of the village leaders. The attack prompted a large flight of people from the surrounding coastal area (presumably including Jarisha).
More details about Jarisha can be found at PalestineRemembered.com including photographs that show its position in Yarkon Park relative to the skyline of Tel Aviv. Panoramio photographs on Google Maps appear to show the precise location of the old mill of Jarasha.