Amid the general excitement over the Rolling Stones’ confirmation that they will play a concert in Tel Aviv in June, Jewish Home MK Nissan Slomiansky urged producer Shuki Weiss to postpone the show by a day or advance it by two days after it emerged that the scheduled date coincided with a Jewish holiday.
The Rolling Stones confirmed Tuesday that they will perform in Tel Aviv on June 4 as part of their “14 On Fire” world tour. But when religious fans of the band checked their calendars, their elation turned to disappointment after they realized the concert is slated to start just a few minutes after the end of the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.
This year, Shavuot will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 4. The holiday will end just before 8:30 p.m., while the concert is slated to begin around that time, meaning that observant Jews – and indeed, any Stones fans relying on public transportation to get to the concert – will have to choose between arriving late to the concert and opting out entirely.
Though the gates of Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon, where the concert will be held, will open at 5:30 p.m. on June 4, the public bus service, which shuts down on the Sabbath and Jewish holidays, will only resume once the holiday has ended.
According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Slomiansky appealed to Weiss on Wednesday, urging him to respect the observant Jewish public.
“A concert shouldn’t be held if it leads to a mass desecration of a religious holiday by hundreds of thousands of people,” the newspaper quoted the MK as saying.
“It doesn’t make sense to force the police to work from 2 p.m., to operate a whole system and violate the holiday on which we commemorate receiving the Torah. On that day, when the secular public participates in Torah study sessions, comes an event so vulgar that there is no way to really participate in it without desecrating the holiday,” Slomiansky protested.
The concert had been rumored for months, but organizers were only able to announce the official confirmation at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.
“This is a historic moment,” said Weiss, who has produced many of Israel’s largest concerts. “It’s a huge honor to bring the Rolling Stones to Israel, an honor for the country, the citizens, and mostly for the fans who have waited for this moment.”
The Rolling Stones longtime band members, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood, have been touring England and the US for the last year. The band will treat Israeli fans to some of its classic hits, including “Gimme Shelter,” “It’s Only Rock ‘N Roll,” “Paint It Black,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” and “Tumbling Dice.”
“This is emotional, even for me, and I’ve been doing this a long time,” said Weiss. “Summer 2014 is lining up to be a great summer of biggie performances, with Neil Young, the Pixies, Soundgarden, and this is the cherry on top.”
Ticket sales begin Sunday, March 30 at 9 a.m. The concert is sponsored by Pelephone, and its customers can order as of Thursday, March 27, at 9 a.m. through the Pelephone website, where there are only a limited number of these pre-order tickets.
Prices on the low end are NIS 595 ($170) for Pelephone customers and NIS 695 regular admission for a space on the lawn. Golden Ring tickets are NIS 1,690 (Pelephone) and NIS 1,790, and for the VIP area, the only area to include seating, tickets are NIS 2,750 (Pelephone) and NIS 2,850 regular.
Jessica Steinberg and Gavriel Fiske contributed to this report.