Pharrell cancels Israel gig, cites ‘scheduling conflict’
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Pharrell cancels Israel gig, cites ‘scheduling conflict’

Hip-hop and R&B star said hoping to reschedule July 21 performance; TV report says ticket sales were poor

Pharrell Williams, park ranger hat firmly in place, performing at a recent Coachella Valley Music festival (Courtesy Shawn Ahmed/CC BY 2.0)
Pharrell Williams, park ranger hat firmly in place, performing at a recent Coachella Valley Music festival (Courtesy Shawn Ahmed/CC BY 2.0)

American hip-hop and R&B star Pharrell Williams has canceled his July 21 show at Rishon Lezion’s LIVE Park over “unforeseen scheduling conflicts,” concert promoters announced Wednesday.

Ticket holders for next week’s performance will be given a full refund starting from Sunday, July 17.

Williams’ management apologized to disappointed fans, and said the Grammy award-winning artist hopes to re-schedule a performance in Israel in the future.

Israel’s Channel 2 said the show was canceled because of poor ticket sales.

Williams shot to stardom in 2014 with his global hit “Happy,” which sparked a wave of cover videos on the Internet including a number of Israeli versions.

In May, he released a montage of his own music as an invite to his Israeli fans.

Williams was making his way to this side of the ocean in June and July, beginning in Azerbaijan and Poland before heading to Denmark, Holland, Belgium, London, Italy, Switzerland and several French festivals.

Last September, hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters from the BDS movement demonstrated outside Williams’ concert in Cape Town, South Africa, over his partnership with a major local retail group that imported from Israel.

The South African BDS movement said at the time that if Pharrell wanted to make the world “happy,” he should join “the growing list of artists from Stevie Wonder to Lauryn Hill, Alice Walker, Roger Waters and others who have backed the non-violent BDS movement.”

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