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If you want a ticket to see American R&B sensation Rhianna at Jaffa’s Bloomfield Stadium on May 30, you don’t need any money. But you do have to be 16-26 years old and willing to volunteer for four hours in a community project. That stipulation has some soldiers up in arms, claiming discrimination against them.
The special criteria for the show, announced last week by the show’s sponsor, cellphone provider Orange, derives from a successful program originated in the US called Rockcorps, that attempts to mobilize volunteer efforts among the world’s youth by offering free tickets to pop shows in exchange for volunteer work at a community project listed on the RockCorps Web site.
Orange has launched a site where fans within the required age group can register and choose the volunteer project they want to participate in.
“Most of the people in this country between the ages of 18-25 are soldiers and a great portion are soldiers living on bases. This is completely unfair to them,” said Sharon Bar-Lev, a Kfar Saba resident whose daughter, a diehard Rhianna fan, is currently serving in the IDF.
“I would like to know how soldiers, who come home once every two weeks, and leave their base around noon on a Friday, can possibly do four hours of community service and make it home before Shabbat, using public transportation to arrive at the volunteer site and from there back home.
“When I called *5446 to get an answer I was told by a customer service rep that there was nothing they could do, those were the requirements. I told her I was more than willing to pay for a ticket for my daughter, but she said that no tickets were being sold,” added Bar-Lev, who is trying to start a grassroots campaign to get the policy changed.
Just last week, frustrated Metallica fan Tal Mussman was able to force promoters of the the American hard rock band to significantly lower prices for the group’s Ramat Gan show by launching a page on Facebook calling on fans to boycott the show.
An Orange representative was unavailable for comment on Thursday.
Many top performers have signed up with Rockcorps, with British shows taking place last year featuring Lady Ga Ga, Nelly and Akon that resulted in thousands of volunteer hours being recorded for projects throughout the country. This is the first such endeavor in Israel. The projects listed on the Orange Web site include working in Keren Kayemet forests clearing brush or painting pathway marks, distributing food at soup kitchens and sorting donated clothes.
In a special video message that appears on the Orange site, Rhianna invites her fans to the show in Tel Aviv.
“I’m really excited about coming to Israel for the first time for this
special show for Orange Rockcorps. You can’t buy a ticket, you can’t
win a ticket, you have to volunteer for four hours,” she said. “I’m
gonna do my four hours and I hope you do too.”
such efforts, Bar-Lev said that her daughter and other Rhianna fans
serving in the army shouldn’t be penalized for doing their jobs.
“Isn’t my daughter giving two years of her life to serve in the IDF enough of a volunteer project?”