For two days this summer, the Students Beach in Haifa will play host to one of the most established music festivals in the country. On August 14 and 15, a small selection of the country’s top musicians will perform in the city as part of the 20th annual Goldstar Beer Festival.
With some NIS 1 million being invested in the festival, it promises to be one of the best yet, says festival producer Eli Levi.
“As we are celebrating 20 years, there will be lots of focus on the history of the festival,” he explains.
The festival first took place at the Tel Aviv Port 20 years ago and, over the years, has attracted some of the biggest names in Israeli rock. After some issues with the municipality, the festival moved to Charles Clore Park near Jaffa. It wasn’t until after the Second Lebanon War in 2006 that the festival moved to Haifa as a show of solidarity with the residents of the North. Since then, the event has gone from strength to strength in its new location.
The main acts performing at the festival include Avraham Tal, Elai Botner & The Outside Kids, Dudu Tasa and Ivri Lider. Levi says the acts were chosen because they are some of the hottest and most relevant in the country at the moment. He also stresses the importance of choosing Israeli performers.
As well as top-name Israeli acts, this year’s festival will include a foreign celebrity known for something very different than singing. John Evans is a legendary head-balancing strongman.
In June 2010 he set a new world record for most beer pints balanced on his head: 237. Evans, who is based in the UK, is coming to Israel especially for the festival and will treat the crowd to one of his unique shows.
“He’s not that young anymore, but I’m sure he will be able to impress the crowd,” says Levi.
There will also be performances of a different kind in the form of local barmen who will entertain people with their shaking and mixing skills.
For those looking to take some time out during the festivities, there will also be screenings of films related to Israeli life.
As in the past three years, the festival will be restricted to those over 18. While the festival once attracted families with children, Levi and his team decided to raise the age of entry. Now the festival is a hot spot for students and soldiers on vacation, as well as avid lovers of music and beer.
During the evenings, people will be able to sample Goldstar Unfiltered, the new line of beer that was officially launched in May.
Goldstar, which is the leading beer in Israel with 25 percent of the market, is the only Israeli brand that has maintained the tradition of such a large-scale music festival, says Sivan Noy, marketing manager for Tempo, the company that markets Goldstar.
“To mark the momentous occasion, we’ll celebrate by raising a glass with some of the founders of the festival in an attempt to tell the story of the festival that has become a tradition with a respected history,” she says.
According to Noy, the Goldstar Festival is an opportunity for tens of thousands of people to enjoy good quality Israeli rock music for free.
“We believe that the connection between Goldstar and Israeli music is the right one in terms of the experience we offer and the value of the brand,” she says.
Noy is confident that this year’s event will be a success and is happy that the festival is now held in Haifa.
“We discovered [in Haifa] a loyal crowd that really enjoys the festival and the successful events in the same way that they did in Tel Aviv,” she says.
Goldstar Festival, Students Beach, Haifa. August 14 and 15. Gates open at 8 p.m. Free entrance.