Nearly 12,000 revelers partied in front of Masada at the Dead Sea Rave -424, featuring nine DJs from Europe, the US and Israel – including UK DJ Paul Oakenfold and Iranian- American DJ duo Deep Dish, on Thursday night.
The event began in the evening and lasted until sunrise, with electronic dance music fans both young and old – many in the neon clothing and face-paint characterizing raves – dancing wildly to the music as the smell of marijuana filled the air and, according to some attendees, the party drug “Molly” or MDMA could be easily found.
Creative Director Avi Yosef planned the second annual event within six weeks, following Operation Protective Edge, and said he hoped it would only be the beginning of Israel becoming a major venue for music festivals.
Tourism Minister Uzi Landau said he hopes the Dead Sea Rave -424 will attract cultural tourism to Israel, which he called “a new and growing niche market... [that will] help position Israel as an attractive tourism destination, offering international standard culture alongside unique religious, historical and leisure tourism options.”
Landau added that “the unique desert landscape at the lowest place on earth, with the Masada fortress as the backdrop, is indeed an enchanting ‘escape’ venue for annual events as varied as the Dead Sea Rave -424 and the Israeli Opera Festival.”