Spend the night

Despite a number of cancellations, Tel Aviv's White Night celebration runs gamut from music, artwork to dancing, drinking.

White Night (photo credit: Courtesy)
White Night
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Tel Aviv is known as many things, including the “The White City,” the “Manhattan of the Middle East” and “the city that never sleeps.”
While Israel’s most vibrant city usually does a good job on a daily basis of keeping true to its image of being a 24-hour city, once a year it goes all out and puts on the mother of all parties that goes on through the night until sunrise.
White Night, now in its 10th year, includes a host of cultural events around the city that are either free or very reasonably priced. With so much to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming when deciding how to spend the night and morning.
While the night promises to include a number of great cultural activities, social justice activists have called on artists and club owners to boycott the event in protest of police violence against demonstrators last Saturday. Activists plan to hold protest marches through the streets in a number of locations in the city while White Night is being held.
Cancellations have included a night of concerts that was to be held at the Ozen bar, a literary event that was to include Israeli author Etgar Keret, and a concert by the Israeli band Girafot.
According to the Facebook page Black Night – The White List, which is compiling the names of artists agreeing to boycott, the list of those who won’t be taking part in the festivities continues to grow.
As of Wednesday morning those boycotting White Night also included 12 art galleries and nine different fashion houses.
Despite these cancellations, many of the events being put on by the Municipality will be held as planned. Use this list of events to help decide where to go and when.
Author and fashion designer Jean- Charles de Castelbajac has been invited by Beit Ha’ir and the French Institute in Israel to open the White Night events this year. Castelbajac will be in Israel as part of a world tour with French band Nouvelle Vague, who will perform the innovative show “The Dawn of Innocence” – a combination of musical, opera, pop, rock and theater. The event starts at 9 p.m. at Beit Ha’ir, Bialik Square.
Entrance is free.
There will be a number of free music performances throughout the night by various artists. The events at Jaffa Port will kick off at 7 p.m. with a show on the northern deck, including Shmemel, Ramzailech and many others. At 11 p.m. Rif Cohen and Halas will take to the stage for a special jam session. The flea market in Jaffa will hold a special event for the whole family, with a musical performances including a number of different genres that will begin at 8 p.m. There will also be a number of artistic and creative stalls, as well as street theater.
As has become customary on White Night, Hatzuk Beach will host an allnight music show. Karolina will start the proceedings, and then music legend Danny Sanderson will host Mazi Cohen, Maor Cohen and Alon Ularchick, starting from 1:30 a.m.
Knesiat Hasechel will perform at Gan Hapisga with all their well-known hits. Daniel Solomon will open the show, which will begin at 9 p.m.
If an old-fashioned sing-along is more your thing, then check out the Shira Be’tzibur session at Hatahana Complex near Neveh Tzedek. The Uzi Brothers and Hayim Anser will host Ben Artzi and Dorit Reuveni for a performance starting at 10:30 p.m. From midnight until the earlier hours, Moshe Lahav will host a traditional sing-along session of Israeli songs.
If dancing is more your thing, then a huge Headphone Party will take place in Rabin Square from 8 p.m. till 1 a.m. Headphones will be given to those who don’t have them.
For those looking to do a bit of all night exercise, starting from 9 p.m. there will be Israeli Folk Dancing at Gordon Beach under the instruction of Sara Aviv. She will be accompanied by professional dance troupes at the large dance square on the beach.
In the main plaza outside the Cameri Theater and the Opera House, ballroom dance lovers can enjoy some dancing from 8.30 p.m. until 11 p.m.
For those who want to brush up on their Irish dancing skills, a dance workshop focusing on Irish folk dancing will take place at the Suzanne Dellal Center in Neveh Tzedek between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The Israeli Opera will host a celebratory concert starting at midnight and carrying on until the early hours. The performance will feature more than three hours of duets, ensembles, operettas and classic Israeli songs.
For some great food and drink, The Dancing Camel pubs invite you to enjoy the festivities with some great deals, including a giant hot dog and beer for NIS 35 instead of NIS 52. At 2 a.m. both pubs will simultaneously hold a “fastest hot dog eating” competition. The competition costs NIS 10 to enter. The winner will receive a coupon for 10 free beers worth NIS 270 that can be used at either pub. The pubs are open all night, until the last customer.
Dancing Camel, 12 Hata’asiya; and 10 Vital, Florentine. For more information: (03) 624-2783
On a more cultural note, Gan Ya’acov next to Habimah Square will host a performance of David Avidan poems. Starting from 8.45 p.m., students from the school Muzik will present 13 of the author’s poems.
For art lovers, the preparatory program at the Design and Architecture School – Studio 6B will host a graduates’ exhibition and celebrate with a huge street party that includes a DJ, a live performance by the band Hashovavim, alcoholic beverages and other surprises. The festivities will begin at 9 p.m. and for the whole night the studio’s building will transformed into a huge exhibition space, where the final projects of the graduates will be displayed.
The exhibition presents the works of 60 graduates in six categories: graphic design, industrial design, architecture, interior design, animation and photography. The winner in each category will receive a prize of NIS 1,000.
Forty years after closure of the renowned Eden Cinema, the projectors of the abandoned building will be put to use for one night as part of the White Night celebrations. A special exhibition will be devoted almost entirely to video art by contemporary Israeli artists, who deal with the issues of separation. The works will be screened inside and in the cinema’s main building under the open sky. The event will begin at sunset and will end when the sun rises.
White Night or Black Night - how will you be celebrating?
There are also a number of events being planned by activists as an alternative to White Night, including two in the city’s South side.
One event, “A Night of Black Culture in Neve Shannan,” will be held at the corner of Matalon and Tchelnov Streets at 6 p.m. and include a meeting of residents of south Tel Aviv and members of the African migrant community.
There will also be a photo exhibit by the photographers’ collective “Activestills” taken at protests in south Tel Aviv over the past year, and a “black street party.”
South Tel Aviv will also host a “protest party” in the Shapira neighborhood.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report