McCartney 'can't wait to get out there and rock'

According to producers, 12,000 tickets had been sold in the first 12 hours they were made available.

mccartney 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
mccartney 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
While tickets for the the Paul McCartney 'Friendship First' concert at Hayarkon Park were being snapped up, the producers of the show had their official unveiling on Wednesday. Dudu and Boaz Zarzevski, who have produced many shows in Israel, including Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Ian Brown, as well as the current Eilat Jazz Festival, have received financial backing from Dedi Nitznani and Yakir Sha'ashua, a businessman in the field of security, real estate and aviation. Sha'ashua specializes in private jet and helicopter services for VIPs, and this is his first venture into the entertainment field. He reportedly entered into the picture when original investors, Partner, backed out. "This is a longtime dream come true for hundreds of thousands fans. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime show," Dudi Zarzevsky told reporters Wednesday. "The arrival of Paul McCartney in Israel corrects a 43-year-old wrong," added Sha'ashua, referring to aborted attempt to bring The Beatles to Israel in 1966. "This is a big honor for me; to be a partner in the biggest and most complex event ever staged in Israel." According to a press release issued by the producers, McCartney holds true to the key principles of friendship - loyalty and respect, "and the 'Friendship First' concert is an opportunity for people to celebrate these values while having a memorable night of fun and rock n' roll." "I've heard so many great things about Tel Aviv and Israel, but hearing is one thing and experiencing it for yourself is another," said McCartney in the press release. "We are planning to have a great time and a great evening with the people of Tel Aviv, and we can't wait to get out there and rock." According to Zarzevsky, 12,000 tickets had been sold in the first 12 hours they were made available - beginning at midnight on Tuesday. Tickets are only available by phone, at 8584*, or on the Internet at Operators at the telephone number are working Sunday-Thursday from 9 am to 10 pm, Friday from 9 am to 8 pm and Saturday from noon until 10 pm. The regular price for the general-admission tickets will be NIS 490, with a discount price of NIS 400 for soldiers, agencies and workers' committee group tickets. A special reserved seating section for 5,154 buyers on either side of the stage will cost NIS 1,500 per ticket. And for those who really want to get down when McCartney sings "Get Back," there's a VIP package available for NIS 5,000 for 1,200 well-off fans. Recipients will enjoy a catered meal backstage, an open bar, and seating in front of the stage with access to another open bar. However, the hitch here is that the VIP tickets aren't available via phone or Internet, and are only being made available via the show's producers. For 54-year-old Jerusalem resident and former New Yorker Eliezer Wild, who bought two tickets on Wednesday after being unable to enter the Web site, a chance to see a former Beatle in Israel is both an exercise in nostalgia and education. "I wanted to give a surprise treat to my daughter, whose 13th birthday is the night of the concert. I've taught her over the years about The Beatles and why they were so important in history," said Wild. "She likes individual tunes of theirs, and appreciates that they were an iconic image and historic force in the field of music and culture." "Paul's actually not my favorite Beatle, he's only number three after John and George. But I did see him in Madison Square Garden in 1976," said Wild, adding that he was almost put off by the ticket price. "The price is outrageous and not fair to Israeli youth, who deserve an affordable chance to see history." According to media reports, McCartney will receive NIS 15 million ($4.3 million) for the concert, with the show costing the producers NIS 30 million to put on - the other half going toward expenses like airline tickets, hotels and food for McCartney's large entourage; staging, lighting, sound and security. If tickets sell out and Hayarkon Park is filled to its 70,000 capacity, the producers stand to make a profit of NIS 10 million, the reports said. Not too hard a day's night for all involved.