On Wednesday night, the Galgalive Festival was held at Live Park in Rishon Lezion, celebrating 30 years of Galgalatz, the Army Radio pop music station.
Thousands of attendees started partying at 5:30 p.m. and did not stop all the way through until sunset the next day. The lineup of talent included many who owed their careers to the exposure they received on one of Israel’s most popular radio stations.
Among the performers were Eurovision star Noa Kirel, Agam, Echo, Bar Tzabary, Jimbo Jay, Harel Skaat, Teddy Naguse, Yossi, Static, Jonathan Mergui, Ivri Lider, Elai Botner & The Outside Kids, Itai Peled and Ran Danker. With an additional surprise appearance early in the night from Idan Raichel, audiences were geared up and pumping very quickly.
Between the acts, Galgalatz’s most famous radio hosts interviewed performers and got the audience excited for the upcoming acts. With music, interviews and exciting graphics, there were few dull moments to endure.
Achinoam Bar, a Galgalatz radio host and one of the MCs of the night, feels like the whole event has been one big dream. “We’ve been looking forward to this for months,” she says. “It’s been in the making for years.”
Army Radio has been an Israeli mainstay
According to Bar, the army radio station is one of Israel’s few constants in this rapidly changing and conflicting landscape. “Galgalatz is there 24/7, through all the good and bad times,” she says. “You can have a war, and then the next day ‘Unicorn’ is playing at Eurovision.”
After her recent third-place result at the international Eurovision competition, all anyone could talk about was Kirel. While throughout the night, some audience members lay on the concrete and grass to catch some sleep, everyone was wide awake for her appearance.
“When I saw the final lineup, I knew it was special,” Bar says. “Noa Kirel at 2 a.m., Static just before her, Mergui, Agam – it’s perfect.”
She believes Galgalatz is always thinking about its audience, and that is the reason for the event’s success. “The festival is a gift we want to give to our listeners,” she says. “It feels incredible and I am super proud of my coworkers.”
“It is the sound of Israeli culture.”Ivri Lider
Lider could also feel the energy bubbling in the audience. “When you go on stages like this with so many people, it’s just crazy. It’s pretty amazing that this is happening for the first time, but I hope it will be a tradition from now on.”
The significance of Galgalatz as a music station for Israelis around the country cannot be understated, and Lider certainly agrees. “Galgalatz is the most important radio station in Israel for musicians and it has been for many years,” he says. “It is the sound of Israeli culture.”