The Summer in the City festival, set for June 1 at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon, has had its share of growing pains.
It was billed back in December, with much hoopla, as a mini “Mideast Coachella” – a two-day extravaganza featuring British veteran (and Israeli favorite) Robbie Williams, Sam Smith, Papa Roach, Calum Scott and DJ Martin Garrix, as well as our own Static.
The first kink in the works came when the producers announced in March that American hard rockers Papa Roach were off the lineup for the first day “for reasons unrelated to the production.” However, the Tel Aviv date was never listed on the band’s official website, and band members said in a radio interview at the time that they had never closed a deal on the show and never intended to arrive.
Then, earlier this month, the first day’s headliner Smith was also scratched from the schedule, with promoter Shuki Weiss chalking it up to “unforeseeable technical and logistical problems.” However, the word on the street had the reason for the cancellation was poor ticket sales.
Neither reason prevented the BDS movement from praising Smith for canceling their performance, a claim that has proven to be false, according to the Creative Community for Peace, a Los Angeles-based NGO comprised of prominent members of the entertainment industry who wage battle against the cultural boycott of Israel.
“The cancellation of the whole show date had nothing to do with pressure from the anti-Israel (BDS) boycott movement,” said the CCFP’s director Ari Engel. “To be clear, the promoter canceled the show, not Sam.”
“The cancellation of the whole show date had nothing to do with pressure from the anti-Israel (BDS) boycott movement. To be clear, the promoter canceled the show, not Sam.”Ari Engel
ONCE THE dust settled, the festival turned into a one-day event, but it still promises to provide a full range of musical entertainment.
Robbie Williams to still lead Summer in the City event
Williams, the former pop star with Take That from 1990-95, has become a crowd-pleasing Brit-rock crooner, selling over 20 million albums and still going strong with his latest 2022 offering, XXV.
At his last show in Israel, at Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon in 2015, Williams provided a spectacle, like a throwback to the days of cabaret glitter and glam, replete with devil horns and platinum blond tresses.
Where else could you hear medleys of “We Will Rock You” and “I Love Rock & Roll” bumping up against Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher,” The Isley Brothers’ “Shout,” Lorde’s “Royals” (establishing his hip credentials) and Williams’s own Brit pop classics like “Angels,” “Millennium,” and “Rock DJ”?
Featuring an eight-piece band, plus four background singers and dancers, and almost as many costume changes, Williams brought the Israeli crowd exactly what it was looking for – a spectacle.
Williams told Israel Hayom earlier this year that he had fond memories of the Tel Aviv show.
“I remember it was a very important performance for me. It’s always amazing to arrive at a new place and see that so many people come to see you. It’s always beautiful and confusing. This time, I want to do an even better performance than the last one. It’s very important to me to impress the Israeli audience,” he said.
In addition to headliner Williams, the day’s lineup includes Scott, who rose to prominence in April 2015 after competing in Britain’s Got Talent. Scott is best known for his cover of the Robyn hit, “Dancing on My Own.”
Critically acclaimed Dutch DJ and EDM producer Garrix was ranked number one on DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJs list for three years in a row, between 2016-2018, the year he last appeared in Israel. And rounding out the bill is the inimitable Israeli pop favorite Static.
Tickets are still available, from NIS 339, at www.leaan.co.il.