For the past 10 months, the municipality together with the Ariel company have been preparing for this year’s Hutzot Hayotzer festival, taking place August 7-19 in Sultan’s Pool and in the Old City of Jerusalem, near the Tower of David.
This year – the arts and crafts festival’s 47th – the return of a larger international presence is expected, says Sharon Katz, a member of Ariel’s production team. As this is only the festival’s second year since the COVID pandemic, there’s a notable resurgence in artisans and patrons eager to participate in the festival.
“Today, when you look at the composition of the festival, it includes art and crafts booths from both Israel and about 20 other countries as well,” he says.
Katz and his team have been hard at work to ensure that this year’s experience lives up to Hutzot Hayotzer’s reputation as the go-to event for Jerusalem’s summer of culture.
“This event is a matter of tradition now,” Katz says, “and each year it has evolved.”
What's happening in Jerusalem's Hutzot Hayotzer this year?
New this year is an exhibition created by artist Yaara Sachs called Creatures in the City which will transform Sultan’s Pool into a yard full of inflatable beings. Some dozen street artists offered their two-dimensional drawings to the project, and Sachs then turned their designs into large three-dimensional monsters, six to eight meters in height.
Artist Ana Kogan, who specializes in creating pieces that act as optical illusions, will also have her artwork on display during the festival.
“[The festival] also includes a live stage where leading singers from Israeli pop culture will perform,” Katz says.
Some of this year’s festival musical headliners include Shlomi Shabbat, Moshe Peretz, Shiri Maimon, Nasrin Kadi, Odeya, and Avi Aburomi.
“Our aim is basically to offer this event with as many options as possible for as many tastes of different cultures as possible,” Katz says.
A designated children’s area lets kids participate in special activities and be entertained by a play, Everything is Gold, presented at 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The show lasts half an hour. The section offers activity stalls with fun such as braids, make-up, temporary tattoos, and amusing outdoor characters. While entrance to the area is free, the stalls require additional token payments.
Tickets to the festival cost NIS 129 per day, with Yerushalmi club (for residents of the capital) cardholders paying the discounted price of NIS 79. There is also the option of a ticket that excludes the concert, for NIS 30.
The festival complex will be open evenings from 6-11 p.m. (except Friday), and on Saturday it will open from 9 p.m.-midnight. The musical acts will take the stage at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Saturday.
Katz says those involved in the festival “welcome everyone from Jerusalem and from outside of Jerusalem” and “look forward to seeing a diverse crowd with a wide range of people.”
“We’re ready for them and we cannot wait!” ❖
Tickets can be purchased at: www.jerusalem.muni.il/en/experience/allevents/hutzot-hayotzer/