Gigs cancelled due to Gaza conflict cost Israel £12m

Cee-Lo Green and Neil Young among most recent cancellations

Artists cancelling gigs in Israel have reportedly cost the country $20 million (£12 million) in lost ticket sales.

A report by Billboard has found that gigs cancelled by artists such as Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Brian Jonestown Massacre, America and Backstreet Boys has severely affected Israel’s live music industry.

The gigs have been cancelled due to a mixture of safety concerns and artists dropping their shows in protest at Israel’s actions in the Gaza conflict with Hamas. Cee-Lo Green and Megadeth axed concerts in Israel this week. Carmi Wurtman of gig promoters 2b Vibes told Billboard: “This looked like it was going to be one of the best summers in Israel’s history when it came to international acts, but now it’s quite grim.”

Lady Gaga is due to play in Israel’s capital, Tel Aviv, on September 13. Her promoter Arthur Fogel of Live Nation said: “We are watching the situation.” Lana Del Rey is also due to play in Israel, on August 20.

Wurtman said the last time Israel’s live music scene had been badly affected was during the Gaza conflict in 2008-9. He added that buying insurance to cover gigs being cancelled was too expensive to be worthwhile. Wurtman said: “There’s always a Russian roulette element to concert promotion, but this is like playing with two bullets.”

Pixies and The Hives were the last main international bands to play in Israel, in June, before the conflict escalated.