An estimated 3,000 people attended a gig in Tel Aviv on Thursday (May 21) that was organised as an official protest.
Concerts are still banned under social distancing measures in Israel, with the country recordinf at least 279 deaths from coronavirus. Contained protests, however, are still permitted.
Organisers billed the new event as ‘Behind The Scenes: An Assembly Of Solidarity’, which included performances by Israeli acts including Aviv Geffen and Rita.
The protest was arranged to raise funds for those working in live events whose sole income depends on them. It was staged to encourage the Israeli government to restart live programming.
לחובבי ההשוואות כל הזמן, מטורף מה שקורה עכשיו בבני ברק!
צילום: רז גרוס pic.twitter.com/1V8hQFMl8p
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) May 21, 2020
As Billboard reports, the demo had the backing of the Israeli Police and the city of Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai was in attendance and said on stage that the virus “has left many singers, actors and backstage workers with no income and uncertainty about when they’ll be able to earn a living again.”
Attendees were allowed to enter Charles Clore public park, where the concert was held, if they were wearing face masks. They were obligated to keep six feet apart. As Billboard reports further: “Most people appeared initially to spread out throughout the park lawns but soon drew closer to the stage and did not obey health regulations, according to video of the event and two people who attended. Hundreds of people did not wear masks and stood side by side.”
The promoters paid all staff members involved, while the artists – which also included veteran rocker Shalom Hanoch – said they would waive fees.
Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently that lockdown restrictions might be completely removed by mid-June [via JPost].
The Tel Aviv concert was one of the first large-scale music gatherings since lockdown was enforced in March.