Live events have been ultimately halted across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic as venues prepare how to slowly reopen to the public. However, over the weekend, Tel Aviv held the largest concert gathering since news of the virus broke earlier this year, packing 5,000 fans at a beachfront venue.
The event, which took place at Charles Clore Park, was reportedly a solidarity event for musicians who have struggled during the lockdown. Hebrew media reports note that about 5,000 people were in attendance, with performances from Israel rockers Aviv Gefen, Berry Sakharoff, and Ehud Banai. Although the concert went on with a police permit and social distancing rules were in place, Times of Israel reported that many concertgoers did not adhere to the distance limitations or wear masks.
One fan in attendance told the Ynet news site that “at the start people kept distance, but it’s impossible to expect people to hear music and not dance or get close.”
A video on Twitter shows the crowd, with concertgoers squished together.
חוזרים לשטיבלך במאה שערים, הזייה בריבוע pic.twitter.com/s85sYX35E3
— איתי בלומנטל Itay Blumental (@ItayBlumental) May 21, 2020
The concert came to fruition following a decline in new infections, leading to social distance guidelines being loosened across the country. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai is supporting the return of concerts and spoke out about helping artists return to work amid the government’s return.
“The coronavirus has left many musicians, actors, and those working behind the scenes, who bolster the culture and music industry, with no livelihoods,” Huldai said at the concert, according to Ynet. “They are uncertain about when they can go back to making a living. This is a cry from an entire industry that is demanding answers.”
Israeli fans aren’t alone; concertgoers across the globe are itching for the return of live events. In the U.S., the first post-lockdown concert was held in Arkansas after much push-back, followed by a gig in Utah slated to take place later this month. Promoter giant Live Nation also spoke out regarding the future of the industry, noting that it would test crowdless shows and drive-in movie theater concerts this summer.