(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) It's official: The Rolling Stones will give a concert this summer at Tel Aviv's Hayarkon Park.
"Today, the longest negotiation of my career is coming to an end," concert promoter Shuki Weiss said Tuesday at a press conference announcing the Rolling Stones' June 4 performance.
"I began this process before Israel's 40th Independence Day and it was completed only in 2014," Weiss added.
The hype surrounding the official confirmation of the concert was mixed with anger over the high prices tickets were selling for. Calls to boycott the concert started surfacing on social media, as tickets run from NIS 695 ($199) for a space on the lawn to NIS 2,850 ($818) for a VIP ticket. Tickets go on sale Thursday morning.
Weiss, the Israeli promoter, assumed that ticket prices would cause a stir, an issue he addressed at the Tel Aviv press conference. "It's a big event, so expenses are high," he said, adding that prices in Israel were still lower than in other cities. He even handed out a document listing prices of concert tickets across the world. A ticket to see the Stones in Berlin costs around $270, while prices were $200 in Oslo and $170 in Zurich and Dusseldorf.
For years it has been rumored that the Rolling Stones were coming to Israel. While reports began arising again this year that the Stones were slated to perform in Tel Aviv, they faded last week after lead singer Mick Jagger's girlfriend, designer L'Wren Scott, committed suicide.
Meanwhile, pro-Palestinian groups expressed outrage at the band members for agreeing to perform in Israel. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement's spokesperson said the band would "go down in history as one of the few artists willing to perform in Israel despite the occupation, settlements and apartheid."