The culturally blessed country of Israel does play host to some phenomenally diverse music festivals. The Sherp dissects.
When one thinks of Israel, one often thinks of its religious and cultural significance in the world. Israel can also be credited with having produced some fine world musicians, many of who are respected and loved the world over, in addition to housing public with a strong artistic preference. With so much going for the country, it would not be unimaginative for it to be an ideal location for some unique music festival offerings. We list the most interesting of the lot!
1. InDnegev Festival
Where: Negev Desert
For connoisseurs of indie music, InDnegev is quite easily the event that allows you to explore Israeli musicians with strong indie cred. The camping and music festival brings together the keenest, sharpest music fans from across the country who camp together for three days of incredible music, community jam sessions and desert hopping. In addition to that, the festival turns up with performers from across the artistic spectrum, with art exhibitions, poetry readings and movie screenings making it a well rounded festival experience.
(Source: InDnegev Festival Facebook)
2. Doof Festival
Where: Sea of Galilee
When: April 28 to 30
The quintessential psytrance festival comes to Israel in the form of the Doof Festival, one held on the shore of the very popular Sea of Galilee. The swampy banks of the water body welcome hundreds of psytrance fans every April for three days of well-curated trance music from across the globe. The aim of the gathering is to put together underground trance parties in the choicest of locations for the loyalest of fans, and prides itself on being truly a one of a kind event in Israel.
3. Midburn Festival
Where: Negev Desert
When: June 8 to 12
Burning Man fans and enthusiasts will find validation in Israel’s very own version of the festival – the Midburn Festival, an official regional event organised by the Israeli Burning Man community – the Midburn Community. While not a festival per se, but not bereft of it either, Midburn carries upon its 5-day shoulders the very responsibility as Burning Man – to provide a venue for art, radical expression and creative freedom. Much like its parent, the Midburn Festival sees art expression in the most creatively outspoken manner, going as far as inspiring the global art at Burning Man itself. Taking place in the Negev Desert for five days, the festival is replete with community spirit, city-based barter system and the proverbial burning of the statue.
4. Tamar Festival
Where: Around the Dead Sea
One of the most popular geographical attractions lining the country of Israel is undoubtedly the Dead Sea – the water body, the salt content of which, allows you to stay afloat. Taking the spirit of Israeli rock music to the land that borders it is the Tamar Festival, held in the natural amphitheatre afforded by the dry riverbed canyon, is organised with the presence of credible Israeli and international musicians over the intermediary days of the festival of Succot. Past performances include acts like Balkan Beat Box, Matisyahu, and Groovatron.
5. Jacob’s Ladder Festival
Where: Nof Ginosar Hotel on Lake Kinneret
When: December 2 to 3
Appealing to both, the Anglo community residing in Israel and the local community is the Jacob’s Ladder Festival, an event considered to be the friendliest, most social music event in the country. With performances by artists from rock, folk, blues, jazz and world music backgrounds, the festival is one that does not only cater to diverse groups of music fans, but even does to people of all age groups. An immensely family friendly festival, the experience at Jacob’s Ladder is heightened by its interdisciplinary schedule, one that includes dance sessions, special programmes with kids and even yoga and tai chi lessons.
6. Reggae in the Desert
Reggae in the Desert, as the name will have you believe, is just that – celebrating reggae music, and its quintessential culture in the desert of Negev. Reggae enthusiasts from and around Israel descent upon Negev to experience the Rastafarian and Free Love culture in full force, which includes live musical sets from Jamaica’s most spirited performers, island style arts and crafts which can be indulged in at the Caribbean style bazaars lined up at the festival and Desert beer gardens for the spirited reggae lovers!
7. Zorba The Buddha Festival
Where: Desert Ashram
When: April 26 to 30
Israel, the spiritually succinct country deserves every bit a transformational festival and that is gets in the form of the Zorba Buddha Festival – an event dedicated to the physical and spiritual healing awarded by yoga and meditation, along with the benefits of music. The festival constitutes five days of live music celebration and meditation – with a plethora of carefully selected and curated bands, who aim to take you on a spiritual journey with their music. It’s the place where yoga meets spiritual awakening meets social gathering, leaving very little to complain!