The Rolling Stones will begin their first concert in Israel 45 minutes later than originally scheduled to accommodate religious Jewish fans.
The Stones’ June 4 Tel Aviv concert was initially set to begin at 8:30 p.m., just minutes after the end of the Shavuot holiday, the Jewish Feast of Weeks, which commemorates Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.
Orthodox Jews do not drive on the Sabbath or holidays, so it would have been impossible for them to arrive at the venue on time. Many of the Stones’ biggest Israeli fans — modern Orthodox baby boomers who moved to Israel from English-speaking countries — had begged the event promoter, Shuki Weiss Promotion and Production, to push forward the starting time.
“Following many requests from the public, particularly the observant public, to delay the starting hour for the performance, the City of Tel Aviv, together with the production team, decided to change the starting time,” the promoter said in a press release.
The municipality had to agree due to after-hours noise pollution laws.
According to the Times of Israel, less-than-optimal ticket sales may also have been a factor in the decision.
Despite the 9:15 p.m. start time, it’s unlikely that religious Stones fans from outside Tel Aviv will be able to arrive in time for the group’s first songs. To avoid the problem some diehard Orthodox fans from Jerusalem have booked apartments or hotel rooms in Tel Aviv for the duration of the holiday.
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