July 20, 2014 6:36am PT by David Caspi
Backstreet Boys Cancel Israel Concerts Amid Hostilities
Following recent cancelations by Neil Young and Crazy Horse and Paul Anka, the Backstreet Boys are now officially calling off their three end-of-July, sold-out shows in Israel due to Operation Protective Edge.
"We are very sorry to inform you that the BSB concerts planned for July 29-30-31 at the Ra'anana Amphitheater have been postponed," reads the official statement. "This is a major disappointment for the band and fans as this was to be our first visit to Israel and we looked forward to meeting our fans. We're already working with the producers on new dates during spring 2015 and will notify everyone about this as soon as possible. Sending lots of love to everyone."
Israeli promoter Tal Sherf clarified in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that alternative dates are examined for a future tour leg next year. The band will "make all possible efforts to announce the new dates as soon as possible. ... We know many loyal fans of the band in Israel were expecting and very excited about these concerts and we can say that we've been working on new dates for the months of March - April spring 2015. We now join the prayers of the people of Israel for the well-being of our soldiers, may they return home in peace."
The cancelation had been speculated for almost two weeks in the wake of Operation Protective Edge. In what has begun as Israel's busiest summer ever in terms of high profile acts and number of scheduled concerts, the Backstreet Boys' planned visit drew sensational buzz. After their initial announced date was sold out in hours, two additional concerts were added, only to be immediately sold out as well.
Other concert cancelations of the past week include veteran folk rock band America and jazz musicians Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke. Among artists still on board to perform as planned are thrash metal band Megadeth on August 6, Lana Del Rey and Cee Lo Green in late August and Lady Gaga in mid-September.