When it comes to the concert business in Israel, the country gives new meaning to the term “secondary market” — as in, a good number of the foreign acts who agree to play there end up having second thoughts and canceling their gigs. Such was the case for Elvis Costello, who canceled two 2010 shows citing his “conscience,” and the Pixies, who last year pulled the plug on a festival appearance after Israeli military fired heavily on a flotilla bound for Gaza. Macy Gray also debated a return trip to Tel Aviv, polling her Facebook fans for their take on Middle Eastern politics (she ultimately decided to honor her commitment).
And so when it was announced that teen phenom Justin Bieber was coming to Tel Aviv’s massive Hayarkon Park, ticket sales were understandably sluggish at first. After all, who wants to deal with the hassle of a refund or the disappointed look on their young daughter’s face when Bieber, like so many others, decides to skip the highly volatile stop?