Music Fans in Israel are Building for Pearl Jam A Facebook fan page calling for legendary rock band Pearl Jam to play a concert in Israel is generating immense buzz as it quickly surpasses 21,000 members.
But this is no slacktivism; the fans of Bring Pearl Jam to Israel, led by Ben Red – Israel’s Broadcasting Authority’s most prominent rock radio presenter, who initiated the action – are campaigning vigorously online and off, while sweeping the country’s music buffs, artists, media interest and supporters along with them. This milestone marks barely two months of intensive operations and creative work taken on by a team of hardworking devotees, whose different fields of expertise, their hearts and souls, are poured into this sacred project, all voluntarily of course.
Red, a tall and slim type with a deep radio voice and infectious enthusiasm, has cultivated a lifelong passion for rock music and its prominent artists. Rock radio was in the cards for him and it wasn’t too long before his daily radio show ‘Noten Barock’ became the most loved and listened-to on the IBA’s leading music station.
“Pearl Jam is my personal favorite, well, right after Zeppelin”, he explains with a grin, “When they topped our listeners’ charts as the audience’s favorite active band, it just clicked in my mind that I have a mission. Do all within my power to rectify the fact that for 21 years since their inception, having played high-energy shows all around the world, they had never reached our shores. They never rocked these many, many disenchanted fans that’ve been waiting impatiently. Hundreds even flew out to watch them live in other countries and faithfully joined their global fan club’s activities.”
And so it began, with faith, the page, a Pearl Jam radio special, all of a sudden – tens, hundreds – TEN THOUSAND people gathered in two weeks time! Local media picked up on it and it spread like fire; skillfully produced viral videos, interactive and artistic competitions, social events and huge theme parties – paraphernalia and unique merch – all proceeds channeled solely into the grassroots venture, a collective endeavor to bring the band for a highly anticipated show on home turf. Red and the gang won’t cop out; they expect the campaign’s expansion way beyond 50K and praise the inclusion of all members comprising the region’s society. Further insightful creativity is promised to be communicated to the band and its management, all the while building on a financially plausible and original not-forprofit, fan-centered production plan.
Israel is no stranger to major rock tours, having hosted U2, Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Roger Waters in front of massive audiences, as well asthe Red Hot Chili Peppers last summer. Many other Seattle ‘grunge’ scene outfits have repeatedly sold out Tel Aviv venues in recent years, among them are Pearl Jam’s friends Mudhoney, Chris Cornell and Mark Lanegan.
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