Summer Festivals in the Holy City


Summer is the best time of year to be single in the holy city so here is a summary of what is hot this summer in Jerusalem.

The Front Stage Friday Street Parties

The Final Act, Gan Sacher 2010

Throughout the summer, The Front Stage put on free street parties all over the city on Friday afternoon.  As they have grown in popularity, as have the venues.  The parties started at the beginning of July but they only get better as the summer gets hotter.  Most start at 12pm but check out their website for a list of dates and venues, www.young-city.co.il.  The Final Act, the end of summer party with an African Safari theme,  takes place on Friday 26 August 2011 in the Mamilla Mall and will feature DJ DARWISH and  band U.R.I.N.I.M.U; more details will be announced so make sure to be around!

Israeli  Wine Tasting Festival, 15-18 August 2011

Considered by many as THE event in the Jerusalem social calendar and without a doubt the most talked about event of the year, the Israeli Wine Tasting Festival is held in the art garden of the Israel Museum and this year for the first time there are four nights to enjoy delicious Israeli wine.

The concept is simple, with your ticket you receive a crystal wine glass which you can collect over the years (I have 10 already), you walk around the sculpture garden listening to live music, meeting friends you haven’t seen since possibly the last wine festival and tasting the delicious wines that our great country has to offer.  If you are serious about wine I recommend going at the beginning of the week and getting there early so you can have a chance to speak to the sommeliers and learn about the wines you are tasting.  The stands for the boutique wineries are often manned by the wine makers themselves.  By the end of the night, the stands get more crowded and the tasting sizes get smaller and they often run out of the really good stuff.  There are also a few food stands selling sushi, cheese platters, chocolates and donuts so you can soak up the alcohol.

In the past I have been twice, once to actually taste new wines and learn more about the vineyards and once with my friends to get drunk and have a good time.  Most important piece of advice I can give you – don’t drink and dial – you never know how the evening will end!

Doors open at 7pm and they start to kick people out at 11pm, tickets cost 70 ₪ and are available on the door but can also be bought in advance from the Israel Museum ticket sales website or by phone at (02) 625-9703.

Chutzot Hayotzer, August 15-27 2011

More popular with tourists than the locals, Chutzot Hayotzer is still a fun summer activity for everyone.  The art fair takes place in Sultan’s Pool, outside the walls of the old city and as well as numerous stands with Israeli art, jewellery, gifts and gadgets there is also an international section selling art and gifts from all corners of the world.  There is a large “food court” with stands from many popular local restaurants and a music auditorium which includes performances from popular Israeli singers such as Gidi Gov, Yudit Ravitz, Ehud Banai and the gorgeous and talented Ivri Lider (a girl can dream).

Tickets are 55 ₪ for adults with discounts available for Jerusalem card holders, students, soldiers etc and can be purchased on the door or in advance from www.bimot.co.il .  The fair is open weekdays (except Friday): 18:00-23:00; Saturday night: 1 hour after Shabbat until 24:00.  For more information about the fair and for a full list of concerts, go to http://artfair.jerusalem.muni.il/ (there is an English translation on the menu bar).

Jerusalem Beer Festival, Aug 31 & Sept 1 2011

Now in its 7th year, the Jerusalem Beer Festival at The Old Train Station off Derech Hevron is the largest beer festival in Israel.  With over 100 beers from Israel and around the world, the festival also includes food stands, DJs and live bands.  Tickets are 30 ₪(Soldiers, students and Jerusalem card holders 25 ₪).  From 18:00 to 24:00, for more info, go to www.jerusalembeer.com/en/.

So whether you are into wine, beer, music or art, there is something for everyone in the holy city.  See you there!
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