A Star Will Be Born on Kinneret Beach Tonight

Some 40,000 youngsters are expected to attend the final contest of "Kochav Nolad 6" (the local version of American Idol) on a Kinneret beach tonight, kicking off the three-day Volume 2008 festival.

Some 200 buses bringing youngsters from all over the country will begin arriving at Dugal beach, on the Kinneret's eastern shore, from 9 A.M.

No private vehicles will be allowed into the beach complex, and visitors arriving by car will have to leave them in a special parking lot set up at Yehudia junction, from where they will be shuttled to the event.

Yesterday's general rehearsal concluded days of preparations by hundreds of workers.

The beach area, which was closed off completely for the rehearsal yesterday, was to reopen at 6 A.M. today.

The Luna Gal water park will be open to festivalgoers only, for a NIS 10 entrance fee.

"Night swimming is forbidden. Ushers and inspectors will make sure that nobody goes into the water after dark. No alcohol - even for those over 18 - or gas burners will be allowed on the premises," beach manager Yariv Meiri explained.

"After all, it's an event for teenagers."

Lifeguards and recyclying

Three rescue boats manned by lifeguards will cruise the Kinneret, and lifeguards will also patrol the beach.

The festival compound will include several containers for recycling batteries, bottles and plastic bags along the beach.

The proceeds from the bottles will be used for installing recycling facilities on the open beaches around the Kinneret, Meiri said. "We'll help the youth implement their ecological awareness. We will employ 150 workers in shifts to clean up the beach."

Fast-food stands including Thai food, hamburgers and breakfasts will cater to the teenagers' gastronomic notions.

Hundreds of chemical toilets have also been installed along the beach.

Four fire-fighting teams backed by police stations on alert will secure the event, Galilee's fire fighters' spokesman Yair Elkayam said.

The region's Maged David Adom will provide ten ambulances, 80 paramedics, two mobile intensive care units and two treatment stations to deal with any medical contingency, MDA area manager Eli Peretz said.

Some 2,500 projectors powered by some 50 generators will light the stage, and giant outdoor screens will be placed near the stage, said a spokesman for Keshet, one of the two concessionaires operating the Channel 2 commercial television station.

Every contestant will perform two songs: one solo and the other in a duet.

The finalists will perform the duets with one of three stars who graduated from this program - Ninet Tayeb, Boaz Mauda and Marina Maximilian-Blumin.