Tel Aviv is no stranger to late-night parties, but once a year, the party is all white and it lasts all night. This time around is no different, and on June 28 Tel Aviv will once again ignore the clock with a range of city hall-sponsored performances and events that will keep you up well past your bedtime.
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Tel Aviv – known as the "White City" thanks to its stunning collection of Bauhaus architecture – will be dishing up something for insomniacs of all kind. To help you navigate this city-wide nocturnal festival, Haaretz English has provided a short list of the dozens of mostly free music, art and food events. Take a disco nap, kids, and get ready to rock out into the wee hours.
For a full preview of this year's White Night (in Hebrew) check out City Mouse Online.
A highlight of this year's events includes the Young Band Stage, where five groups of heretofore unknown musicians will take to the stage outside the Tel Aviv Cinematheque after passing an online audition on YouTube.
Other hot music events include a special performance by Danny Sanderson at dawn (at Tzuk Beach); the French bossa nova group Nouvelle Vague in Bialik Square; a dozen bands of a variety of genres shaking the walls of the open air Jaffa Flea Market as part of Pishpishuk (alongside street performers, an art fair and food specials); a "headphones party" in Rabin Square; all-night dancing (dressed in white!) on Gordon Beach, and much more.
Don't like music? Well, that's a conversation for a different time, but you'll still have your fill of events to choose from. Check out the vintage sale on Dizengoff Street, the nude modeling workshop at the Gay Community Center next to Meir Park or even try some ballroom dancing at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center.
Feel the need to hit the hay before sunrise? Start the night off early and take your kids for a sing-along in Bialik Square at 6:45 p.m. Then, get a good night's sleep and make sure not to hit the snooze button – there's sunrise yoga at 5:30 a.m. at the Tel Aviv port.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the choices? No worries, the night is young. Take a look at the list below to help you plan how to best use your precious time.
Recommended Musical Performances for White Night 2012:
Nouvelle Vague and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac at Bialik House
Fashion designer extraordinaire Jean-Charles de Castelbajac and bossa nova-influenced group Nouvelle Vague's joint world tour is coming to Bialik House. Their innovative set, called "The Dawn of Innocence" is expected to blend musical styles, including show tunes, opera, pop rock and theater. Castelbajac is the driving force behind the performance's concept, direction and even stage prop and costume design. And he will show a collection of his clothing before the performance. Nouvelle Vague will, of course, bring the beats.
When: 8 p.m.-12 a.m.
Where: Bialik House, 22 Bialik St.
Danny Sanderson at Sunrise, with Karolina opening
The traditional White Night performance at sunrise will continue this year with one of the godfathers of Israeli rock, Danny Sanderson at Tzuk Beach. He will be joined by veteran singer-musicians Mazi Cohen, Maor Cohen and Alon Oleartchik. Famous funk-inspired groove singer Karolina will get things started as the opening act.
When: Concert starts at 2:30 a.m.
Where: Tzuk Beach
Rif Cohen and the Zik Group at Jaffa Port
The Jaffa Port will be offering a musical smorgasbord this year. The funk-rock-Balkans inspired fusion band Shmemel, klezmer-jazz group Ramzailech, Franco-Israeli pop singer Rif Cohen, local Middle Eastern heavy metal rock band Khalas and youth jazz bands will be serving up fresh sounds in Old Jaffa. After the concerts, Zik Group will perform their theater piece "Kokotzu at the Port."
When: 7:30 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Where: Jaffa Port
White Noise at the Cinematheque
In honor of White Night 2012, Tel Aviv City Hall announced a competition for fresh-faced young bands on its Facebook page. In an American Idol-meets-YouTube process, Internet users voted on the songs and bands they liked best. The top five bands will earn a spot on stage at the Cinematheque for White Night.
When: 8:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Where: Tel Aviv's Cinematheque plaza, corner of Sprinzak and Carlebach Streets.
Billy's Band plays the Barby
Billy's Band, one of the hottest acts in the Saint Petersburg-Moscow music scene, will be playing the famous Tel Aviv rock joint Barby. Band members like to describe their music as "underground romantic." The set lineup will include Tom Waits cover songs and original material.
When: 9:30 p.m.
Where: Barby Club, 52 Kibbutz Galuyot St.
Cost: NIS 190 -270
"Headphones party" in Rabin Square
A Wi-Fi "headphones party" will be silently erupting in Rabin Square. Anyone will be able to join the rave by using a smartphone – equipped with Wi-Fi and headphones of course – to tap into the music. If you forget your headphones, they can be rented on location.
Tel Aviv City Hall has arranged illuminate the sky by hanging a giant glass orb high above Rabin Square. Itay Galo, Dalit Rechester, Eliran Cohen, Nadav Shpilman and Noy Alooshe will play a special DJ set from a stage in the square.
When: 8 p.m.
Where: Rabin Square
Food and Drink
In honor of White Night, many of Tel Aviv's dining establishments will be offering reduced prices on dishes, with a focus on white-colored foods.
The night's special culinary concoctions will include: oven-baked sea bream with a side of fries and a house salad at The Old Man and the Sea Restaurant's (Hazaken Vehayam) two locations in Jaffa; shrimp with leafy greens, zucchini and peppers in a cream sauce served with a house salad at The Old Man and the Sea Restaurant at the Jaffa Port (NIS 89); a red caviar blintz with a glass of sparkling wine at Baba Yaga (NIS 68); ricotta ravioli and asparagus at Orna and Ella (NIS 52); a platter of fried foods at Petra Nargila Bar (NIS 50), and a mini chocolate soufflé, a half cheesecake crepe, mini-milky max cookies, mini-candy cigars and other treats at Max Brenner's Rothschild branch (NIS 79).
White Night, Mexican Style
Mezcal, the Mexican bar located in Tel Aviv's Florentine neighborhood, is joining the White Night fun with a special offer. Starting at midnight, all customers are entitled to a complimentary third cocktail at the bar. The location's long list of cocktails includes margaritas, mojitos and chili martinis.
Where: 2 Vital St.
Hot-dog-eating contest at Dancing Camel Brewery
The Tel Aviv microbrewery Dancing Camel invites revelers to refuel with a pint or two at their location on 12 Hata'asiya St. A foot-long hot dog from the bar's kitchen and a third of a pint of Dancing Camel brew will be just NIS 35 (as opposed to the regular price of NIS 52). At 2:00 a.m. the pub will host a hot dog eating contest. The entry fee will be NIS 10 per contestant. The fastest eater will receive 10 free beer vouchers with a retail value of NIS 270.
White Wine expo at Traklin
A boutique wine expo will be set up along the promenade and in the courtyard next to Traklin restaurant at 41 Nahalat Binyamin St. The white wines of roughly a dozen family-owned boutique wineries will be available for tasting, with winery representatives on hand for guidance. Participating wineries will include Stern Winery, Mazor Winery and Maor Winery.
When: Starting at 7:00 p.m.
Where: 41 Nahalat Binyamin St.
Cost: NIS 50 entrance fee; wine tasting is free.
For people who prefer their late nights without wild music and alcohol, or parents who will have their kids in tow, here are some family-friendly ways to enjoy White Night.
Yoga at Sunrise
The Tel Aviv Port (not to be confused with the one in Jaffa) in conjunction with EllaYoga studio will offer a sunrise yoga session on the Tel Aviv Port's wooden boardwalk. Heavy stretching will commence at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, June 29, under the supervision of Ronit Vardi of Ellayoga. She will use the Kundali method of yoga, which involves meditation and mantra chanting.
The event will mark the end of White Night. Entrance is free.
A family-friendly night of music and haggling will begin in the area surrounding the Jaffa Flea Market at 8:00 p.m. Several bands are scheduled to perform on street corners in the area, and the market's unique shops, arts and crafts stalls, cafes and restaurants will be open late for the evening's crowds. Also, street performers will be out and about to entertain the kids. Omer Nevo will lead a musical night procession in singing the songs of Jaffa.
Tel Aviv in song
For anyone who has fond memories of singing around the campfire as a kid, White Night will offer an urban version of a sing-a-long.
A singing walking tour will start at the famous Tel Aviv high school Gymnasia Herzliya with the song "Herzl without a Highway." Participants will stroll through downtown Tel Aviv belting out songs about the city. They will end with "An Orchard of Sycamores" ("Gan Hashekamim").
The tour begins at 10:00 p.m. and will be led by tour guide Yifat Avizedek-Kalfa. Professional singers and shower-stall divas alike are welcome.