"You can't always get what you want," goes the classic Rolling Stones song. But when it comes to their June 4 concert in Israel, the British rock legends have certainly come close, with a guarantee of $6.7 million for that one performance.
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Promoter Shuki Weiss, who has reportedly said in the past that he would retire after bringing the Stones to Israel, beat other promoters to the punch by guaranteeing the astronomical sum, according to Israel's Channel 2.
No matter how many tickets are sold, the Stones will earn $6.7 million for this single appearance at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv. The band has negotiated high sums for other appearances in their upcoming European tour, too, such as $5 million for a stadium show in France, Channel 2 said.
The total cost of the production will set Weiss back an estimated $9.2 million. This includes venue hire, promotion and marketing, value added tax, and other costs, according to Channel 2.
Weiss believes he will manage to sell some 70,000 tickets for between NIS 450 ($130) and NIS 1,500 ($180), with some ticket prices expected to cost some $430.
Industry sources say that a big corporate sponsor is backing the production, possibly a bank, cellular provider or a drinks giant, enabling Weiss to sell those cheaper tickets at around $130.
Weiss might be able to make some savings by using equipment left behind by pop superstar Justin Timberlake, who will appear at the same venue a week before the Stones on May 28. The promoter behind Timberlake's show, Udi Appelboim, is bringing other big name acts to Israel later this year: Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga.
But there is just one catch. According to a legal agreement signed by the municipalities of Tel Aviv and neighboring Ramat Gan, there has to be a gap of 17 days between shows in the park. The agreement followed complaints by residents about noise and traffic disturbances around big stadium shows. As there is only one week between Timberlake and the Stones, this may cause problems.
One industry source told Channel 2, however, that Stones fans don't need to worry just yet. If Weiss manages to convince Mayor Ron Huldai that the show is important for the city's image, the source said, the show may just be able to go on.