Tel Aviv is a party-hearty town where bars and cafes runneth over with patrons even on nights most visitors would consider a school night. Yet once a year, the party literally spills onto the streets as locals and visitors alike pull an all-nighter for Tel Aviv's White Night celebration, known as "layla lavan" in Hebrew.
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This year, that night is Thursday, June 27 – and boy are there plenty of events to choose from. All across Tel Aviv and Jaffa, museums and galleries, restaurants and other cultural institutions will open their doors to the public and keep them open until the wee hours of the morning.
Click here for more information on the Tel Aviv White Night.
For the first time in White Night history, Hatikvah market in south Tel Aviv is joining the fun: Starting at 5 P.M., a Balkan band will welcome visitors at the market's entrance while other musicians perform inside. Stalls, shops, restaurants and cafes in the shuk will stay open late and there will also be street-theater performances, as well as a capoeira, hip-hop and break-dancing show by local kids.
There are musical performances scheduled throughout the night as well: Members of the Israeli Opera will belt out tunes at the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center plaza, Boom Pam takes the stage at the Barbie club and a Wi-Fi headphones party comes to Rabin Square (for smartphone-equipped partygoers – you have to download an app to participate). For true night owls (or those who are early to bed and to rise) singer Yehudit Ravitz will perform a seaside concert at sunset on Hazuk beach.
Film buffs can head for the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, which celebrates its 40th anniversary with free Israeli film screenings from 7 P.M. until midnight.
Other events include ballroom dancing at Habima Square; an early evening drawing workshop for children in Bialik Square; lectures, in Hebrew, on everything from Herod the Great to the human brain at the Kiryat Sefer Park; tours of south Tel Aviv graffiti; a vintage market at Dizengoff Square; a multi-disciplinary arts festival called "Testing Tools" at the community center on Sheinkin Street; and yoga at the Tel Aviv Port.
If that's not enough, the party (or after-party) continues on Friday afternoon with eight hours of outdoor electronic music at Hahurshot Park in Jaffa and free guided tours at museums in Holon, Bat Yam and Herzliya (transportation provided).
Here are a few recommendations that will keep you pulsing with energy until the early hours of the morning:
Musician Tamar Eisenman will appear at the new park at Kiryat Hasefer Street at 8 P.M. Immediately afterward, at Menachem Begin Park (in South Tel Aviv) at 9 P.M., the Greek singer Glykeria will be performing. During the same time, one can see the veteran rock and jazz singers Alon Oleartchik and Shlomo Idov with their new musical performance "Mashehu Romanti" ("Something Romantic") which will begin at 8 P.M., with another performance starting at 9:30 P.M. at the Yitzhak Rabin Center next to Tel Aviv University.
Starting at 9 P.M. an indie rock event at Old Jaffa's Gan Hapisga will begin. Rock 'n' roll trio Nitzan Horesh, Doron Farhi and Boaz Wolf in a cocktail of garage, soul and glam will perform, as well as folk singer Geva Alon. Afterward, indie folk duo Lola Marsh will perform and the event will close with the duo "The Brigitte" from France.
At 10 P.M. at Tel Aviv's Ozen Bar, there will be a tribute performance of an album by the recently deceased Shmulik Kraus, one of the pioneers of Israel rock. The albums, "Medinat Yisrael Neged Kraus Shmuel ("The State of Israel v. Kraus, Shmuel) was recorded in 1971. Performing guests at Ozen Bar will include DJ Elliott and alternative rock singer Zeev Tene.
Around midnight at the Shablul jazz club in the Tel Aviv Port, Amir Gwirtzman, one of the best and most diverse wind musicians in jazz and pop in Israel, will play a wide variety of wind instruments that starred in his latest album "Inhale Exhale."
Certainly the latest performance, at 1:30 A.M., will be the sunrise performance at Zuk Beach, which will open with a performance by the well-known local alt pop band Metropolin. Immediately after them will appear the popular singer Yehudit Ravitz, who will go offstage only at dawn at 5:30 A.M.
"Gush Hosem" is the name of the "testing tools" festival that will open for the tenth time as part of this year's White Night at Beit Tami in Tel Aviv (in Sheinkin Garden at 16 Ba'alei Melacha St.). The festival includes experimental and subversive works. One of the works that can be seen there is the electro-rock opera "Mivtza Lev Patuah" ("Open Heart Campaign"), which will focus on questions of identity, gender and intimacy. The interactive performance "Love Psychosis" features an intimate glance at the relationship of creators Irit and Yanin Shilo. The performance combines elements of performance, still photography and video and sculpture with audience participation.
Bag and accessories designer Daniella Lehavi working with French luxury cosmetics brand Yves Saint Laurent. Together surprise bags were prepared, including different makeup products and small bags designed by Lehavi especially for White Night. During the night, starting from 7 P.M., two calligraphers, Gitit Rafael and Tal Bremer, will be on site.
If you are fans of giant, mysterious and dark buildings you can participate in a treasure hunt that will place at Tel Aviv's New Central Bus Station. The game will take place on all levels of the bus station, through secret corners (cinemas, a service hallway that looks like it was taken from a horror film and more), some of which were opened especially for the game. Between the bus stops and while completing the game tasks, participants will discover all sorts of details about the station. The winners will receive a treasure chest full of prizes. The meeting point for the game is Sophie Moskowitz School of Theater on the station's fourth floor, beginning at 7 P.M. Registration in advance costs NIS 40, registration on the spot is NIS 50.
Advance registration is required for the art tours and space is limited: Call (03) 516-6188 ext. 1 to sign up.
For a complete list of all the White Night events (in Hebrew), go to www.layla-lavan.ynet.co.il