The controversial Chanukah concert at London’s O2 Arena featuring Israeli singer Ishay Ribo has been cancelled.
Ticket-holders have been told that the cancellation of the concert, in aid of the Bedside Kosher hospital meals charity, was a result of “rising rates of Covid infection, lockdowns being imposed in parts of Europe and uncertainty regarding travel”.
However, it is suggested that ticket sales had been slow for the concert, which the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregation had said was “forbidden” because of mixed seating.
One purchaser told the JC that the organisers had been naive in attempting to fill 8,500 seats for a performance by a “relatively niche Israeli artist”. The purchaser also pointed out that the top price of £188 was more than the cost of the most expensive ticket when Elton John and other global stars played the Docklands venue. “It was a massively premium event.
The concert’s Charedi promoter, Bedside Kosher chairman Ari Feferkorn, said: “We have worked with partners in Europe who can no longer be certain regarding international travel. This uncertainty means that we cannot be sure that we can deliver a safe event of this scale.
“I do not want to let people down at the last minute so we have taken the hard, but I think correct decision, to postpone the concert now. There is simply too much uncertainty."
Ishay Ribo said he had been “very much looking forward to being with you during Chanukah to light up the festival and our hearts in unity. But we are living in a new reality, one where decisions are often not our own. May we be reunited next year - Chanukah 2022. Bedside Kosher is a wonderful cause and deserves our support. I will be in London as soon as I can.”
Those who purchased tickets will receive automatic refunds.