If you are looking to catch a glimpse of your favourite Israeli bands you can catch them in festivals across Israel throughout the year. There is something for everyone – for the adventurous check out the full-on camping festivals like ‘InDNegev‘, for the sophisticated check out the ‘Tamar Festival‘ in Massada during Succot, and for the people who don’t like to leave Tel Aviv check out ‘Tune In Tel Aviv‘ in November.
The festivals below focus on festivals with Israeli bands, for a more complete list check out our series on Music Festivals in Israel.
May – Menashe Forest Festival
Israeli Musicians | 3 days with camping | North Central Israel | May
A fun 3-day festival, with live performances from over 80 top Israeli bands across all genres – the 2015 lineup included Red Band, Daniella Spector, Tatran, The Hoodna Afrobeat Orchestra, and many more. There are two main music stages, plus loads of workshops, stalls, and art zones. Rock, reggae, poetry, dance, theatre, performance art, folk, experimental music, and more, all in the spirit of a strong social statement and connection to nature.
Succot (October) – Tamar Festival
Israeli Musicians | 5 days without camping | Massada | Succot
A five-day celebration of some of Israel’s most loved musicians, 2015’s lineup includes The Idan Raichel Project, Balkan Beat Box, Asaf Avidan, Mosh Ben Ari, and Ehud Banai. Founded in 2000, the Tamar Festival is usually held during Succot at venues around Massada. The main concerts are in the evening and at sunrise. There are spaces to set up tents (and also lots of local hotels and hostels), but you need to get individual tickets for each event. If you want to experience a beautiful part of Israel, and top Israeli musicians, this is a great way of doing it!
Succot (October) – Festival BeShekel
Israeli Musicians | 2-days with camping | North | Succot
Thousands of people descend on Monfort Lake Park in North Israel for a free 2-day festival. Founded in 2001, famous bands like Nechi Nech, Yemen Blues, and Yuval Dayan, perform alongside smaller local bands. There are also loads of events for the family, including shows, face painting, stalls, and lots of other activities.
October – InDNegev
Israeli Musicians | 3 days with Camping | Negev | Mid-October
InDNegev is a huge three-day live-music extravaganza with over 100 live shows from Israel’s top up-and-coming bands. Nicknamed IndieNegev, a lot of the groups are Indie, but there is a wide spectrum of other genres too. 2015’s line-up includes the Kutiman Orchestra, Tatran, Photoaxis, Tiny Fingers, Red Axes, The Lucille Crew, and many more. InDNegev was founded in 2007 and is held annually around mid-October time at Mitzpe Gvulot in the Negev.
November – Tune in Tel Aviv
Israeli Musicians | 5-days no camping | Tel Aviv | November
More of a conference than a festival, the 5-day Tune in Tel Aviv will feature concerts and talks in bars and venues across Tel Aviv. Most of Israel’s top up-and-coming bands perform, 2015 will feature Balkan Beat Box, Full Trunk, The Lucille Crew, Ouzo Bazooka, Red Axes, Red Band, Uzi Ramires and lots more! The conference includes talks by some of the music industries most important players. Tune in Tel Aviv was founded in 2011 by Oleh! Records and is held in November.
April – Ahava Dead Sea Festival
Israeli Musicians | 4 days with hotel | Dead Sea | April
This was cancelled in 2015, after 18 consecutive years. We hope they will return in 2016!
To get a taster of this 4-day festival at the Dead Sea, check out their 2014 line-up: Aviv Gefen, Barry Sakharof, Ester Rada, HaDag Nahash, Balkan Beat Box, plus lots more. Typically guests stay at the local hotels and guest-houses.