Justin Bieber’s trip to Israel led to controversy and was not as successful as organisers had hoped as the teen superstar failed to hit ticket selling targets for his concert.
The Baby hitmaker performed at Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv on 14 April to approximately 21,000 fans, which fell below forecasts in the 35,000 range. Madonna drew 56,000 to her concert at the same venue in 2009.
Israeli promoter Shuki Weiss explains, “They overpaid and did not market it right. I think it’s important for every artist to come to Israel, but you need to know your crowd.”
Posters advertising the show were not numerous enough in the city, with the exception of the areas surrounding Bieber’s hotel, and with ticket sales initially sluggish, a promotion offering free entry to parents was introduced, causing headaches at the park’s gates.
Putting a good face on it all, one of the show’s promoters, Gadi Oron, said “(Sales) definitely met our expectations.” He declined to comment on Bieber’s reported payday: “It is our policy not to talk about financial arrangements we reach with talent we promote.”
But Bieber, who made an estimated $1 million for the 90-minute show, is clearly popular in Israel – he was mobbed on arrival in Tel Aviv and had to visit landmarks in the holy city of Jerusalem in the early hours of the morning to avoid paparazzi.