The Klezmer Festival Tzfat, an annual music festival celebrating klezmer music, and the largest festival of its type in the world, is held in the town of Safed (Tzfat) in the Galilee area of Northern Israel.The town itself is known for its artistic roots, as well as its status as one of Judaism’s Four Holy City.
The three-day festival sees concerts and events held throughout the city, with visitors recommended to take in many of the town’s historic sites and attractions as well as the music itself. The festival is attended by tens of thousands of visitors from across the globe.
What to expect
Klezmer music is considered tradition Jewish soul music. Popular in much of Eastern Europe at the turn of the 20th century, the music largely died out during the Second World War. Over the last 30 years or so the music has made a comeback, and today is one of the most popular genres of music in Israel. Klezmer ordinarily features instruments including the violin, clarinet, cello or double bass, and drum. Depending how experimental musicians get, anything from an accordion to a ukulele. The overall sound is similar to Eastern European folk and gypsy music.
The festival in Safed sees top klezmer players from across Israel join those from around the world to put on an exciting and enjoyable event. Solo performers and full-on bands can be found playing away in venues across town, while the audience dances the afternoon and evening away.
Stages are constructed in many of the town’s alleyways to give further performers the chance to play. Festivities aren’t restricted to designated venues either. Klezmer performers can be found playing in the city’s streets and parks too. The end result is a three-day celebration featuring thousands of happy attendees and performers. Food is easy to come by and drink is free-flowing. Dancing is obligatory.
When to go
The Klezmer Festival Tzfat is held annually over a three-day period in August. The 2014 event takes place between August 18 and 20.
How to get there
Safed, which is located in Northern Israel, offers direct road links to the likes of Akko, Haifa, and Caesarea. Visitors looking to travel from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv will also find good road connections.
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