Istanbul a brand-name city in entertainment
The number of live music and entertainment events in Istanbul is increasing every day, with many featuring world-renowned performers from abroad. The market value of large-scale live music events in Istanbul has increased 500 percent in the last 10 years making Istanbul a brand name in the entertainment sector.
Turkey hosts over 1,000 live music and entertainment events annually, the market value of which is over $200-250 million, taken together with subsidiary-sector events, said Cem Yegül, executive board chairman of Pozitif Live, which organizes large-scale events such as the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival, the Akbank Jazz Festival, the Efes Pilsen One Love Festival, the Rock’n Coke Festival and Cirque du Soleil in Turkey. In addition to ticket revenues, these events create employment in the food and beverage and transportation sectors, and tradesmen located near event venues also benefit, Yegül said.
Istanbul is a “brand-name city,” Yegül said, and in Turkey 85-90 percent of larger-scale entertainment events or ones featuring foreign acts are held in Istanbul. “The city is known as a tourism destination and it is also progressing in the entertainment sector,” Yegül said. “Big cities should have big entertainment policies. Until a few years ago, Istanbul did not have a 5-10,000 person-capacity concert venue serving the entertainment sector only. There are two now. We also build an arena with capacity of 6,500 people in Ayazağa. This venue will open at the beginning of 2014.
Spending for entertainment averages 8-10 euros per person per year in Turkey, but is nearly 300 euros in Western countries, Yegül said, adding that the Istanbul U2 concert in September 2010 attracted the largest number of viewers of any foreign act to date, and Madonna’s concert in Istanbul this summer also sold the venue out to capacity. Professional urban people between the ages of 25-30 showed the greatest interest in music and entertainment events in Turkey, he said.
The rate of international events has increased from 19 percent to 35 percent of Turkey’s total live entertainment market in the past five years, and the sector will reach $1 billion per year in revenues in the next five years, Yegül said. “Last year 80,000 people viewed the Cirque du Soleil show, which is back in Istanbul again until Oct. 14. This year we expect to exceed 100,000 viewers at 28 shows.”