Fuss on alcohol clouds Istanbul music festival
A Turkish association combating drug abuse and alcoholism has started a campaign to cancel one of Turkey’s biggest rock festivals because it is sponsored by the famous alcohol brand Efes Pilsen.
The Turkish Green Crescent (Yeşilay) appealed to the Istanbul Governorship to request the cancellation of the “Efes Pilsen One Love Festival,” which is planned to be held on July 14 and 15 at Bilgi University’s campus in Istanbul’s Eyüp district.
“Alcoholic beverage firms target the youth and aim to gain new alcohol consumers with such events,” the head of the Green Crescent Muharrem Balcı said in a written statement issued on July 10.
Balcı also stated that alcohol firms’ sponsorship of such events was illegal and that this was the reason for their cancellation request.
“This festival takes its name from an alcohol brand; it is completely against the law. These events make youth accustomed to drinking beer. We have given our warnings and submitted a petition to the governor. From now on the Istanbul Governorship is responsible for the subject,” Balcı said.
According to a recent legal regulation from Turkey’s Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority (TAPDK), alcoholic beverage firms can sponsor festivals or events as long as their brand names are not used in the festival’s title.
“We are not against young people listening to music, the universal language of music surely has positive effects on them,” Balcı said.
However Deputy Governor Ali Bakoğlu told the Hürriyet Daily News that they had not received a legal notification from the Green Crescent yet.
The festival will most likely go ahead as planned, Nihan Çağlayan of the festival’s organizing company Excel Communication said. “We have not changed anything in our schedule and are not planning to either,” she told the Daily News.
Balcı who is known for his zealous fight against alcoholic beverages and smoking also said that anything associated with alcoholic beverage brands should not be allowed into festivals.
The Efes Pilsen One Love Music Festival is preparing to rock Istanbul’s music lovers at santralistanbul and its organizers have announced the hourly program of the two-day festival. While Brit-rock band Kaiser Chiefs headlines the first day, the second day will see British alternative rock legends Pulp perform a selection of their top hits with all of their original members, after a ten-year hiatus from the stage.