Istanbul a brand name in entertainment sector
ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
‘The sponsors’ share is decreasing, and ticket revenues are increasing. This shows that the sector is progressing healthily,’ says Cem Yegül, executive board chairman of Pozitif Live. DHA photoThe number of live music and entertainment events in Turkey is increasing every day, with many featuring world-renowned performers from abroad. The market value of large-scale live music events has increased 500 percent in the last 10 years making Istanbul, which hosts most of these events, 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.
In the past, most of such events featured local artists exclusively, and ticket sales were low, Yegül said, adding, “Free public concerts were generally organized. People should pay the cost of the entertainment in order to create an economy. Thanks to foreign events, this economy has been created. In the past, events were organized with the help of brands and sponsors. Now the sponsors’ share is decreasing, and ticket revenues are increasing. This shows that the sector is progressing healthily.”
Big cities should have big entertainment policies
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. The growth of such venues, with proper infrastructure, means that the city can draw world-class events not only in summer but also in winter. Local and central administrations should have master entertainment plans and culture and entertainment policies. They should assist this business, make it easier and lower the tax burden on it.”
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 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 United States, Britain and Germany are the top countries in the entertainment sector. Live music events are managed from Los Angeles in the U.S. and from London in Europe. I think that big stadiums and club managers in Turkey will open their venues to the entertainment sector in future,” Yegül 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.”