Premier Turkish blues event to revive various provinces
The festival will feature 24 concerts by powerful names in blues music and span 20 cities. Pictured: Zora Young.The Efes Pilsen Blues Festival, the only festival for the genre in Turkey, will launch its 23rd year on Nov. 2 in the southern province of Antalya. The festival will feature 24 concerts by powerful names in blues music and span 20 cities, ending in İzmir on Dec. 8.
Blues harmonica master Billy Branch, who has won a number of prestigious international awards including at the Grammys and Emmys, and his band The Sons of Blues will perform at the festival. Branch will also be joined by a special guest, Zora Young from Mississippi. Young began performing
blues and R&B at a young age and has shared the stage with leading blues artists such as Junior Wells, Jimmy Dawkins, Bobby Rush, Buddy Guy, Albert King, Professor Eddie Lusk and B.B. King.
Electronic blues guitarist Smokin’ Joe Kubek and Bnois King, two of the leading representatives of the Texas Blues style, will join acclaimed drummer Cedric Burnside, grandson of the legendary R.L. Burnside and winner of the Best New Artist Award in 2009 and Best Drummer in 2010 and 2011 at the Blues Music Awards, on stage.
Tickets for the festival are on sale at Biletix for 25 Turkish Liras in Adana, Mersin, Antalya, Bursa and northern Cyprus; 20 liras in Hatay, Denizli, Eskişehir, Edirne, Çanakkale and Trabzon; and 15 liras in Kayseri, Konya, Gaziantep, Diyarbakır, Erzurum and Balıkesir.
Festival closed for those under 24
According to a recent legal regulation from Turkey’s Tobacco and Alcohol Market Regulatory Authority (TAPDK), the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival will not allow those under the age 24 to attend this year.
Efes Pilsen, an alcoholic beverage firm, also sponsors the Efes Pilsen One Love Festival. The festival was held this year on July 14 and 15 at Bilgi University’s campus in Istanbul’s Eyüp district. Before this year’s One Love Festival began, the Turkish Green Crescent (Yeşilay) association, which combats drug abuse and alcoholism, appealed to the Istanbul Governorship for the cancellation of the One Love Festival, sparking heated debates across the country.
“Alcoholic beverage firms target the youth and aim to gain new alcohol consumers with such events,” the association said in a written statement issued on July 10.
It also stated that the reason for their cancellation request was because alcohol firms’ sponsorship of such events was illegal.
“This festival takes its name from an alcohol brand; it is completely against the law. These events make youth accustomed to drinking beer,” Green Crescent Chairman Muharrem Balcı said at the time. But the festival was organized as planned.