Rockers come together for Van province

Rockers come together for Van province

Rockers come together for Van province

British rock legend Sting raised an important question during a cameo as himself in an episode of the American comedy series “Ally McBeal,” in which he was praised as noble by his attorney for paying $50,000 to settle an undeserved law suit just to make a fan’s “dream come true”: “Can a rock star not be noble?” he asked.

Today, the same question is motivating prominent Turkish rock bands and concert officials to organize “Rock for Van,” which is to take place Oct. 30 to raise charity funds for the quake-stricken eastern province of Van.

“It all started while we were discussing how meaningless it was to cancel entertainment events due to the suffering in Van,” Nadir Duman, who is helping organize the event, told the Hürriyet Daily News earlier this week. “They should instead donate all the concert revenue to a charity bringing aid to the province.”

The discussion among four friends employed in the entertainment sector, who are abstaining from disclosing their identities in order to avoid undermining their charitable cause, inspired the idea to organize a charity concert. Duman’s friends were still working on the details as he arrived at the team’s “camp” near Maçka Küçükçiftlik Park, the concert’s venue, together with the band Redd, one of the participating bands.

“There are many reasons why we directly thought about organizing a rock concert,” Duman said. “First of all, we all have worked with rock bands so far. And the other reason is the fact that rock bands are much more engaged in charity events as we all know from the example of giant organizations like Live 8. And the support we received is proof of how responsive they really are about social responsibility events. Unfortunately, the image of rock music or rock bands in our society’s eyes could not be any further from the truth.”

Bands participating in the concert have also thought about buying tickets, Duman said, adding that a large number of other groups applied to join the concert.

A lack of time, however, prevented organizers from including these other acts on the bill, Duman added.

“It has been a very sentimental journey for us so far, and we are also grateful to all these bands that we cannot include in the event’s program,” he said.

Rock singer Hayko Cepkin changed a flight ticket so that he could take part in the event, while the members of the rock band Duman agreed to take the stage again right after they land in Istanbul from a concert in the eastern province of Kars.

Competitors to cooperate

Duman said there was an agreement not to disclose the names of any of the sponsoring companies. “There are only three institutions to be associated with the event: The concert is at Maçka Küçükçiftlik Park, tickets are available at Biletix and concert revenues go to the Turkish Red Crescent.”

Another significant aspect of the event is the fact that employees of rival organization companies are working together to produce the concert. From back-line providers, security personnel, the printing press and graphic designers to the production team and in-venue staff, nobody is being paid. Some 67 tickets were sold in the first minute that they went online, cheering the organizers, who were still speaking to the Daily News at the time.

“We are predicting huge interest. However, the number of tickets are limited to the venue capacity, so we suggest that everyone rush to buy tickets,” Duman said.