The third Istanbulive festival took place in New York City on June 17th. Turkish rock band Manga, New York based ethnic band NY Gypsy All-Stars and legendary Turkish folk musician Zülfü Livaneli took the stage for their performances.
Friday, June 17th was a day with a lot of clouds around New York City, and hours of heavy rain, all the way until 6:00pm! So much heavy rain forced the organizers to seriously consider canceling the event, but luckily the rain stopped before the scheduled start of Istanbulive. Zülfü Livaneli later mentioned in his talk that while he was leaving his hotel for the concert, he told his wife that he was not expecting a single person to show up for Istanbulive. More than 3,000 people did, and they didn’t regret it! Fans gathered at the SummerStage to have an amazing time with Manga, NY Gypsy All-Stars and Zülfü Livaneli.
Manga performed their favorite Turkish songs such as Beni Benimle Bırak, Dünyanın Sonuna Doğmuşum, and Bir Kadın Çizeceksin. They also performed English songs including their famous Eurovision song We Could Be The Same which brought them the second place in Eurovision Song Contest in 2010.
After Manga, NY Gypsy All Stars took the stage and entertained the fans with traditional Balkan songs as well as songs from their upcoming album, planned to be released this September.
And lastly, Zülfü Livaneli took the stage. He started his concert with his song Merhaba which means Hello in Turkish, and greeted the audience. Livaneli’s concert included performances with special guests Al Di Meola, Lina Orfanos, Selloane Lekhoaba and Demet Sağıroğlu. It was another night where Livaneli fans attended his concert ‘to sing as well as to listen Livaneli songs’ as Livaneli describes. Thousands of fans sang along songs like Leylim Ley, Gün Olur, Sevda Değil, and Güneş Topla Benim İçin.
In the amazing atmosphere, a surprise birthday cake with candles was presented to Livaneli on stage for his upcoming 65th birthday. Livaneli thanked the audience for the great ‘birthday party’!
After the concert, Istanbulive after-party took place at Drom. Istanbulive fans had fun with NY Gypsy All-Stars on stage.
Turkish rock band Manga took the stage at Drom on Saturday, June 18th. Manga fans got to enjoy the songs of their favorite band one more time. After the concert, the group members mingled with the fans, so it was a great opportunity for the fans to get autographs and have their pictures taken with the band members.
On Sunday, June 19th, Zülfü Livaneli fans gathered at Drom this time for a special screening of the movie Veda. The movie, which is based on Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s life, was written and directed by Livaneli in 2010. Right after the screening, a special performance of the scores of Veda and Bliss, the movie based on Livaneli’s international bestselling book, were performed. Afterwards the audience got the opportunity to have a Q&A session with Livaneli. The questions were about Livaneli’s books, movies, musical and political life, and current political climate in Turkey. After the Q&A session, the event ended with book signing of Bliss.
It was a very nice weekend full of music and culture. Turkspot team is already excited about the next year’s show!