Efes Pilsen’s Traveling Show

Burçal Kavkeralp from Pozitif Productions says the Efes Pilsen dates may look like a tour but the atmosphere at each show is more like that of a festival.

It works like a blues version of a mini-Lollapalooza, a sort of traveling show that takes the music to the people.

In fact, last year there were two traveling shows. Between October 29 and November 11, a lineup of Syl Johnson, John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band, and Zora Young & Her Posse played nine shows in Russia, pulling 23,000 people.

It wasn’t the first time the Efes Pilsen blues bus had been to Russia, but it was its first visit to the northern foothills of Kazakhstan to play to 4,000 eager blues fans in Almaty.

In Russia, there were four shows in Moscow and one each in St Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Rostov on Don.

Since its launch 17 years ago, the festival has grown to the point it now goes to 18 cities in Turkey – with four shows in Istanbul and two in Izmir – and also managed to stop off for a December 12 gig in Northern Cyprus.

In keeping with the pioneering spirit of its sister festival’s visit to Kazakhstan, a lineup of Buckwheat Zydeco, Larry Garner & Band, and Michael Powers also broke new frontiers by making Efes Pilsen’s first visit to Serbia and playing two shows in Belgrade November 17 and 18.

The 18-festival run, which ended December 20 in the northern Turkish city of Adana, played to 27,000.