Dinamo-Powered Radar

Radio station Dinamo 103.8’s new Radar Festival made its debut in the Turkish outdoor market with slightly disappointing ticket sales, but event director Mete Tavukcuoglu was sufficiently pleased to promise it’ll be bigger and better in 2008.

First estimates suggest it did better than the more established (and 6-year-old) Pozitif-promoted Efes Pilsen One Love Festival at Istanbul’s Parkoman, which took place June 15-17. One Love failed to do half of its 10,000 capacity with a bill that included Beastie Boys, Underworld, Neneh Cherry, Idlewild and Babylon Soundsystem.

Radar’s figures may just have scraped past the 5,000 per day mark, but Tavukcuoglu feels the radio station has set out its stall for Radar by putting together a first-year international bill (June 29th to July 2nd) that included Marilyn Manson, Groove Armada, Kelis, The Rakes, The Magic Numbers, Juliette & The Licks, James, The Rapture and Peter Bjorn And John.

This Turkish outdoor season is likely to be remembered for poor attendance and a Live Earth show that barely got off the ground. Now it’s up to Pozitif’s Rock’n Coke Istanbul at Harazan (August 31st to September 2nd) to buck the trend with a bill that has The Smashing Pumpkins, Franz Ferdinand, Chris Cornell, Manic Street Preachers, Within Temptation and Badly Drawn Boy.

Radar is on Solar Beach, a strip of land on the Black Sea coast, about a 40-minute drive from the centre of Istanbul. The backdrop on one side features ships on the Karadeniz (as it’s called locally), sometimes as many as 30 at a time with anchors dropped waiting to be piloted through the narrow, shallow channels of the Bosphorous and on into the Sea Of Marmora.

The audience’s somewhat understandable reluctance to leave one of the city’s most popular beaches meant it was evening before the acts attracted a substantial crowd to the main stage arena.

International "indie" talent, particularly from the U.K., is Dinamo’s main output, making it something of a trend-setting station similar to London’s Xfm.

Concentration on that market, along with its beachfront location, Radar looks aimed to attract European visitors in the same way as Spain’s Benicasssim Festival, which is obviously its business model.