Neil Young’s Istanbul Debut

Istanbul Jazz Festival may be hoping to quell the protests on the streets by having a pacifist such as Neil Young play his first event in the city July 15.

Photo: AP Photo / Bob Edme
Stade Aguilera, Biarritz, France

Last year’s the civil unrest took out the city’s 20,000-capacity One Love Festival and most of Pozitif Productions’ Istanbul Calling, which included shows headlined by Snoop DoggThirty Seconds To MarsSigur RosThe Prodigy, and Basement Jaxx.

But Pelin Opcin of Istanbul Jazz organizer IKSV was determined the event would go ahead. 

“I think we are less likely to be targeted because we’re a non-government organization and we have no ties to commerce,” she told Pollstar at the time.

“Things are calmer and there are a few protests, but the police is so harsh that the protesters are getting less and less in numbers and the actions are losing efficiency,” was the update for the 2014 season. “The concert business is not doing very well though as something in the political agenda overshadows the news about culture and the arts,” she explained.

Live Nation and top Turkish promoter Pozitif will be keeping an eye on the situation as they’re looking to form a new 50-50 joint-venture company, which would also be based in Istanbul.

Young and Crazy Horse’s contribution to Istanbul Jazz will be at the city’s KüçükÇiftlik Park. The other acts on the Istanbul Jazz bill July 1-16 include Katie MeluaChick Corea and Stanley ClarkeHugh MasekelaCécile McLorin, and Hugh Laurie.