Princes' Islands Street Festival invites all to attend festivities
by Leyla Yvonne Ergil
ISTANBULSep 01, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Leyla Yvonne Ergil
Sep 01, 2015 12:00 am
September kicks off with a wonderful street festival of music, art and workshops on four of the Princes' Islands, which will take place from Sept. 1 to Sept. 6 just a hop away by boat from mainland Istanbul
From Sept. 1-6, Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kınalıada, the four most frequented of the Princes islands, will be hosting the first-ever Adalar Sokak Festivali (Islands Street Festival), a very special and jam-packed six-day (and night) street festival filled with activities and events such as workshops, concerts, theatrical performances and exhibits.
Organized by a volunteer group of island dwellers intent on drawing attention to the need to protect the urban, environmental, ecological and cultural values of these island gems situated just off the coast of Istanbul in the Sea of Marmara, the festival intends to become an annual affair in which the island is bedazzled with art, music and dance and a wide variety of workshops all being held with the intent of promoting peace.
Throughout the six-day event, a full schedule of activities is planned to take place simultaneously on Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, Kınalıada. There will be festival information stands at all pier squares, and events are spread out among a number of key locations throughout the four islands. On Büyükada, the biggest of the Princes' Islands as its name suggests, festivities will be held in eight different locations, including Atatürk Square and Clock Tower Square, while yoga workshops will be held on İsa Tepesi, one of the island's peaks with captivating views. Burgazada, one of the city dwellers' favorite day trip destinations, has designated 14 different locations to host the wide range of activities on offer, including Aya Nikola Park, Hristos Tepesi and Sait Faik Museum, as well as performances in the island's many squares and neighborhoods. Both Heybeliada and Kınalıada are also in on the action with performances and workshops to be held throughout the week in their main port squares.
The festival commences today, and to give an idea of the vast line-up of events, on Büyükada there will be street painting workshops, musical performances, theatrical acts, exhibits and daily yoga sessions. In the afternoons and evenings, there will be musical performances, including a free-for-all jam session on Sept. 3 by Grup Ada Minor, a band comprised of island residents.
Other musical acts to check out on the "Big Island" include The "I," an indie-folk, blue reggae band, the soulful style of Emre Akbay and the comedic musical duo The Puding Shop, as well as a special performance by the Kartal Municipality Hearing Impaired Orchestra, which you can check out on Sept. 4 at 4:00 p.m. Dance groups, including Durga, which will perform Indian Bollywood-style dance, and the Istanbul University Dance Club will not only perform but will also hold an open dance workshop. There will also be evening pantomime and mime performances as well as a storytelling workshop and a DJ workshop for kids.
On Burgazada, the festival starts off with a bang with Bandanista performing at night at the Aya Nikola Park after a full day of activities, including a sculpture workshop and a children's photography workshop. Day two starts out with yoga, wall painting and ceramics for kids with a performance at night by Nilüfer Perihan Kurtoğlu at Cennet Bahçesi. On Sept. 3, there will be a bread workshop, a drawing workshop for kids, followed by pantomime and shadow games. On Friday, there will be a helva workshop and a dance workshop at night. On Saturday evening, there will be a concert and picnic held on Hiristos Peak. Sunday starts off with a jewelry workshop and ends with a musical feast at Burgazada's Aya Nikola Park.
On Heybeliada, there will be afternoon concerts given daily from Sept 2-5 by The "I," Muzik Retorika, The Puding Band and Emre Akbay. The Istanbul Dance Group, pantomime and mime shows are also part of the lineup. On Kınalıada, the closest of the Princes' Islands to Istanbul, yet the least frequented, the festival will offer a rare opportunity to experience the island as it hosts a series of workshops and performances in Pier Square. Throughout the day on Sept. 4, 5 and 6, a wide variety of workshops will be held for children, including fishing, glass blowing, juggling, ceramics, guitar and painting. At night, there will be performances by a series of musical outfits including Ada Band and Zeytin on Friday. The wonderful jazzy vocal stylings of Australian-Turk Aysu Çöğür on Saturday and the Congo-rooted Enko Ikah band headlines on Sunday.
One of the most unique events to take place will unfold on Büyükada, Burgazada and Heybeliada simultaneously, as writers Özge Sarıoğlu, Sinan Sülün and Hakan Karakaşoğlu, respectively, will take children on a very special tour of the island and introduce them to the island's resident authors after which they will pen stories of their own that will be put on display at the Sait Faik Museum.
This first-ever Islands Street Festival will surely be a chance to make memories. Check out this awesome endeavor by volunteers and island residents as a new world unfolds for learning, especially for the young ones, and support what will hopefully be the first of many such colorful street festivals. To check out the full program, visit: www.adalarsokakfestival.com.