Blessed with the Aegean and Mediterranean waters on its coasts, Turkey is unquestionably a summertime dream for anyone wanting to be charmed by a blend of fascinating history, delightfully charming people, and sunny coasts. As much as the coasts sound wonderful, it’s the wonder of the Turkey’s culture capital, Istanbul, which really wins my heart. I’ll swap a day on the country’s beaches for the multitude of events that take place in the city during the summer months – and that says a lot!
For me, Istanbul’s culture really blossoms in May, June, and July, while the sun shines and spreads the festival spirit throughout the city, as locals and tourists alike appreciate and enjoy international and Turkish acts.
I plan my trip to Turkey according to these displays of culture every year – the festival that brings it all together, for me, however, is the Istanbul Jazz Festival. I’ve come to bask in the spirit of this festival every year, for 8 years straight! And for good reason, I might add – the showcase of artists, old and new, at this festival never fails to enthral!
The festival itself is one amazing facet of the experience, but it does so much more for Istanbul and its visitors (I suppose that we, visitors, get the better end of the bargain, to be honest). The Istanbul Jazz Festival brings you this shining jewel of a city and encourages you to explore, visit, and discover its beauty that can be found in various neighbourhoods and districts. I’ve watched concerts in parks, boats, and old mansions, in open air venues where the energy of the crowd wafts out and electrifies the atmosphere of the entire city.
View this post on Instagram
Yeşille cazı bir araya getiren Parklarda Caz konserleri yazın en sevilen etkinliklerinden olmaya devam ediyor. 29 Haziran’da Beylikdüzü Yaşam Vadisi Parkı ve 30 Haziran’da Fenerbahçe Parkı’ndayız. #istcazfest #cazadokunaneller #garanticazyeşili
A post shared by İstanbul Caz Festivali (@istanbulcazfestivali) on
In recent years, the festival has been organising the Night Out event, where just one ticket gains you access into different venues to get a listen to a range of artists and musicians. These night-long performances take place in different neighbourhoods and fascinating venues – The old leather and shoe factory in Beykoz (Beykoz Kundura Fabrikası), classified as a second-degree historical building and located on the Asian side of Istanbul. This happens one night every year during the festival,letting you catch a ferry over the Bosphorus from the heart of the Istanbul, like Beşiktaş or Eminönü,to the Beykoz district. The journey is as much an experience as the destination, and this mini-trip attests to that. It’s a pleasant ride along the gentle Bosphorus, accompanied by Turkish tea of a rich hue, watching the sun set majestically in the direction of Europe, taking in the famed silhouette of the minarets and dome of Istanbul.
Upon getting there, the atmosphere was charged in recent years with the jazzy sounds of great artists like Kamasi Washington and Bokanté. Istanbul by night, historical architecture, sweet,contemporary sounds – it’s difficult to believe that it’s not a dream.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Istanbul Jazz Festival remains an anticipated feature for the Istanbul summer. It’s a personal favourite, something that I’m sure others feel, too! Here’s the thing,
it’s not just jazz. If jazz isn’t your thing, check out the Istanbul Jazz Festival scene anyway, because there’s a wide range of genres showcased – rock, pop, reggae, funk, even world music.
Attracting people from all over to historical venues of Istanbul, more than 30 concerts are help across venues like the Hagia Eirene Museum, the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, Esma Sultan Mansion, and a plethora of quaint and impressive outdoor venues and courtyards of landmark Istanbul buildings.
Great music, beautiful sights – visitors get to experience Istanbul from a living, spirited perspective. Gece Gezmesi (Night Out), Parklarda Caz (Jazz in the Park), and Caz Vapuru (Jazz Boat) adds an exgtra dimension to the music, allowing participants to revel in a mix of the natural and cultural atmosphere as they take in the spectacular musical line-ups. I was fortunate enough to catch worldfamous names in jazz this year, the likes of Kamasi Washington, Jacob Collier, and Snarky Puppy, who shared the stage with local Turkish artists.
Source: İstanbul Kültür Sanat Vakfı (İSKV)
View this post on Instagram
İstanbul Müzik Festivali’nin Zeynep Gedizlioğlu’na verdiği eser siparişi “Şimdi”nin dünya prömiyerinin gerçekleştiği RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, Ufuk & Bahar Dördüncü konserinden kareler… Fotoğraf: @aligulero #istmüzikfest #varolmanınkaranlığı #varolmanınaydınlığı #yıllarcaberaber #EnkaVakfı
A post shared by İstanbul Müzik Festivali (@istanbulmuzikfestivali) on
The Jazz Festival is but one aspect of the Istanbul’s summer attractions, and it would be unfair if I forget to mention the Istanbul Music Festival. For Istanbulites, this represents the beginning of summer! It’s become an institution in the culture of Istanbul, established over 40 years ago, in 1973.
Known then as the Istanbul Festival, the Istanbul Music Festival brings local and international orchestras and ensembles together, creating unique and niche projects where soloists and musicians combine. From the 11th to the 30th of June, the Istanbul Music Festival is a spectacular that’s so uniquely Turkish.
View this post on Instagram
%100 Music presents Chill-Out Festival Istanbul 2019, ikinci gününde kapılarını açtı! 🌸 Gün boyunca sınırlı sayıda kalan biletlerinizi Biletix web sitesi ve gişelerinden, ayrıca festival alanı girişinde bulunan gişelerden satın alabilirsiniz. Doğanın, eşsiz Chill-Out Festival atmosferinin, 3 farklı sahnenin ve atölyelerin keyfini çıkarmak için festivale erken gelin… 🌿 // The doors are now open for %100 Music presents Chill-Out Festival Istanbul 2019! 🌸 Limited number of tickets are available on Biletix web site, kiosks and at the festival gate all day long. Come early to enjoy the nature, heavenly Chill-Out atmosphere, 3 stages and daytime activities… 🌿 Tickets: bit.ly/COFI18Tickets Event: bit.ly/cofi19event Transport: bit.ly/cofi19ulasim Schedule: bit.ly/cofi19program
A post shared by Chill-Out Festival (@chilloutfestival) on
Join the locals on the “happiest weekend of the year” at Istanbul’s Chill Out Festival. The name says it all – this is a musical weekend getaway where locals take reacquaint themselves with their city while engaging in the chilled programmes and activities. Definitely a vibe worth checking out. It became so popular that the Istanbul Chill Out Festival sparked a Chill Out Festival in Bodrum, too.
The festival also takes places in Çeşme. Musical masterminds of the city were initially brought together by the Lounge FM team and the festival has grown wings, reaching out to thousands of people, allowing them to appreciate the more remote, natural wonders of their cities. This is music with a whole lot more – workshops, designer shops, and other events create a mini town of its own at this festival for 2 full days. This year, Chill Out Istanbul takes place on the 15th and 16th of June.
The One Love Festival is a celebration of youth and returns to its beloved Istanbul on its 15th birthday. One of the leaders of the city’s music industry, Pozitif, is the organiser of One Love,bringing alternative local and international names together in a one-day programme that takes place on the 20th of July this year. More than 100 bands, 1600 artists, and over 220 000 participants have been involved in the One Love Festival since it began, fostering a collective spirit in the heart of the city. Acts like the Chemical Brothers, Tom Odell, James Blake, Hot Chip, and The Black Eyed Peas have all graced the stage at this festival at the heart of the city. This year, the One Love Festival returns with a one-of-a-kind programme for its 15th anniversary!
Summer in Turkey is all about life, spirit, and a blooming musical spirit. Nowhere else is as colourful
as in its cultural capital, Istanbul. The city calls your name with a beat in your preferred genre this
summer, showing off its musical culture in and amongst its contemporary and historical sites.
Give your holiday ideas live!Get started
Select one of the destinations belowJourny offers custom travel planning services in 2 different country.