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With inflation running at 170% at the time of writing, promoting arena-level acts is a very tricky prospect in the newly renamed Türkiye (previously Turkey). The main indoor arena in Istanbul, Fenerbahçe Ülker Sports and Event Hall (13,500), tends to host more sports activities than concerts, but it’s nonetheless used occasionally for gigs.
It has a ceiling load capacity and large enough loading bay to facilitate international touring productions. Opened in 2012, it has 44 VIP suites and a 360-degree LED strip. Volkswagen Arena in Istanbul, which opened in 2014, has a capacity of 6,500 and 21 food & beverage sale locations. Forthcoming shows include Carl Cox, Jack Savoretti, and Ben Böhmer.
“After about 6,000-capacity, Istanbul is lacking appropriate indoor venues for arena acts,” says promoter Nick Hobbs of regional promoter Charmenko. “It means for shows of 10,000-15,000 people, we use outdoor spaces such as Küçükçiftlik Park, Parkorman, and Lifepark.
“After about 6,000-capacity, Istanbul is lacking appropriate indoor venues for arena acts,”
They all have security, bars and staging already in place; we bring in lighting and sound. The issue can be that two of the venues have competing beer sponsors, so whichever firm is sponsoring your show might dictate which venues you can use.”
Charmenko promoted Måneskin at Küçükçiftlik Park, which Hobbs says went well. However, he cautions: “Inflation is running at 10-15% a month, which means if you put a show on sale for six months ahead and don’t transfer your ticket money into Euros immediately, you’ll end up losing money on the exchange rate when it comes to paying the balance of the artist fee.
People’s wages aren’t staying in line with this high level of inflation, so you can’t just increase ticket prices – it’s a difficult balance.” He says using dynamic pricing can help balance the books in such times.