The Gümüşlük Music Festival, which was started by a fellow expat two decades ago, has become a summer classic. Not to say that the musical performances are strict of the classical genre as the annual program always contains concerts from serious contenders in world music, jazz, and fusion who descend upon this beloved and beautiful seaside town annually for a series of unforgettable performances.
Gümüşlük is hands down the Bodrum peninsula’s most bohemian and artistic region and its residents and visitors reflect that. One of its signature characteristics is the colorful fairy-light lit-up painted trees that decorate the shore. At this festival, you can see all that and more as performances are held in five different locations, each miraculous in its own right and spanning from being on the beach, to in an ancient quarry, to even a chic hotel.
While some shows are held in an earthbag hall (which happened to be built by friends) on the beach where there is a café serving food and refreshments, aptly titled “Kumda,” which means on the sand. Some performances will actually be held on the beach, while others will take place in the nearby Antique Stone Quarry. This year, there are two additional venues hosting performances for the festival, which are Zefirya Kültür ve Sanat Merkezi, an arts and cultural events center in Bitez, and the Le Chic Hotel in Bodrum.
While the festival has been ongoing since July, 21, there are performances scheduled for nearly every single night with 14 more still to come. To check out the program and the history of this project, which is also in collaboration with the Masterclass series Gümüşlük Music Academy, visit the website www.gumuslukfestival.org. Tickets are also available online at Biletix.com.
The International Bodrum Ballet Festival is a true highlight for many of the expats who reside in the region and the foreigners who visit. The main reason for this being, besides getting the rare opportunity to watch ballet perform on stage, is that the stage in question just so happens to be set up in the Bodrum Castle.
That’s right, the performances, which also include other dance styles besides ballet, such as an evening showcasing flamenco and another Bollywood style-dance are actually held in the town’s signature castle. And I have literally been told by more than one fellow foreigner that they plan their vacation time centered on the dates of this spectacular festival.
Held by the State Opera and Ballet, the International Bodrum Ballet Festival is just one of eight similar festivals held in competingly impressive locations, spanning from the ancient city of Ephesus, Eskişehir, Gaziantep, and even Trabzon to mention just a few.
Unarguably, the most renowned venue for this state festival – which will take place this year from Sept. 4 to 21 – is however Antalya’s Aspendos Ancient Theater, and will be its 30th edition. Don’t fret if you are not based in or planning to visit Antalya, as many tour organizations operate a bus trip specifically for these performances, from destinations ranging from Bodrum to Fethiye and beyond. Check out the website, www.operabale.gov.tr to learn more about this wonderful series of festivals.
The Bergama Theater Festival will be taking place from Aug. 11 to 13 in this historical region of Izmir that boasts Pergamon, my personal favorite ancient site and town from an archeological perspective. Coming up next weekend. a widely diverse selection of performances certainly not limited to theater, will be taking place from morning to midnight in various locations throughout the town from ancient amphitheaters to museums, cafes, parks and gardens, and much more.
If you’ve never been to the historical and boutique town Bergama, and even if you have, this festival offers the perfect opportunity to experience it in all of its glory. With the dozens of events interspersed between different locales, it will be a chance to discover the impressive history of the sites as well as learn about the more recent wonderful happenings and communities there. Besides theatrical performances there will also be seminars, workshops, hikes and tours, food fairs, dance performances and so much more. Both the Dutch Consulate and the Swedish Embassy are also involved with some performances that will take place.
Tickets can be purchased from Tarla Basilica and Q-BA in the town of Bergama itself or from Mobile online. To learn more about the festival and the program, check out visit bergamatiyatrofestivali.com.
Is Robbie Williams breaking a record in Türkiye, unbeknownst to the world I wonder... A performance scheduled for the British mega popstar who gained fame from his stint in the boyband Take That and has skyrocketed since going single is selling out tickets on Biletix for a whopping 17,500 TL ($648) for his upcoming Aug. 17 performance at Bodrum’s Lujo Hotel. Here’s hoping this isn’t the new norm for top-notch international gigs, because the cost of this ticket I am sure has many of us expats gagging. Not to begrudge Robbie Williams as his success is highly commendable and deserving, it’s just that spending nearly $648 is too high a price to pay for a one-off performance. A fun fact for fans is that his wife, Ayda Field, is actually of Turkish heritage.