The Beyoğlu district is the heart of culture in Istanbul. There are hundreds of bars in each street that feature any kind of imaginable music possible. The opportunity to play live is sought by local bands. This is seen as a step in the path to “become famous” as has happened to other famous bands such as Athena, Duman and Gripin. Concerts are the key to success in the music industry at the moment since there is basically no profit from album sales. Albums are just seen as prestige tools and pave the way for concerts.
Borusan Muzik Evi is multi-storey building that is a new option for small events. It hosts more than 200 people and its acoustics is top of the notch. There are six rehearsal rooms on its sixth floor. On its fifth and sixth floors there are also multipurpose rooms.
Unfortunately, there are not any good quality closed concert salons in Turkey except for the Lutfi Kirdar Kongre Merkezi and the Cemal Resit Rey Konser Salonu in Istanbul. Both are catered towards more classical and jazz concerts. Most of the other stages are too small and lack the technical equipment for world-quality shows.
In the summer months the only options for concerts are Kuruçeşme Arena and Harbiye Açıkhava Tiyatrosu which both host about 5000 people. Kurucesme Arena is very problematic in terms of sound. Harbiye Acikhava Tiyatrosu is the best option in terms of acoustics as it is shaped as an amphitheater. There are almost no options for artists that cannot fill these spaces. There was a tradition to have pop music concerts every summer at Rumelihisarı (which offers splendid views of the Bosphorus while watching the concert). However, the municipality closed it down. This venue is seldomly opened and used for special events such as the Theater Festival. However reopening of this venue would create great synergy since closing it down means cutting a main artery of arts and culture life of Istanbul. Since Rumelihisari is closed there is no venue that can host 1000-2000 people and this is very limiting for mid-level popular artists. Another location that is now closed is ParkOrman in Maslak and is greatly missed as it was a great location in the midst of the forest.
Maçka Küçükçiftlik Parkı is a new open-air option that opened in 2009 summer but still not enough. These days a new venue called Ora Istabul in Bayrambasa is being built. This 330 million Euro enterprise will be on 360,000 m2. It is announced to open on October 29th 2010. It looks like it will provide a good alternative for musical events and performances in Istanbul.
Another upcoming venue is going to be Black Box in Maslak which will open in 2011. Organizer firm Pozitif is one of the main shareholders of this investment.