The Bursa International Festival 2011 kicks off this Sunday and is set to host world-famous stars including Buika, Ricky martin and the Gypsy Kings in a bid to help spread the awareness of Turkish cultural activities across the international arena.
Bursa city authorities are hoping the event, which will run from June 12 to the end of July, will help to establish the municipality as a shining example across the world for arts and culture activities.
Noting that the festival already has decades-long history, city mayor Recep Altepe said “The Bursa International Festival is a big part of this city. We can all remember the festival taking place when we were children, and now is the time to develop and expand it.”
The festival began back in 1926, and according to Altepe it is “The longest-lived festival in all of Turkey. Our municipality has always been a strong supporter of any organization in our city, and we will throw all of our support behind the festival’s continued success.”
This year’s festival will see Bursa explode into life with huge concerts planned and massive events taking place for six long weeks, bringing together different stars and cultures from around the world, Recep explained.
“Bursa is a bastion of civilization and culture, and we want to spread this. We must continue the good work of the past and carry on this proud cultural heritage,” added Recep.
Events at the festival will include not just concerts, but art exhibitions, dance competitions and more. “We are expecting 41 dance teams from around the world,” boasted Altepe.
The festival is being organized by the Bursa Culture, Arts and Tourism Foundation (BKSTV), alongside the Bursa Municipality Council. General-Secretary of the BKSTV Ahmet Erdonmez said that “This event will be unlike any other you can find in Turkey.”
“Istanbul has hundreds of festivals each year, but none of them are larger or more spectacular than the Bursa Festival, which is also the longest running.”
The festival, which is estimated to cost 1.5 million Turkish Lira, about $1 million, will begin with performances by the Bursa Symphony Orchestra, followed by a classical concert from the sister of Guher-Suher Pekinel on June 17. The festival will then wrap up on July 30 with a concert by Susan Kadress and Dino Merlin.
Local stars such as Kubat, Ilhan Sese, Ahmet Ozhan, Ajda Pekkan, Zuhal Olcay and Emre Altug will also perform during the festival, while music and performing arts stars from more than 40 foreign countries will also appear on stage.