Efes Blues Festival 24 

North Cyprus November 2013

By Ralph Kratzer

the official poster

The Efes Blues Festival 2013 takes place in 16 cities of Turkey and also in Kyrenia, North Cyprus!

I had been there a few years ago at one of the previous events and it had pleased me. When last week I was called by my friend Robin, a self-confessed fan of Blues, asking me if I would be interested to come along again this time, I agreed spontaneously.

Uwe, another music lover of my acquaintance, joined us and so we made our way  to town on Monday, 11th  November.

As always the event was held in the grounds behind the Jasmine Court Hotel.

The evening should have been perfect in every way, but  I must admit to a little criticism of the organization of the festival.

The sign posts to the festival grounds were poor to non-existent, it was probably assumed that everyone on this island on the one hand knows the location of the Jasmine Court Hotel  and on the other hand knows where the event is to be hosted in the sprawling grounds of the hotel.

That the admittance to the festival was granted only just in time for the official start and not a minute sooner I could understand, but why was it then, that for a long time no beverages were served, even though the beverage stations were filled with drinks and also staffed, remained unclear.

And why a simple and very small Döner Kebab, wrapped in paper, and far from being hot or not even warm, must cost 15 TL at an event like this, I cannot comprehend at all.

the food stand

But maybe it was because of the fact that the Jasmine Court Hotel mustered a whole armada of cooks and kitchen helpers for a food stand which normally 2 or 3 people could have run easily?

And probably an abundant array of scowling security guards in black suits had to be paid as well? Dear organizers, it was a Blues Festival and not a State Visit! And music fans of this genre around the world are not known as troublemakers!

No matter, stands for the refreshment drinks were numerous, which is a logical thing if Turkey’s largest brewery is responsible…

The small organizational weaknesses were quickly forgotten as soon as the musicians began to play at about 9 pm.

Katherine Davis, Jimmy Burns and Joe Louis Walker may not have been in concept to one or another  of the guests before, but the admission fee of 30 TL (including 1 free beer!) was in any case fully worth it, because the performers offered R & B at its finest! The hundreds of visitors of different nationalities and age groups (18 to 80!) came more and more to ride, it was sung and even danced, the atmosphere was quite outstanding!

the saxophonist

I personally was absolutely overwelmed by the performance of the saxophonist of the Joe Louis Walker Band! She was an absolute highlight to see! (my goodness, if I had only been 20 years younger!…)

Not even the fact that long queues at the two existing toilets occurred due to the copious consumption of Efes beer and other beverages, could change the good mood of the festival guests. A few extra mobile WCs in the future on the premises would not hurt for sure…

Nevertheless, the most festival-goers were satisfied after the end of the musical acts of the evening and went at home or even to somewhere else to have another party!

In any case I decided to be back once again next year ! But please, dear organizers, do not make the same mistakes again!

To view more pictures of the festival in a slideshow –

please click here!