The Deep Purple Concert in Nicosia
By Ralph Kratzer
So I was positively surprised to find out some time ago that one of my favourite bands from the old days, Deep Purple, was to give an open-air live concert in North Cyprus. And even with free admission!
The background for this event was the 25th anniversary of the Near East University (NEU) in Nicosia.
Of course I confirmed enthusiastically and got my online registration as well as the admission ticket very soon via email.
Needless to say, the info about the concert spread rapidly across the island, no wonder in times of the Internet.
Together with my girlfriend and 9 other friends and acquaintances we made our way last Saturday, May 24th 2014, in a chartered minibus towards our capital Nicosia (Lefkosa), where the campus of the well-known university and the festival site is located on the outskirts.
I’m relatively bad at estimating numbers, but there were certainly more than 15,000 visitors attending the event.
And imagine, there were no problems with traffic flow, no crowds at the entrance, not any kind of difficulties during and after the concert. Everything was perfectly organized. Police forces and security personal did a very good job. Once again, a sign that North Cyprus is not at all a “banana republic” or a “pseudo-state” as the Greek Cypriots always like to describe it to the rest of the world.
The security forces at the entrance carefully controlled the guests and refused anybody who wanted to bring food and beverages into the festival site. As a result, I saw many visitors consume their brought drinks very quickly before entering. Even some of my friends were affected by it, so we had a little party outside before the big event began. Good thing we had arrived in a minibus and not by our own cars!
This is, by the way, the only point of criticism of the organization of the concert. It would have been very easy to tell all visitors via email or SMS before, that the bringing in of food and beverages would be strictly prohibited.
The concert itself, including an excellent opening act, fully compensated all visitors for any previous difficulties.
End of the 1990s I had seen Deep Purple live at the Olympia-Hall in Munich and had not been very impressed then. I thought they would do better to retire… But now, more than 15 years later, the old rockers showed again quite clearly that they still are absolute professionals. The concert was brilliant! The stage, the light show, the accoustics and not least the band themselves were at their best.
And the best thing was that rock fans of all ages and different countries peacefully came together! I met people from 18 to 75 years, from North Cyprus and South Cyprus, from UK, Germany, Turkey, and wherever else they came from! Even a group of young lads from Syria came to the event to have a little rest from the problems they have got in their homeland at the moment. How great is this!
I do not make many more words, but let’s talk photos and videos!
Bravo, Near East University and North Cyprus! This event was unique!
P.S. Today I found an article about the concert in the Greek Cypriot “Cyprus Mail”, entitled “Deep Purple did not arrive on BA flight”, which I do not want to comment on because sometimes even I lack the words. Readers may form their own opinions! Click here to read it!