Saturday, May 28, 2011

Busking in Istanbul

Recently a band I'm in, Ivır Zıvır has shifted from playing in bars to performing on the street. Playing on İstanbul's famous "İstiklal Caddesi" pedestrian street is exhilarating: we play to an estimated audience of 4 million people who pass through the street daily. Playing there has given me a new sense of the street and especially an appreciation for the community of people whose professional livelihoods depend on it whether they be musicians, fortune tellers, beggars, street-kids, caricature  artists, and so on. One thing that I'm struck  by is the number of self-identified "photographers" who take our photo seemingly thinking they're invisible to us despite their less-than-subtle presence. While so many people photograph us without consent or any monetary donation (which I personally don't particularly mind), Istanbul is a surprisingly good city to busk in and if the weather is right we make more on the streets than we did in bars. Here's are 2 videos. . .

Many thanks to James Burliegh Morton for the videos.


  1. Hello, I have a website:, which tells of all my adventures. I'm going to Istanbul in a few days and am thinking of busking on that street you're on. How did you do? And is there a bank nearby that will change the coins into Euros?! all the best, Marvin B Naylor


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