İstanbul municipality to launch open-air concerts to support pandemic-hit musicians

The opposition municipality of Istanbul has launched a new open-air concert initiative across the city in a bid to support musicians, who have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality (İBB) will set up over 100 stages across 39 districts in the megacity, facilitating concerts for thousands of musicians, Diken news site reported.

Speaking on the initiative, Istanbul mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu said it was time to “bid farewell to silence in the city and enliven it with (musical) notes.’’

İmamoğlu said the İBB would take protective measures against the pandemic during the concerts, which will be free of charge for the city's some 16 million residents.

The project,“Istanbul bir sahne,’’(Istanbul is a stage) aims to transform the parks, metro stops and iconic spots into an effective open air stage in the megacity.

Turkish officials have designated Istanbul as a high-risk province, according to a pandemic designation system implemented earlier this month, when officials began easing measures across the country.

The country’s most populous city has remained the epicentre of the outbreak since last March. Last week, Istanbul registered over 27,000 cases, according to health ministry data.

Musicians and bands have until March 29th to apply through the project’s website.