We understand that the festival has changed a little since the last time. For a start it is later in the year, though this year’s festival did coincide with an important local anniversary of Ataturk’s campaign. We gather that in the past there were artisans from around Turkey displaying their wares, this year it seems much more local. Also the artisanal stalls used to be nearer to the market square where the big concerts are held – this year they were a bit isolated from the main action. We are not sure whether these changes are a good thing or a bad thing, and having not been to the festival before cannot make our own judgement.
There is what has been called Art Street, local artisans. The local pottery was particularly good.
In the square opposite the railway station there were various events. Local dancers who we have seen before, earlier in the year. Dancing by former soldiers (and descendants thereof) which we understand to be linked to the formation of the republic. They were dressed in old uniforms with medals and antique weapons. We also caught a cinematic show which again seemed to be linked to the formation of the republic. Newsreel of soldiers and what was probably a more modern commentary. There were probably other events in the station square but we missed them.
In the market square a stage was erected for the evening entertainment. We went to see what was going on each evening. The highlight (and headline act) was Fuat Saka, a musician from Trazbon who performed a mix of rock, folk and jazz which we greatly enjoyed.
The festival started on the 6th September and continued through to 8th September though bits of it (including Art Street) are still around and we did hear that Art Street will be running till the end of the month.