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Festivals and Events
International Sand Sculpture Festival:
Every year since 2006 there has been an International Sand Sculpture Festival held in Antalya. In the first couple of years it was located at the Beachpark in Konyaalti but it has since found a settled home at Lara Beach between Örnekköy and Kundu.
It can be reached by taking the number 8 bus which goes from Lara to Konyaalti at the other end of the city and the entry price for is a very reasonable 8 TL for adults and 4 TL for children. It is organized by Global Design Art Works considered to be one of the largest Sand Events in the world due to the size of the sculptures and the space it occupies.
The sculptors who come from all over the world use approximately 10000 tonnes of sand in an area of 7000 square metres. The exhibition is visited by thousands of people and is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Antalya Municipality,the Antalya Journalists Association as well as many other organizations in the area. For the first
 
four years there was a different theme that tied the sculptures together but together but for the past two years the theme has been Hollywood with models such as Star Wars, Toy Story, E.T, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Shrek to name but a few.
They look good in the daytime but if you visit after dark you will see the colourful lighting system which gives a fantastic atmosphere to each of the models and the area in general.There is even an area set aside where adults and children can learn for themselves some of the techniques used in this form of creative expression. The sculptures are made using only sand and water although the type of sand is very important. Rough grained sand from the Beach makes working with it difficult, so a lot of sand is brought in from rivers and mountain streams as the particles are smoother. They sculptures can remain in the open air for an average of about 8 months so thankfully due to Antalya's relatively mild weather conditions they last the full run of the summer season from April when they are built to the start of the festival in June to the end of the run in October, no problem.

     
 
Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival:
The history of the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (Altın Portakal Fim Festivali) goes back to concerts and theatre plays that used to take place in the 1950's in the historical Aspendos Ampitheatre. As more people got interested the Mayor of Antalya in 1963, Dr Anvi Tolunay, turned the proceedings into a film festival. They chose the most important symbol of the region, the orange, to be included in the logo and to also give the festival its name. It is now the most important film festival in Turkey.
The 1st Golden Orange Film festival was in 1964. The idea behind it was to promote Turkish cinema and to motivate Turkish filmakers to achieve high quality movies which could break through into the international arena. In a relatively short space of time it achieved good results and the awards soon became known as the Turkish Oscars. Over the years it has had a few different organisers at its helm.
From its inception to 1985 it was organised by the Municipality of Antalya, but was taken over that year by the Foundation for Culture, Arts and Tourism in Antalya. For the first three years of their running of the programme they included an international music festival called ‘Akdeniz Akdeniz' as part of the programme. From '89 to '94 it was run jointly by the municipality, tourism companies and the Chamber of Commerce. It became an institution under the name of Antalya Culture and Arts Foundation in 2002. There is an international jury of judges who are prohibited from having any direct association with the production of any movie in the competition. There are a few different categories of awards: The National Feature, the International Feature, the National Documentary and National Short Film.
The 16th and 17th Festivals could not be held in 1979 due to censorshipm, nor in 1980 due to the coup d'état, were held in 2011 when Prof. Dr. Mustafa Akaydın, the Mayor of Antalya and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Antalya Culture and Arts Foundation, presented the belated Awards to their winners 31-32 years later.
The opening ceremony takes place at the Antalya Cultural Centre, with many famous film celebraties in attendence. Honorary awards are presented here to people who have made a significant contribution to the world of film. Weather permitting, the award ceremony takes place in the open air at Aspendos Ampitheathre or the Cultural Centre. There are a number of different venues showing movies over the region including the large 5M Migros in Konyaalti. The festival continues to grow in stature every year and it is now a much-anticipated event in the world cinema calender. With next year being the 50th anniversary, it looks like Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival will continue to grow in stature.
     
SunDance Boutique Music Festival:
The festival is set on a picturesque beach on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey and brings together an eclectic mix of people to listen to cool music and dance on the beautiful beach. The mix of beach, woodlands, mountains and ancient ruins dating back to 700 BC makes this a unique festival experience. The SunDance Boutique Music Festival is held in Tekirova, which is roughly 45 minutes drive south of Antalya, and is itself a beautiful ride through mountain scenery and organge groves on either side of the road. There is food included at the festival including mainly organic breakfasts and dinners served daily.
The artists who play at sundance are international and come from countries as diverse as the UK, Hungary and Turkey. They play a mix of psy-trance, progressive, house and chill out music.
It is a place to get away from so called normal life for three days and relax in a welcoming environment with friendly people.The Sundance Village,which is hidden from the public eye,has a philosphy that respects
 
respects nature and shuns commercial development. The area offers the perfect location for trekking, hikking, snorkelling, horse riding and many more healthy activities. The spectacular mountain view of Mt.Tahtali, which rises 2.360 m from sea level, is the perfect backdrop, especially at night when the clear starlit skies provide a blissful setting.
     
 
Antalya State Symphony Orchestra
A handful of young musicians who belonged to the Chamber Orchestra, which was founded in 1995, were having difficulties in finding a suitable place to rehearse and perform concerts but some local administrators supported them and the Antalya State Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1999.
Inci Özdil was the first women conductor in Turkey and she was named the head conductor of the orchestra. Other big names in symphony music in Turkey like Gülden Turalı, Hikmet Şimşek and Gürer Aykal also helped to contribute to the set up of the orchestra which is now a valued part of the cultural life of Antalya. It is now totally self-governed and funded by the Ministry of Culture. In 2009 Orhan Salliel was appointed as the Principal Conductor and he still carries out that role today.
The city has a few theatres where the orchestra performs but it does so mainly in the Antalya Cultural Centre, which is located beside the
Pyramid Park (near Migros Shopping Mall) where it holds regular concerts from September to the end of May. They have a break for the summer season although they may perform at other venues such as the ancient Aspendos Theatre as well as various theatres in the region.
The Orchestra also tours nearby cities like Burdur, Denizli, Uşak and Isparta in particular to reach out for a younger audience to inspire them to listen to classical music by including both the old familiar classics as well as new compositions, especially by Turkish composers. In some cases the young aspiring musicians in these towns are allowed to rehearse with the orchestra as part of their music educational development.
     
Octoberfest in Antalya
Oktoberfest in Antalya started in 2009 and was originally held beside Aktur Park Fairground opposite the large 5M Migros Shopping Centre in Konyaalti. It was a big success with over 20,000 people attending over three days. In 2011 the Festival moved to what is commonly referred to locally as the ‘Pyramid Park'. This is also close walking distance to Migros and get's its name because of the large glass pyramid shaped conference centre which sits at the entrance to the park. In the two years that it has been held there, over 90,000 people have attended. Although you would expect it to have a German theme, which indeed it does - the bar staff were dressed in tradional German costumes and they sell sausages for snacks - the music is not strictly limited to the German style.  
The organisers put on bands from all over Europe which they say is to help unite the different cultures. With Antalya being a popular holiday resort with Germans as well as many other peoples, this is part of what
 
creates such a great atmosphere at the event. The festival, though, is a very well organised and professionally run event. Everyone who attends is there with the sole purpose of enjoying themselves, as they would at any other place in the city that serves alcohol and plays live music. They don't even sell spirits there, only beer.
 

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