Dream Gigs Illustrated
Dream Gigs Illustrated is a series of gig posters by an ever growing group of artists. Imaginary gigs that never happened, missed gigs because of time and place, gigs that are experienced first hand and have left their mark... It’s up to the artist to decide. The possibilities are endless.
Bülent Gültek - David Bowie @ Eternia
When I first heard about the project, I wanted to design a poster for a gig that’s not on this world. A concert on the moon, on Mars or on some other planet. I started thinking about a gig that is free from Earth calendar or time. So I decided to work on the He-Man concept, which I always wanted to draw but never had the opportunity to work in detail. I decided to set Eternos, the capital of Eternia, as the venue. He-Man was a powerful series with its own universe that combined several concepts. I think it has been affecting my work with its colour palette recently.
For this special gig, intergalactic rock star Ziggy Stardust was the perfect name. David Bowie always pushed the limits, supported his music with other art forms and presented it within certain concepts. With Ziggy, his fame spread to outer space. I thought it would be fun to combine these two strong images to create a gig poster. Apart from that, the chemistry between Ziggy and Eternia really motivated me. He was an alien on Earth, but there… he was home.
In the designing process, I needed some information about Eternia’s history because the date had to be in accordance with the Eternian calendar. Eternia has two satellites, Bright Moon and Dark Moon. I couldn’t find any information about the calendar system but I found that, the cartoon series was taking place between 2996-2998. So I set the concert date on the 12th day of Bright Moon, year 2997. Ziggy probably played or will play this gig, in the seventies, as part of an interstellar tour of his.
Burak Beceren - Radiohead @ Basilica Cistern
At first, I was planning to go with the concept of a more surreal venue with a musician/band that’s no longer with us. Like Pink Floyd playing on the dark side of the moon or The Tea Party, joined by Jim Morrison, in the interzone (a place from William Burroughs’ Naked Lunch).
But the idea of bringing Radiohead, one of the bands that I’ve been waiting to see live for a long time, to Basilica Cistern with an acoustic set… that stroke me as a fantasy that could become real. I did my share with this poster and sent out a message to the universe. It’s up to the universe to take it seriously or not.
To the folks who are not familiar with the figures on the poster, I recommend the video for Paranoid Android.
Dilara Özden - Grimes @ Kilburn High Road St.
I love Grimes because she’s courageous and authentic. I love her not only for her music, but also for she makes her own videos, album covers and costumes. She creates her own universe and draws the listener into it. I never had the chance to see her live but I dreamed about going to her gig one day and getting sucked into her multicolored, polyphonic and chaotic world. This had to be in an underground station with cables, sewer pipes, crowds, congestion and chaos instead of a glittering stage. That makes her even bolder for me. I hope you can imagine her like that as well.
Ozan Aktuna - Melvins @ CRR
Although I’m not mad about Melvins‘ other albums or that genre in particular, I really like Houdini. I tried to keep the band’s humorous attitude and Americana mood while I designed the poster. Instead of an open air festival with 50 other bands, I wanted to see them in a one-off indoor gig at CRR, sitting down and with a setlist dedicated to Houdini alone. Maybe one day this dream can come true, who knows.
Ekmel Ayar - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds @ Said Al-Mishal Cultural Center (Gaza)
“I think the cultural boycott of Israel is cowardly and shameful. In fact, this is partly the reason I am playing Israel – not as support for any particular political entity but as a principled stand against those who wish to bully, shame and silence musicians.”
This was Nick Cave’s reply when he was called for boycott before his 2017 Israel gig. I felt a strong bond with his music and admired him for his stance against injustice. I found his unwillingness to shadow his art with social responsibilities confusing. For me, performing in Israel was just as a political decision as not performing there.
A year later, I had the chance to see him live for the first time in Istanbul, where I live. The show was an amazing experience that had a huge impact on me for months. A couple weeks later, I read that Said Al-Mishal (one of the biggest remaining cultural centers of Gaza) was bombed to ruins by Israeli army. As I was still under the spell of his Istanbul concert, this reminded me of Nick Cave’s words about those who silenced musicians. Apart from the inexpressible massacre and injustice that has been taking place in Gaza for years, there was also a cultural destruction.
It’s a fact that many different communities in different parts of the world have been suffering from continuous, systematic cultural genocide year in and year out. This cultural genocide is carried out in silence and subtlety against Aborigens in Australia, Nick Cave’s hometown. As for Gaza, it is carried out with violence and blood against Palestinians. Under the reign of universal apathy, every day musicians are silenced, pianos get smashed, cultural venues are destroyed, artists are killed or suppressed.
Thinking about all these, I found myself dreaming about this gig that would complete Nick Cave’s words. I wanted him to perform at this auditorium, on August 9th 2018, the same day it was destroyed, against everyone who silences musicians and art… and I made this poster.
Selin Çınar - DJ Rashad @ Boiler Room Istanbul
I find DJ Rashad’s music and production abilities very unique. He revolutionized the scene in Chicago. I would really love to see him on Boiler Room if he was alive. I clearly remember the first time I heard his songs. I thought they were very different and got really excited. Generally, I love the dance rhythms and the colour of his music.
Selin Birben - Sting @ Kuruçeşme Arena
Sting was one of the most inspirational figures for me, when I first started music. I’ve always wanted to watch him live but I never caught one of his gigs. Then one day my mother told me that she and my father took me to a Sting concert in 2006. So I wanted to design a poster for that gig, for the concert that I’ve been to but don’t remember. The tea cup on the poster comes from the classical English tea sets.
Kübra Su Yıldırım - Tinariwen @ ÂLEM-İ MİSAL
They blend blues, rock and folk music and serve their art in a tea cup. It’s like they hold the past and the future in their hands and salute them in the present. Their rebellious fire, their persistence of self-seeking, their will to exist even in the toughest conditions got under my skin.
I hear mystical tones in their music, I see references to ayahuasca in their videos, I think they belong not only to this world but also to some unknown place. Holding on to this interpretation, I got the idea that they should be in another dimension. I dreamed of a gig in a dimension called “Âlem-i Misal” which serves as a bridge among the material and spiritual world. A concert that has started at an unknown moment and that will continue forever. I would really love to attend this gig; by way of sipping from the tea cup, falling out of a trance with booms and bangs or through an unknown kind of journey.
Büşra Üzgün - Everyone Dies @ Anywhere
At first I thought of designing a poster for a festival in memoriam of me. Like there is a festival after my death and everyone is having a wild time after me. Because of my surname which means “Sad” in Turkish, the attendees are wearing t-shirts with my sad face logo on them.
After tackling a bit with this idea, I felt alienated from it. Instead, I designed a poster for a festival which has musicians who passed away in the line up. This event takes place in an unknown time and venue. You can go nuts and have fun like there’s no tomorrow or you can be the frontman of a well known rock band… yet, “everyone dies”.
But still, don’t be sad about this poster, just laugh off. With love.
Burak Şentürk - David Bowie @ Şanzelize Cafe
Since I was a child, I have been obsessed with building a bridge between reality and my heroes who helped me with my progress and who still accompany me in my life. When I was under the influence of American movies, for many years I waited for a background music to emphasize the important moments of life. Until the invention of Walkman. God bless you Sony.
This piece here, is an illustration of David Bowie, who is one of the most interesting and avant-garde figures I’ve ever seen, imagined in a counter-existence in Turkey’s reality, in a parallel universe. In this context, I’ll accept all lynching attempts from Bowie fans :)
Sercan Tunalı - Sigur Rós @ Mount Ida
I came across Sigur Rós on a program years ago. The video was called Vaka/ Untitled 1 Live. I was mesmerized and I remember watching it over and over. When I listened to their other songs, I felt like I was migrating to Iceland. I even made an animation video for one of their songs. I had strong feelings about that state of mind. Years later a quote of a band member described my feelings in the best possible way: “It’s kind of a safe haven for us, Iceland. We are left on our own here.”
The documentary called “Heima” tells about the band really well. The word “Heima” means “home” in Icelandic. Sigur Rós do not take us away from our homes, they make us travel with our homes beside us. So we never yearn for the past with the feeling of “another place”. The possibility of feeling both as a newcomer and close to home, hides in the mystic and epic themes of this music. May it be always near us, like a bedside book that smells good.
Burak Tozkoparan - Benjamin Clementine @ The Atlantic Ocean
Between crowded thoughts of whose poster to draw, it wasn’t very hard for me to decide on Benjamin Clementine, who massively inspired me lately. That decision was easy but where will the concert take place? Dinner at my place? Should he come to the agency on happy hour? Then I decided it should be in a utopian environment.
Last week I went diving for the first time in my life. It wasn’t easy to overcome the fear but what I felt afterwards was completely different. The feeling after diving, blew away the stress that I felt earlier. That feeling was similar to what I felt listening to Benjamin. I said “That’s it!” Listening to Condolence underwater… I could blend these two. But music, underwater? What do I know, is that the only problem? I just draw!
Pınar Ulus - Nina Simone & Thievery Corporation @ Butterfly Valley
Now that we’re in summer, I couldn’t help but daydream. If Thievery Corporation and “Mama Afrika” Nina Simone were to play in my favorite place in Turkey, in Butterfly Valley’s amazing nature, I would promise to dance all the way, be very careful about keeping the beach clean and have white chickpeas with red wine.
Yaren Yavuz - The Knife @ Anahit Sahne
The moment I heard about the project, I knew I could only choose The Knife. Not just because I’m obsessed with their music and it gives me a constant desire to produce but also because they’re the band that directed me to making music for the first time. They have always been very important to me.
That’s why I wanted to illustrate the effect that they have on me. I pictured the band as this enormous, modern Kybele who draws the listeners to her and lures them. Strong and with no boundaries, never refraining from saying something new. I wish I could meet them someday and find courage to share my music with loved ones.
Emrah Tümer - Daft Punk @ Tatooine
One of the first ideas that came to my mind upon hearing about the project was to make a poster for Daft Punk. From the 90’s on, they left a big impression on people with their music and costumes. I wanted to combine these unique musicians who look like they’re from another planet with another part of popular culture that’s been influencing people since 1977: Star Wars. (Of course I’m saying this based on the old series)
Thinking about the universal and unifying character of music, I thought why not go for a Galactic Festival? I imagined Stormtroopers, Ewoks, Wookies, even Darth Vader losing themselves to the beat and having a blast at Daft Punk’s Tatooine gig. I tried to carry this to the poster.
Please be our guest at the Galactic Festival in Tatooine. Signed: Emperor Palpatine
Erdem Yıldız - The Prodigy @ Hell
I remember watching the Firestarter video on MTV for the first time. It was the scariest video of my childhood. They were really making unique, dark, entertaining music that touched the deepest feelings. Now when I listen to their songs again, they take me back to my childhood and refresh my life energy. A band that pulls me round even in my most tired state, that calms me down if I’m angry, makes me happier if I’m happy.
The atmosphere in their concerts has always reminded me of hell. So I thought a concert in hell would fit such an energetic band. Keith Flint was a singer who proved that singing is related to the soul as it is to the tone. Thanks for the beautiful energy!
Tunç Eren - Jethro Tull @ Istanbul Arena
As far as I recall, Jethro Tull‘s Istanbul Arena gig on 06.06.08 was the first concert that I bought a ticket thinking “Wow, I should see this”. The concert was seated and our seats were at the back of the venue. In the middle of the set, it started raining and people stood up and took off. We moved to the front seats and watched the rest of the concert close to the stage, intimately, standing up and dancing.
Dilem Serbest - Blur @ Breakfast Table
I chose Blur, because they are one of the bands that influenced me the most. Nourished by the absurd origins of British humor, they have a tremendous energy containing full contrast of the 90s. They are more than just a nostalgic band for me.
Blur members always reminded me of breakfast objects and food. I think that’s why I imagined a giant breakfast table and miniature Blur members with their pajamas playing a special concert to someone as in this illustration.
Every time I listen to “Parklife”, I can’t help but laugh at “I feed the pigeons, I sometimes feed the sparrows too” part. And I’m using that sentence as a proverb. Thanks for that Blur!
Hande Koçhan - Florence + The Machine @ Crystal Palace
When I first saw the project, I thought about all the bands that I wanted to see live and made a list. Meanwhile, a lot of ideas popped up. I chose Florence + the Machine, which had a different place for me. The main reason that I chose Florence is that she and her music always reminded me of spring. As date, I picked my favorite month, April. And the perfect place for her fairy tale atmosphere would be nowhere else but Crystal Palace.
Volkan Aydemir - Roger Waters “The Wall” @ Gezi Parkı
Roger Waters‘ The Wall Istanbul show was an exceptional day where a major historical/political event met with a major musical event. I was mesmerized. This was the first idea that came to my mind when I heard about Dream Gigs Illustrated. This was all I could think. I still wonder if this gig can become real.
Dilruba Karalp - Depeche Mode @ Küçükçiftlik Park
I ran into these crazy boys by chance. In a typical high school trip, me and my friend were sharing headphones, tasting our exciting, new found musical gems in an attempt to add a little travel melancholia to the day. Next track was Mike Shinoda’s (Linkin Park) “Enjoy the Silence” remix. I remember it blew my mind.
Shortly afterwards, in a random tv zapping, I stopped at Mtv and what I saw amazed me. It was Marilyn Manson’s “Personal Jesus” video. Even though it was not my favorite kind of music, I thought “This strange kid finally made it and created a masterpiece”. When I found out that it was a cover, I met my new obsession, my ultimate passion that would heal our depressed souls: Depeche Mode.
I nearly changed my university applications in the hopes that they could come to Istanbul. The gig that we’ve waited for patiently, eagerly and with great motivation for years, was cancelled due to a series of mishaps and we had to kiss our big dream goodbye.
To fill this hopeless void, I imagine the band in a cab filled with the most kitsch objects, on their way to a gig that is free of “logistic” problems. The go-getter cab driver is sure to get them there on time.
Somon - MF DOOM @ CERN
MF DOOM‘s absurd and abstract lyrics were just my kind of madness. His “mad villain” alter ego that would destroy hip hop’s rules drew me to him. As I listened to his music, I felt like I’ve known him like family. I laugh at some of his lyrics like I’m laughing at an inside joke. He’s a smart, pessimistic but reckless and funny character with a tragic back story. MF DOOM is like the embodiment of comic book aesthetic, East Coast style and the dark absurdism of existentialism (my favorite three things).
DOOM playing at a top notch laboratory was a concept that I had in mind for years. CERN is the most significant nuclear research lab in the world. This is where the god particle is reproduced. In the right hands, it can produce great advances for humankind. But in the wrong hands, it can end the world. I believe it’s a good day for doomsday.
Neslihan Kaya - Barış Manço @ Augsburg
When I lived in Turkey, I found the homesickness of people who lived abroad a little exaggerated. I thought they could come back when they wanted. Now that I’ve been sharing this homesickness as an expat, I’m thinking why wouldn’t there be a Barış Manço gig in Augsburg? His music has been the soundtrack for my existential delusions. This would be just the right time because I really missed my home.
“Tek bir soru, hemşerim memleket nire?”
Sinem Arda - Duke Ellington @ The “A” Train
I can talk forever about the movies and tv series that I love, I even make a selection by doing some artwork about them. But it didn’t occur to me to do the exact thing with the music I listen to, especially as a gig poster. That’s why I got so excited when I saw the Dream Gigs Illustrated project. I really loved the idea and I chose Duke Ellington.
I got to meet the music of dear “Duke” thanks to the book called “Froth on the Daydream” which I’m currently rereading. I don’t know exactly when I read it, but Boris Vian, a man with a very odd mind, seems to have written the whole book through the music of Duke Ellington. If you ignore one of the pieces that the author skillfully placed in the story, another one might come up after a few pages. And I wasn’t late to follow the playlist the author chose for us and as soon as I listened to it, I understood why he loved him so much, why he constantly played “Chloe” in the background of his fiction. I chose the concert year from a famous concert recording. The day and the month is from my birthday because why not (Zoidberg)? I drew the poster and now all there’s left to do is to imagine how wonderful it would be to listen to him live.
Merve Yiğit - Queen @ Riviera Maya / Mexico
Queen came into my life in high school and my bond with them got stronger in college. They make me feel even the songs that I don’t understand the lyrics. I associated them with Mexico, which appeals to me with its food, culture and nature. Because I love vintage, 70’s and 80’s, I imagined a concert in that era. I wish this gig could come to life and I could see Freddie, the man that I admire, that I try to imitate while watching his performances, from the front row.
Berkay Dağlar - Rage Against The Machine @ Akkuyu NPPP
I chose Rage Against the Machine not just because I still love their music but because they are the perfect match for the issue that I want to draw attention to. This could be the best gig against the nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, Mersin. April 26th is the anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. I don’t know which worries me the most; the possibility of a nuclear disaster in my country where negligence is a serious problem or that this gig is just a dream.
Efe Karadağlı - Acid House Kings @ Troposphere
It’s been almost 10 years since I first heard of Acid House Kings’ music and they have become the soundtrack of my life ever since. I have always dreamed about watching them live and thanks to this project, I can dream about my dream.
They have these shiny and bright melodies in their songs so I imagined a concert at the troposphere layer of atmosphere, where the clouds and birds are actually located. I bet it would be great to watch sunrise and sunshine on this layer and I can’t imagine any other music but Acid House Kings’ for this scene.
It’s been 8 years since they released their last album and it’s unclear when the next one will come so I added an uncertain concert date, referring to one of their lyrics. I hope they will continue to create great music and whether it’s in the sky or on earth, I can watch them live one day.
Doğa Can Ertürk - Andrew Bird @ Cennet Sinkhole
It took me some time to decide on the poster. Instead of designing for big names that I’m a fan of or masters who have passed away, I chose someone that I’ve been listening to a lot lately: Andrew Bird. I knew many of his songs by heart even before I realized they belonged to him. He amazes me with his whistle and violin.
In Turkey, we get to see many stars but to see a quasi-local artist like Andrew Bird, who doesn’t travel outside of North America much, in a magical place of the city where I grew up; that’s a dream to be psyched about. It’s a tough journey to Cennet but it’s really worth dreaming of listening to Roma Fade beside the ruins of the old church, built at the edge of the cenote.
Simay Bahçıvan - A Tribe Called Quest @ The Grand Bazaar
As a hip hop fan, the first band I thought of and chose without hesitation is A Tribe Called Quest.
Considering the diversity in their songs, their Afrocentric and ethnic style, I thought the venue must have an atmosphere that could mix well with the music. It would be great to see them in a place with a good aural landscape, like The Grand Bazaar.
Aytaç Öztürk - Nipsey Hussle @ Slauson Avenue
Nipsey Hussle was an artist who inspired me and gave attitude to my drawing style. He became famous and rich but he didn’t leave Slauson Avenue, where he grew up.
He struggled to make that neighborhood a better place. For someone who is considered the leader of his territory, being shot and murdered in his own store is ironic.
This poster is a tribute to him.