How do night life and entertainment sector change in time? What are the factors of this change? To evaluate the main dynamics that form the night life together; to observe spatial, economically and symbolic factors behind ‘how and why’ the night life changes, requires a deep experience and passion. Our conversation with Tolga Akyıldız who is a a music writer and a psychologist starts with ‘definitions’, and continues from the changes we have witnessed to freedom we actually believe we have.

 How do you define the night life?

Night life can be defined as a necessity if it indicates; charging yourself with positive vibes and raising the fun collectively while consuming the alcohol responsibly in a secured environment and by that reducing the stress of business life and breaking out of the routine. But, if someone’s night life disturbs the others, or if people don’t feel safe during the experience or don’t have any fun, if there is monopolization or even standardization in the sector, this means ‘chaos’ for me.

What is the definition of ‘entertainment’ for you? Why do we need entertainment?

 First of all, if you can not manage to have fun only by yourself, it is impossible to have fun with other people. Entertainment is a culture. It grows once it is practising as a group or in other words it is shared with people. We can not talk about entertainment culture or entertainment customs if people only care about their own fun. Entertainment culture does not only belong to city life or a specific community; in some cases a small isolated group’s entertainment tradition might be more refined than a well educated citizen community’s. Culture is being formed by long cumulative actions. It gets deeper if it is multicolored and poliphonic. Of course the desire of entertainment might be born from a humanistic need which is moving away from the problem/distress, but talking about a culture is something very different. We would be wrong if we try to understand the situation in terms of needs or letting the steam off as references.

 How do you compare the 90’s vs 00’s night life and music performances in Istanbul? In which direction have popular places, music genres and people’s choices changed?

The main difference in 90’s was becoming a regular in a specific place. There were less places to go but most of them managed to be a brand and have a real relationship with their customers. The main tendency of 90’s enterpreneurs was to build characteristic places and increase the regular customer quantity instead of earning much more money in a very short time period. There were good and characteristic places for every budget, every status and every taste that’s what we called as variety. If all entertainment places –taverns, restaurants, pavilions, music halls, clubs, rock bars, pubs- stand at the same time in a city and one way or another if there is an economic production, then we may mention a real night and night life over there. Unfortunatelly 2010’s have caused monopolization in night life, decrease the amount of concert ticket sales due to internet, take down the shutters and sectorial changes.

How does the freedom of night life feed the entertainment?

The freedom of the night is very related with how much you feel free in your daytime. We may not cram a gigantic feeling like freedom in to a darkness of the night, a cigarette’s smoke or the courage that comes with alcohol. Day or night; if you are not feel completely free in a geography, in a time zone, the thing that you consider as fun is not very different from having your head in the sand, numbing yourself or more importantly running away from the truth.  The night can not emancipate someone, it only can hide sins or failties temporarly. But for sure someone can emancipate the nigth.