With the immense popularity of music festivals in today’s music culture today, we’re seeing massive events like Ultra Miami face environmental challenges. It’s not just the big guys, either. Other, smaller festival organizers are feeling pressure as well.

The Turkish music festival PopFest 2019 has delayed their event over concerns of endangered sea turtles The event, held in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin, is pushing back its originally scheduled dates after environmentalist outcries.

The festival planned to take place during the spawning period for an endangered sea turtle species known as carretta carrettas, which is more commonly known as the Loggerhead sea turtle. This endangered species leave their eggs in 50 centimeter holes. Their incubation period lasts about 50 days. The females lay their eggs every two to three years, so this is a crucial spawning period for the species. The festival would have taken place on the beaches the turtles use.

According to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, one of the greatest threats to the species survival is the threat to their nesting habitats. This is a result of coastal development and human disturbances, which can cause disorientations during the emergence of hatchlings.

Mersin, Turkey

Delays For The Turtles

The concert organizer, Hüseyin Çalışkan, is sympathetic to the animals. He explained:

We have abstained from harming the environment and listened to the public in Mersin, thus we delayed the festival...the festival, which will draw interest from across Turkey, has great importance in promoting Mersin. The event will provide income to the local shops and increase the occupancy rates in the hotels. However, the right to life of all living things comes first.

He’s not the only person supporting this wildlife concern, either. Turkish superstar Haluk Levent took to Twitter to share his opinions to his 1.6 million followers:

For years, we have organized rallies in that area for the sake of caretta carettas. We applied to the administrative court in Mersin. We forced a sparkling water company to set up a treatment unit. I am not telling you to cancel this festival but find a way to prevent damage in that area.

The festival’s rescheduled date has not been announced yet, but it’s a beautiful thing seeing these forces come together to protect these turtles.


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