‘In Clubs We Dance’ presents: Wake Up Call
You don’t only need a Wake Up Call to avoid missing your plane, train or meeting but also sometimes to open up your awareness for social topics that are happening every day. The extraordinary combination with good electronic music is exactly the philosophy behind of Wake Up Call Club, another solid address for premium dance music in Istanbul since autumn 2012. The list of names who performanced at this lovely Taksim spot includes renowned international artists like Ivan Smagghe, Roman Flügel, Tevo Howard, Prosumer & Murat Tepeli, Jennifer Cardini and many more.
Nightlife aficionado Evrim Tüfekcioglu started DJing in 2009 and after a stint in Berlin, where she inhaled the German capital’s vibrant club scene, she and like-minded friends embarked on the path to establish a dual-purpose dance floor that provides the ground for eclectic DJs and simultaneously arises the awareness for current topics that have a bearing on all of us. Enjoy!
Wake Up Call started in September 2012 with the ambition to be more than a club. Can you explain your concept and how it differentiates itself from other other spots in Istanbul’s nightlife scene?
At the time when our idea to open a club emerged, we thought that our place should also stir up the youth in our city and not only serve as another address in Istanbul’s nightlife scene. This is exactly the reason why we named it as Wake Up Call. Our ambition was and still is to create a place where you can listen to high-quality music and simultaneously open your awareness for domestic or international current topics as well, be it through our poster or interior design.
You have a social responsibility project donating a certain amount per each picture/tweet shared on social media. When did you start this project and how is the feedback of your guests?
The initial project included also a dedicated website. However, we had to adapt the idea to current habits of the Internet youth and focused more on social media since these channels attracted much more attention of our guests. Nevertheless, we donated a certain amount of our entrance fees to the respective institutions and still organise events with social responsibility themes at which we offer our guests to feet our piggy bank for a good cause.
How difficult is it to run a club in Istanbul from an administrative perspective?
It becomes more difficult day by day. The constant changes in domestic laws and entertainment taxes represent a significant burden on every person who runs a club. Another obstacle is the TRY-EUR parity that exacerbates further the feasibility of international bookings. I don’t want to complain too much yet, compared to a lot of other European cities, we still can party liberally at some licensed places that have permissions to operate until 4 or 5AM.
What influenced you while designing the club and did you have any role model in your mind?
We didn’t have any prototypes in our mind when we designed the club. Our priority was to create an intimate, cosy atmosphere where people can enjoy the music on a proper sound system. As we are club kids, some of the places we have visited over the years may have influenced us but it was definitely not on purpose.
Do your programme on Fridays and Saturdays differ in their respective musical focus? Who are your resident DJs?
No, there is no differentiation between both days in terms of musical focus. Our residents are Batu, Yesim Unan, M-in, Just D and Mutlu San.
You have an international line-up every month. Who does the booking and do current trends/releases affect the monthly schedule?
We are keen to offer our guests a diverse range of artists that may be less popular or even have their Turkey debut with playing for us. We enjoy the scout role and like to do our bookings internally. Every member of the team shares her/his favourites at our meetings and we agree on upcoming bookings. So it’s a joint effort.
Did you ever have to convince international artists to play Wake Up Call because of its capacity or budget?
We’ve been able to establish good relationships with international agency so they offer us favoured conditions. It happens often enough that international guests, who experienced Wake Up Call’s spirit and philosophy behind, offer us to accommodate our special circumstances at future bookings. Hence, we don’t have to do a lot persuading (smiling).
Do you plan any collaboration with festivals, other clubs or anything else?
We recently collaborated with Berlistanbul festival and organised events at our place. This was a special occasion because Istanbul is twinned with Berlin since 25 years now. We participated at many similar events that included international involvement in the past and still want to continue this type of collaborations.
What is next after the Club? Could you imagine launching an own label?
We are working currently on several projects. Stay tuned for some surprises.