Probably the best organized festival in Romania, Electric Castle has opened up its  gates once again for its sixth run. It was still raining cats and dogs, people were still complaining about the mud, but nothing else mattered when your favorite band performed live on the stage. And everybody around was partying, so regardless of these tiny details like the weather, it was almost perfect. BR checked into Electric Castle to see what was new in terms of architecture and brand activations this year.

By Oana Vasiliu

Bigger and better, some say. New stages and new entertainment zones have appeared at the festival, just to keep you occupied 24 hours per day. How come? An entire team of professionals  worked for a year in advance for five days of electric experience. This year’s production was more impressive than ever. Covered areas for almost 25,000 people, paved walkways all over the festival, 8,000 sqm of port-a-floor, ready for any weather. This year, the surface area rose by 30 percent, now standing at 300,000 sqm. Seven out of nine stages were covered when BR visited, over 300 artists had been on stage, while 6,000 parking spaces catered to festival-goers.

What’s more, this year, the organizers put out a call for projects in domains such as architecture, art installations, storytelling and activities, for which more than 300 projects were submitted, with four winners in the architecture section: In More Design – Camping House, Cosma Ioan + Sabau Doru – Shelter, Kooho – Electric Village and Cismaru Gabriel Cosmin + Viski Andrei – Electric Castles. Very eclectic electric.

In terms of new activities, the Metropolitan Circus of Bucharest has brought its Reveria Show to Electric Castle. Created in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, the show was a memorable, breathtaking experience never before seen at a music festival in Romania. The reverse bungee, the immersive Dome, live jukebox and Stigma Show were also new and popular attractions.

Brands power up

The “Electric” experience wouldn’t be complete without electricity in some artsy forms. That’s why Enel has sponsored the festival for three years. “Enel’s brand activation at Electric Castle 2018 was a live dance, music and light show performed by the Russian group Stigma Show, in which technological innovation and art are interwoven. There was four energy and color-rich performances, one on each evening of the festival. At the previous edition, Enel supported a live performance of Lords of Lightning, which was voted by the public as the most popular activation of the 2017 edition,”  Eleodor Ghenoiu, head of advertising & brand activation at Enel Romania, told Business Review.

In terms of the beer – probably the most consumed beverage at a festival – Ciuc Premium  provided the immersive Dome with impressive installations, a beer hunt using the festival’s official mobile app  and some relaxation zones. “It is the first year for Silva at Electric Castle, so we wanted to surprise our fans with a special multi-sensory activation: we developed a very special craft megaphone where festival participants can enjoy our craft beer to a special soundtrack. We opted for this sensory experience as it is proven that the sounds of different tones amplify the taste of a good beer. Besides, we wanted to show consumers what a craft beer means and at the same time get acquainted with our production process; so we prepared an interactive panel, which, at a touch, takes visitors through every step of the fabrication process,” said Anca Musat, marketing director at Heineken Romania, of the Silva activation. Last but not least, the Cider Garden powered by Strongbow was one of the coolest spots at the festival, with the apples hanging to complete the forest setup – on day zero, I personally met a deer there.

Lidl, the main sponsor, set up a large part of this year’s edition. “We had many surprises in Lidl’s Electric Kingdom, like some new entry areas in our line-up: Royal Village, the place to sleep at the festival; Royal Park, where we’ll keep a piece of EC all year – an amphitheater that will benefit the local community; and Royal Lounge, a chill-out games area for goers. We learned fast, so we doubled the Royal Grill area, we had a new range of products in the Royal Market and we present the Royal Burger in the Royal Food Court. Last, but not least, the campaign Less Talk, More Ice Cream for Gelatelli at Silent Dance was also a new entry,” said Maria Parvuleasa of Lidl Romania. In my view, their brand activations were the best – the fact that there is a supermarket with the usual prices within the festival and affordable food in the food court sponsored by the retailer is a major plus. Electric Castle is still the most expansive festival to attend in Romania.

Last but not least, the priceless experience was really a surprise. Ada Iftodi, marketing manager at MasterCard Romania, noted, “As an experiential brand, MasterCard wants to provide consumers with the opportunities to have meaningful moments with the people they care about, to fuel their passions and to create memories that last a lifetime. (…) In order to be an enabler of this once-in-a-lifetime experience, this year MasterCard has turned a couple’s experience at Electric Castle into a priceless one, offering them the coolest accommodation, right in the heart of the festival. The MasterCard Tiny Home is every festival lover’s dream, as it was placed in a prime location in the middle of the festival and brought amazing surprises for the two happy participants: their own bartender and a cocktail show, gourmet dinner and morning yoga session for their mind and body.” Really priceless. And fun.

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