ELECTRIC CASTLE IV
visual elements of music festival
Until so far, with its 4 editions, from 2013 to this year’s edition, Electric Castle music festival in Bonțida, Romania, set itself apart from the usual staging of a music festival. Combining striking visual elements, mass entertainment and a Gothic setting – the ruin of 15th century Bannfy Castle – the event turned more into a complex sensorial and spatial experience, a celebration of contemporary art in its different forms: from music, to architecture, design and installation.
The main challenge of such sort of intervention is to create easy-to-build, affordable and low-tech structures adapted to the large scale of the site. They convert the empty property of the Castle for a matter of 4 days into a realm of sound, white geometries, passage ways and visual safaris.
We tried to establish a tradition, to ritualize the experience with a few pavilions that have become familiar for the visitors and that for sure will feature as stable and recognizable elements at the future editions as well. Most important is The Cube, the over-sized signal-installation in the center of the main courtyard, around which the rest of the festival revolves. Second is the smoke labyrinth with it’s psychedelic and playful dimension – a game of hide and seek in a space with vague limits. Next, The Mill and the Booha College container structure – the alternative scenes of the festival. Smaller scale experiences are offered also in the remains of the former palace gardens, shaded spots for relaxation, crossings and geometric shapes within the foliage. The whole setting is an invitation to exploration, several paths and different ways of perception of the old Banffy estate. All interventions stand apart from the historical material, keeping in parallel and not in competition with it. In this sense the festival does not consume its site, rather activates it by a temporary (re)set into light.