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Here Is Why Romania's Future Is Bright

The festival is only in its second edition, but following last year's inaugural event, Electric Castle has stirred up enough buzz to attract visitors from beyond Romania's borders. Walking around the festival grounds I had the impression that every other group was comprised of foreigners speaking Hungarian, English, German, or French. And judging by the license plates in the parking lots, every county in Romania was well represented. While there's plenty to be said about the artists and the music, there's something else I want to discuss in this post.

When you think "music festival", the image that comes to mind is that of overly excited youth on a drug and alcohol infused rampage, laying waste to everything in their path. Maybe it has something to do with the way festivals like to promote themselves; these are basically the images that stand out on most 'Official Aftermovie' videos from major music festivals. But obviously the experience is defined by many other factors.

Primarily it's the people.

While the standard in Romania is to expect the worse from others, this notion is quickly dispelled if you're a foreigner. The reason being that you're seen as a paragon of virtue and as a result the natives are able to uncover vast reserves of patience and goodwill. At Electric Castle everyone was a foreigner. The staff were helpful and polite, festival goers were in a buoyant mood, and despite the loud music and (literally) tons of alcohol, civility reigned. I didn't see fights, people butting in lines, nor girls getting harassed by drunk guys. Just positive vibes everywhere. Sure there were probably some incidents, 80,000 people are said to have attended, but I'd venture to say they were isolated.

Then there were the services.

Plenty of places to eat in the Food Court, from Asian to Romanian, and even raw vegan, lots of bars, rest & relaxation areas, and let's not forget the strategically placed port-a-potties. I'm only deducing here, but I imagine that the festival goers managed to maintain the good vibes precisely because the essentials were both adequate and easily accessible. I also noticed that all the temporary fixtures were solid and well installed; wires were running on top of the fencing, well out of the way of clumsy feet, and the little details didn't simply get ignored (just the observations of a former Property Manager). It was also nice to see the organizers provided festival-goers recycling incentives with an 'Eco Station' that collected empty plastic cups in exchange for beer tokens.

Having observed all this, I came to the most important realization of all.

This entire event was created by young people. It was attended by young people. It was served by young people. I'm using the term loosely but I'm pretty sure of one thing; it's unlikely that anyone involved here was more than a child in 1989. Sure, we've all been tainted by the communist legacy, but this festival proves we can shake the stereotypes, we are capable to doing things differently, and that we're able to rise above the 'good enough' mentality in order to create excellence.

As the current political class ages out, they're going to be replaced by people who, by default, have a different approach to getting things done. They will understand business, efficiency, the importance of attention to detail, and they will take pride in a job well done. This is the type of attitude that already comprises a set of ethics. The ethics of success.

Electric Castle embodies these principles, and, if it's anything to go by, Romania's future generations also embody these principles.

Here's to the future.


  1. AnonymousJune 26, 2014

    Glad to hear this Matt; I have one more year of Canada and I'm going to bring my own contribution to Romania's future. All the best and I'm looking forward to hear more positive things about Romania.

    1. AnonymousJune 26, 2014

      Looking forward then to welcome you in Romania!

  2. AnonymousJune 26, 2014

    I am glad you liked it. I share the same thoughts about it. I must say I was beyond impressed by the Festival. As you mentioned, the crowed was civilized and it seems like everyone came to the festival for the music and to have fun. It wasn't trashy as all!! Plus the organization was great – I loved all the chilling out places and the food options and everyone was very nice and chilled (this part of the country is known for people being genuinely nice). Well done to everyone who was involved in organizing it!!

  3. Nice post. Since I heard about Electric Castle I was instantly interested in finding out more about it. It's a great event which fits perfectly with the location, concept, music, etc. I see it as becoming more and more popular every year.

  4. Is this useful for something?...anyway, I like the thing with the cabbage...I'm a ROBOT actually, but I was programmed to recognize the cabbage :-)

  5. Oh, I need the APPROVAL FROM THE BOSS...lost 5 MINUTES for nothing

    1. You need approval because I like to keep the blog free from comments like this:

      "Hello Everybody......... I live in Canada and i am a happy woman today? and i told my self that any lender that rescue my family from our poor situation, i will refer any person that is looking for loan to him, he gave me happiness to me and my family, i was in need of a loan of $ 73,000.00 to start my life all over as i am a single mother with 3 kids I met this honest and GOD fearing man loan lender that help me with a loan of $ 73,000.00 Canada Dollar"

      It wasn't approved by the way...

  6. This makes me happy to see. I have sister in laws and brother in laws about those ages there. I do see changes in the way young Romanians are living and thinking and I am impressed by the improvement and the growth I'm seeing over the past decade. Go, Romania! Sometimes it's tempting to move there if only the wages were a bit better.


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