Electric Castle – the design as an experience
WE ARE HAPPY TO INTERVIEW ELECTRIC CASTLE, A WElL-KNOWN AND APPRECIATED BRAND FOR MOST OF US. WE TALKED WITH ANDI VANCA, HEAD OF COMMUNICATION, ABOUT THE IMPRESSIVE AMOUNT OF WORK DONE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR SO THAT THE FOUR-DAY FESTIVAL CAN BECOME A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE FOR THE PARTICIPANTS.
HOW DID IT ALL BEGIN?
It all started by organizing events in Cluj-Napoca. The events have grown to the moment they were moved out of clubs, from Hotel Continental in Cluj, to the Cluj Arena parking lot. Our goal was to choose unconventional locations, and Electric Castle was the next step. We felt a gap on the Romanian events market and we wanted to build a festival with a strong concept. That’s how Electric Castle started – a festival built around the spectacular Banffy domain. Initially, we thought of an event of 3,000-4,000 people, but for the first edition, in 2013, there were more than 32,000 people. Since then, our focus is building a unique event that offers a complete festival experience, different with each edition.
HOW DOES DESIGN BRING VALUE TO ELECTRIC CASTLE FESTIVAL?
Design is an essential part of Electric Castle. Since our first edition we wanted a festival with a strong and recognizable concept, different from other events organized in Romania. We wanted to offer a complete festival experience that bends location, concerts and daytime activities. During the festival, we create a lot of constructions and art installations, we build our own city that is as big as Gherla. We think that the way Electric Castle is designed and represented is one of the most powerful points of the festival.
HOW DO YOU STIMULATE CREATIVITY WITHIN THE TEAM?
The Electric Castle team has a simple engine: the passion for what we do. From here many good ideas are born. In addition, each member is pro-active and part of a great mechanism. The communication between us is constant; we are always trying to bring something new and creative to the festival, whether it is a new genre of music or a new activity which means added value for the festival experience. I would not call it a recipe for stimulating creativity, but I am convinced that passion is our source.
A DESIGN-RELATED DECISION THAT BROUGHT YOU GREAT SATISFACTION?
Those who come to Electric Castle discover a project with a unique and well-established concept. Every year, we try to bring something new, to improve the festival experience. This year, for example, we focused on the comfort of the participants. For those who chose to camp we offered more comfort packages, premium or normal, and the camping area got more extensive. Every year, we work with a complex team of architects and designers, to develop the project and the visual concept. Thus, we manage to combine important elements for Electric Castle, such as the audience, the festival experience and the world of advertising, in a space must remain intact after our departure.
A CHANGE THAT ELECTRIC CASTLE IS CONTRIBUTING TO
Each year, one of the pillars of the festival is the public. They are the ones who give soul to the event through their presence. Electric Castle is their festival, where they meet and enjoy music together with friends and artists. It’s a holiday experience! We want to be the ideal opportunity to escape from everyday life in a spectacular space like the Banffy Castle with a unique experience that all the festival lovers are looking for.
Since 2013, Electric Castle is being part of Banffy Castle Restoration Campaign, managed by the Transylvania Trust Foundation that manages the castle. Through a partnership with them, we contribute to the promotion and restoration of the Banffy Castle, and annually a percentage of the festival’s revenues are allocated to this project. We are happy to contribute to its consolidation, even if the process, as beautiful as it is, is costly both in terms of time and financial resources.
WHAT HELPED YOU TO GET HERE?
Electric Castle is organized by people who like to go to events, make events and understand how to create a festival. The passion for events and music was our motivation to build Electric Castle up to this point. Our goal is to continue the positive evolution and with each edition to offer the audience a unique, diverse and increasingly complex experience.
WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE IN THE FUTURE OF ELECTRIC CASTLE?
With every new edition, we want a stronger and more innovative Electric Castle festival, with a diverse line-up and creative daytime activities. We take into account our audience’s feedback and every year we try to give them extra reasons to book their tickets for a weekend at the Castel.
AN ADVICE FOR A DESIGNER WHEN COLLABORATING WITH AN ENTREPRENEUR
I think the most important thing is the chemistry between them. The designer has to resonate with the project and the entrepreneur has to give him creative freedom.
‘CAN DESIGN SAVE A BUSINESS’ ?
Personally, I think design helps us complete the experience of Electric Castle and create pleasant and useful visual elements. It is important for us that the participant feels “at home”.
A THOUGHT TO INSPIRE US
My advice is to enjoy Electric Castle from 14 to 17 July because the festival days are passing incredibly fast and the festival experience will be your source of inspiration and energy till the end of the year.
YOUR OPINION ON DESIGN DRIVEN
Keep up the good work!