- SC Festival Tickets Management S.R.L - Administrator
The Banffy Castle was built between the 17th and 19th century in Bontida, near Cluj-Napoca, in the Renaissance and baroque styles. It has suffered various stages of degradation over the years, which have required reparations and restorations. In 1999, awareness was raised by the Transylvania Trust regarding this issue, and specific areas have begun to be renovated in 2001. A cafe has been opened in one of the restored parts, while the rest acts as a museum. Numerous events and workshops have been conducted at the castle in recent years, to promote and introduce this remarkable landmark to both citizens of the local area, and tourists. The park surrounding the buildings stretches over 70 hectares of land, allowing multiple activities to take place in this natural landscape that includes forests, lakes and meadows. Electric Castle music festival is one of these many initiatives that are being organized to guide people towards this lesser known landmark.
Electric Castle festival is taking place over a period of five days, in which people are able to either spend the whole day in the park of the Banffy Castle, or come to the evening concerts. As many people prefer staying in the area, there is the need for different services to be offered, such as accommodation, food and beverages courts, as well as entertainment areas and venues. In order to set the event apart from other music festivals, the built structures would provide a more complex atmosphere, through abstract shapes and installations. Combining art, architecture, and music would deliver a unique and more memorable experience to the participants. All these distinct structures would connect the new to the old, linking the stages and the pavilions to the historic buildings of the Banffy Castle. Some of these elements have become familiar for the visitors and for sure will feature as stable and recognizable elements at the future editions as well, while new features will be brought to diversify and give a new identity each year.
The architectural project consists of numerous larger and smaller elements, dispersed throughout the surrounding park of the castle. 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, passageways and visual safaris. Most important is the entrance pavilion, an oversized signal-installation, 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, in The Mill is created the scene for the alternative side of the festival, using distinctive props connected to the buildings impressive roof structure. 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 for exploration, several paths and different ways of perception of the old Bánffy 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. Functionally, the pavilions work effectively to provide various services, while the smaller structures have been extensively used for leisure activities. Thousands of people benefit directly from these installations, while also receiving an enriched experience of the music festival. The diversity of the designs, which yet maintain a certain consistency and sense of belonging to a single theme, provide the identity of Electric Castle, distinguishing it from the many other such events that occur in and near Cluj-Napoca.