UNTOLD FESTIVAL: what is it and how it works.
"What is UNTOLD?"
This is what I immediately googled after receiving an email with the subject 'UNTOLD - Trip invitation'.
A world has opened up to me. I had never heard of it before and I started reading about it as one of the largest European electronic music festivals (EDM), the largest of Romania, set in the central park of Cluji Napoca.
In fact he won the Best Major Festival award at the European festival Awards, just in the year of its creation, 2015.
Cluji is a university town full of students and every year, since five years ago it completely changes. For a whole weekend over 300,000 people going to the festival populate the streets, papered of huge advertising posters of UNTOLD.
I was astonished of how much the event was advertised in the city: starting from the airport, where there was a stand to pick up the bracelet for untold, up to the big screen in the biggest square of the city, which broadcasts the festival live.
As a lover of adventures I had to accept the invitation, and I left with my older sister on August 1st for Cluji Napoca.
Happy and anxious for the experience but we still had to face a long trip.
We had a layover in Frankfurt for more than 4 hours, and since we weren't well informed about the organization and location of the festival, we started fatasizing about it: we expected music at every hour of the day, big spaces with many people, but I never imagined the multitude of people and the infinite greatness of the spaces in which I would have been in the same evening.
After the 4 hours of layover, we finally took the second plane for Cluji.
In less than 2 hours the plane started going down, and, curious to see the city from above, I looked out of the window but I saw only wheat fields, endless expanses of cornfields and woods. In fact the city is 20 minutes from the airport, and surrounded by countryside, fortresses, and small villages.
So from being landed in the Transylvanian countryside, in a few hours we found ourselves in the most crowded place in the region in those days: UNTOLD festival.
I scanned the festival map, to give you a real idea about the size and the perfect organization of the spaces.
The UNTOLD festival is divided into several areas, dedicated not only to music, but also to food, entertainment, shopping and relax.
The artists didn't perform only in one space - as I thought - but there were 10 stages. You are maybe thinking that the DJ sets were alternated between one stage and another ... but NO! At the same time, in every stage there was music from the afternoon to the next morning, and each stage had the energy of the public.
The biggest stage was called MAIN STAGE, located inside the Cluji-Napoca stadium. Over 70,000 spectators a day where there for the opening and closing ceremonies of the festival, and the most internationally famous artists performed there without interruption from afternoon to the morning.
Some of the performers were: Alex Parker, James Arthur, Tujamo, Dimitri Vegas, Steve Aoki, Timmy Trumpet, Armin Van Buuren, Offenbach, Bastille, Don Diablo, Robbie Williams, Nicky Romero, David Guetta, Martin Garrix.
In front of the main stage there was the GALAXY STAGE, completely indoors, sat in the Sala Polivalenta of Cluji. Here you could listen to house, techno, and techno-house music, played by the best known DJ's in the panorama of world festivals.
The Galaxy was one of the most crowded stages. in fact when we tried to enter it during our first day (second of the festival) we found the doors closed because it was already full since the beginning of the Solomun performance.
Some of the dj's performing here: Solomun, Andrew Meller, Joseph Capriati, Paul Kalkbrenner, Tale of Us, Mathame, Mahony, Jamie Jones & Martinez Brothers & Seth Troxler.
Next to the Galaxy and outdoors there was the ALCHEMY STAGE and all the drum & bass, hip-hop music, rap and trap lovers, singing and dancing without interruption from 5 pm to the morning.
Some of the artists exhibited here: Zo, Roni Size, Nane, Borgore, Dub FX, Dj Wicked, Congo Natty dj set, Jaheyo, El Nino, Parazitii.
Among the other smaller stages, between the trees of Cluji's forest, the most appreciated was DAYDREAMING, with relaxing electronic music, inspired by different cultures and ethnicities.
Some of the artists exhibited here: Guy Gerber, Black Coffee, Damian Lazarus.
There were also:
- the FOREST STAGE, with musicians and bands playing indie-pop music mixed with jazz and electronic sounds.
- FORTUNE STAGE, with new genres such as progressive house, melodic techno and euphoric hardstyle.
- the NOSTALGIA STAGE, with a throwback to the music of the festivals of the 90s and 05s.
We absolutely had to take a look at the TRAM STAGE, where there were the most crazy minds of the festival: a dancing tram that moved continuously for the hundreds of people who danced and jumped inside, between one seat and another. As written on the official UNTOLD website ... 'a wagon with fun destination !!!'
Then there was the TIME STAGE, which created a mysterious atmosphere mixing past, present and future, and the EARTH SPIRITS STAGE that combined ancestral rhythms with modern ones, electronic sounds with instruments like harp, zampone and flutes.
Talking again about our first day, after the MAIN STAGE we went to the GALAXY, the ALCHEMY, and the DAYDREAMING, and then we moved to the food street to eat something: we took a giant waffle with fruit and caramel cream!
From sweet to salted food, you could find both sushi and Italian lasagna, crepes and noodles.
Waking up all night you lost track of time, without making any difference between day and night, the last day we found ourselves eating a Neapolitan pizza at 6:30 am, before breakfast at the hotel, and before going to sleep . 🤷♀️
CANDY LAND 🎡 with its big Ferris wheel was the first thing I noticed from the transfer when I arrived at the festival. Then once inside, after eating, heading for the wheel, we found ourselves in a place full of rides and gummy candy shops ... in less than 10 minutes we were on a chain-knife, bigger and taller than usual . [Until now I had seen one similar only in Paris at the jardin des Tuileries.]
And, for those who were tired of dancing, there were so many other activities in the park: many spaces set up with hammocks, armchairs and poufs where you could relax before reaching the next STAGE, colorful rooms where you can take pictures (inside a pink bathtub, or in a room full of colored balls), places to test VRreality, and even an outdoor cinema, a dedicated area to YOGA, and you could also try the aero gravity !!
There were beauty stations for girls, where you could have a festival look in 10 minutes, with glittery make-up and long and colored braids. There was no lack of a barber for boys, where it was possible to dye one's hair, and even cut or shave the beard.
In the first part of the evening, from the opening of the festival to 2pm and until 2am, you could have a look at the temporary shops near the main entrance of the festival: here many emerging brands sold their creations.
We only went there on the last day when we arrived at the festival in the early afternoon. I bought some shoes from a Romanian brand, a Texan hat and a wallet with the written 'travel as much as u can', my sister, instead, a wicker bag, a hand-made wallet and a dress.
Walking through the shops we also noticed a strange stand with a long line and lots of couples ... it was a stand where to simulate a wedding, with lots of bouquets and photos (lol🤣).
Every hour the streets of the festival were full of magic: you could see characters with giant wings, soap bubbles, fireworks, stilt walkers, pink foam parties. Not surprisingly right at the festival entrance it was written in large MAGIC IS AN UNTOLD STORY 💬.
It was a magical and unforgettable experience, which I would absolutely do again, and which I advise you to do at least once and I am sure that after the first there will be others.
Magic is an UNTOLD story, but I have revealed to you some of the magic that is hidden every year in the Cluji forest !! !!
I would say that now you are ready to face the next edition of 2020 !!
Book tickets for next year, UNTOLD 2020 here: you will get a good price in advance. 😎
How to reach the festival?
The festival is held in Cluji Napoca, the capital of Transylvania. Cluji has its own small airport, so from Italy, but also from other states, the plane is the fastest choice.
The only flaw is that it is not easy to find direct flights (from Naples we had to have a layover in Frankfurt).
Where to buy UNDOLD tickets?
ONLINE! Tickets for 2020 are already available with special discounts for those who have already booked.
How much is the ticket for the festival?
There are various types of tickets. They range from the basic, to the VIP package, from the daily purchase, to the subscription for the 4-day festival.
Where to stay?
It is easy to find places to stay, the important thing is to book in advance as during the festival the city is full of people coming from all over Romania and from abroad.
Cluji is a large university town, full of hotels and houses for rent. All you have to do is to look on the most popular sites to book a place to sleep (like booking or airbnb).
Keep an eye on UNTOLD website and on their social profiles. They sometimes send promotions and contests and surely will do something for next year's edition.
This year (2019) for example, to celebrate their famous vampire-proof KFC Garlic Sauce, KFC Romania set up a Haunted Camping area in the Hoia-Baciu forest near Cluj where UNTOLD fans could experience a camping experience like no other. (they also give away to 6 fans of UNTOLD an inclredible package).
Let's follow @untoldfestival and don't miss all the news.
follow my IG profile @martiiitram and watch the saved stories about the UNTOLD2019 edition.