Photo by Marius Bucur


Electric Castle Festival, Romania

ELECTRIC CASTLE a Romanian electronic dance music festival held at the Bánffy Castle in Bontida, Romania. Electric Castle 2015 accommodated 97,000 participants and 230 artists on 6 stages for 4 days. The festival creates a mix between the unique historical location, all day round urban activities, a large variety of electronic music and engaging environmental activities. Electric Castle has teamed up with MAINOI, a creative and sustainability agency, who are supporting the event’s environmental sustainability initiatives.

Electric Castle Festival is aiming to become a green events pioneer in Romania. The festival is committed to become environmentally sustainable, both by increasing awareness on climate change among youth and involving participants in concrete actions to reduce the carbon footprint before, during and after the festival, and by gradually integrating sustainability goals and actions at operational levels to become more energy efficient.

With operational energy efficiency measures limited by supplier and technology availability in Romania and at times a lack of awareness and skills among contractors, the festival has put a lot of energy into engaging its audiences to create a net positive impact on the planet.

The awareness campaign for the ”ECO @ Electric Castle 2015” program unfolded from May to October 2015.

The campaign had three central pillars:


  • ECO Ambassadors: the initiative started one month before the event with a call for cyclists, who were invited to come to the festival by bicycle. We chose twelve amateur cyclists, who travelled alone or in groups of two, from a distance of more than 250 km each. They were rewarded with free entry to the festival and sponsored prizes. The 12 ECO Ambassadors cycled 5421 km to the festival and wrote more than 200 Facebook posts from their journey promoting zero-emission transportation.
  • ECO Game: during the festival, gamification marketing techniques were used to engage the festival participants in activities meant to reduce their carbon footprint. The participants had to perform three eco-actions (such as collecting cups, calculating their carbon footprint, generating energy on a bicycle, or taking public transport to the festival) to collect cards of different colours, corresponding to three sustainability domains - transportation, waste, energy, and water - to enter the final raffle for interesting prizes, among which a bicycle.
  • Music Drives Change: a series of videos launched after the festival, which brought together 9 headliners of the festival, who invited their fans to embrace and act more consciously towards a sustainable development. The endorsers are: Rudimental, Asian Dub Foundation, The Cat Empire, The Glitch Mob, A-Skillz & Krafty Kutz, Dub Pistols, The Subways, Mara, Subcarpați. Watch the Music Drives Change messages from artists here:!/music-drives-change

"There's no reason why we can't have festivals like these, powered by wind and sun, and any other renewable energy available to us. We can still be humans, we can still be contradictory and terrible and rebellious and all those things. We can still be in the moment of our humanity, but that doesn't have to be associated with fossil fuels. It has to be associated with some new idea." – Felix Riebl, The Cat Empire

The festival also built an installation with two bicycles, on which festival participants competed to produce energy.

  • More than 1 000 participants competed in ‘The Battle of the Pedals’, which was won by the participant who generated power the fastest.
  • 700 Wh were produced by pedalling on the Interactive Pedal Power bicycle system.
  • The system also had a component consisting of two solar panels, intended to be used for charging phones – however, due to an unfulfilled contract by a supplier, this was not ultimately functional. However, the solar panels were still used to engage visitors in conversations around the benefits of using renewable energy. 

Thanks to MAINOI and Electric Castle Festival for the information contained in this case study. 

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