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Romanian festivals offer tix for plasma donations

The organiser of Romania’s biggest dance music festival is offering free 2021 tickets to recovered Covid-19 patients who donate their blood plasma.

Untold, the company behind the 70,000-capacity Untold Festival in Cluj-Napoca, will give free day tickets for either Untold Festival or beach festival Neversea (60,000-cap.) to those who donate plasma, either at a hospital or via one of the Blood Network vans set up in major Romanian towns and cities. Those who make a donation through Blood Network will also receive 100 lei (€20) worth of supermarket vouchers.

“The medical system is currently facing an acute shortage of blood, but also a very small number of plasma donations from former Covid-19 patients,” explains Untold, reports Business Magazin. Plasma from people who have recovered from Covid-19 contains blood antibodies which may be useful to those still sick with the virus.

Those who make a donation through Blood Network will also receive 100 lei in supermarket vouchers

The Blood Network vans will be in Timisoara and Craiova on 22–23 August, Oradea and Targu Mures on 29–30 August, Brasov and Ploiesti on 5–6 September, and Iasi, Sibiu and Bucharest on September 12–13.

The 2020 editions of both festivals were called off in early June. Marin Garrix, Iggy Azalea, David Guetta, Alesso, Afrojack and the Pussycat Dolls were confirmed for Untold 2020, while Black Eyed Peas, Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, Tyga, Passenger and Nina Kraviz would have played Neversea.

The festivals previously provided equipment including flooring, other geotextiles and mobile lighting rigs to the Romanian health service as the coronavirus spread in April.


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Romania’s Saga postpones as lockdown lifting nears

The inaugural edition of Insomniac- and Alda-promoted Saga festival has been postponed to September, as the Romanian government prepares to begin a staggered easing of lockdown restrictions in mid-May.

Organisers of Saga, which was originally set to debut from 5 to 7 June in Bucharest’s Izvor park, state the postponement is “the best option for Saga festival with the health and wellbeing of visitors a main priority”.

Although the line-up for the rescheduled event on 11 to 13 September “may be slightly different due to artist scheduling”, organisers assure fans the billing “will be up to [the] standards” of dance music giants Insomniac (Electric Daisy Carnival) and Alda (Amsterdam Music Festival, New Horizons).

Saga joins fellow Bucharest festival Europafest, a multi-venue jazz, blues, pop and classical music event, to change its 2020 dates in view of the coronavirus crisis. Scheduled for May, organisers say they are now planning for Europafest to take place in the second half of July, with dates depending on the evolution of the situation in Romania and at European level.

Other major festivals in Romania, including electronic music events Untold and Neversea and European Festival Awards 2019 winners Electric Castle, Jazz in the Park and ARTmania, have yet to announce changes to their 2020 editions. The government expected to give more details on the future of public events when it begins to ease its stringent lockdown laws – which have seen citizens collectively fined up to €78 million for flouting restrictions –  on 15 May.

“Large-scale events are unlikely to take place given the announced and forecasted restrictions”

Although Emil Boc, mayor of the city of Cluj-Napoca where Untold, Electric Castle and Jazz in the Park take place, has said that large-scale events are “unlikely to take place given the announced and forecasted restrictions”, he notes that “difference and diverse ways of organising these events can be found”.

Festival organisers in Romania have also found diverse and different ways of helping the fight against coronavirus in recent weeks.

Promoters in Cluj-Napoca are selling “solidarity tickets” as part of the A Single Cluj (Un Singur Cluj) campaign, which brings together event organisers and others in the region to synchronise relief efforts and pool resources. By purchasing a solidarity ticket, fans can make direct donations to hospitals and other public institutions. “Ticket” prices range from RON 10 to RON 5,000 (€1,034).

Money raised by the campaign has gone towards buying surgical masks for help workers and supplying food to frontline staff. Members of the initiative have also helped to construct emergency triage centres.

The team behind Untold festival, currently set to take place from 30 July to 2 August with acts including Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki, Pussycat Dolls and David Guetta, launched the United Romania initiative, which aims to “bring together the good in Romania”.

So far, the campaign has helped supply six trucks with equipment such as portable flooring, geotextile and lighting from Untold and Neversea festivals for a field hospital in the city of Constanta and has provided 12,000 tests and other medical materials to hospitals in Cluj.


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