My Untold Experience
Sorry it’s been some time since my last post, it’s been a VERY busy few weeks. I’ve moved to a new place, been taking a few shoots and on top of that, preparing and photographing Untold Festival!
This post is primarily about Untold and I’ll dive into the move and everything else in another post some other time.
So, first thing’s first.. Here’s a link to the entire Facebook album: Click Here
For those who have no idea what Untold Festival is all about, I suggest you either start Googling, YouTubing or maybe just read this post and I’m pretty sure you’ll get it soon enough. But, in summary: Untold Festival was Europe’s BEST MAJOR FESTIVAL of 2015! Hopefully will be the best in 2016, and if my experience was anything to go by.. trust me, it should be!
So, this year, things were a bit different. Obviously, there’s been a string of terrible events around Europe in the past months, so security was tight. There were many restrictions around what could and could not be carried into the festival, even for staff. In fact, every day upon arrival, we had to have our bags checked by police and other security agents.
But, despite all this extra security, they did not get in the way and I feel it was definitely a good idea to err on the side of caution with this event starting to get itself on the map.
The atmosphere was peaceful, I wasn’t aware of any fighting or disturbances taking place within the festival, something of a miracle compared to festivals in the UK, where you’re always gonna get a few of those who just drink too much and decide to take out their life frustrations on the poor guy standing next to them.
Security were friendly and I’m really pleased that most of them spoke English! You could actually have a decent conversation with a few of these guys during times when it wasn’t busy.. and well, if you know me well enough, you know I enjoy a good chat and answering the typical question, “Why did you come to Romania?”
The other thing that surprised me this year was the fact that D-SLR cameras were not allowed on-site. Initially, I thought this was a bad idea, and I did get asked a few times by people wandering around the festival as to why they were not permitted this year. However, it was actually quite refreshing to see people’s faces without a camera or phone in front of it. Apart from the occasional selfie, most people managed to enjoy the festival with their own eyes, instead of the lens!
… Speaking of Lenses
I think I saw the largest lens of my career to date. It put true definition to the name ‘Canon’ as this this literally resembled a cannon.
I think you could probably shoot a fly on the moon with that thing.. However, it was a Canon lens, and not a Nikon.. so I didn’t get the opportunity to mess around with it though, but honestly. That thing was a monster!
The Overall Atmosphere
The whole city comes to life when Untold is in town! The streets are packed with locals and people from all over the world, who have the opportunity to visit this awesome city (Cluj-Napoca). The shops are full of people just browsing, the bars and cafés along the streets are lined with people enjoying a nice cool drink on a hot summer’s day.
Plus, if you’re lucky enough, you’re going to bump into one of the sponsors from the festival, such as Coca-Cola! I say lucky, because they’re keen to hand you a nice, ice cold bottle of Coke to enjoy on your travels! I literally did not pay for one drink during my time here, not just because the festival supplied food and drinks for staff but also during my walks between the different locations that the festival was being held.
The city was truly alive. I’m sure that this festival brings much fortune to local businesses and traders during the time it’s here. Simply due to the fact that you have a mix of people who all want a taste of Cluj, whether it’s an actual taste of something to eat or something to take home as a souvenir.
Interacting with the people of Untold
One of the other great things about being a part of this festival was the fact that I had the opportunity to interact with many people from different places.
Sadly, I didn’t get to meet all of the people that I intended to during the festival due to the fact it was just so busy, but I still had a chance to bump into a few people I know.
Even took the time to take a mini photo shoot with Andreea Maria Baba, one of the ambassadors for Untold Festival. You can find the photos and her blog post here: (Romanian – View Post)
It’s quite ironic, me and Andreea have been speaking pretty much since I moved to Romania in 2013, but we’ve still not got around to taking a proper shoot yet… that will change, so keep your eyes out for that one! After all, she’s a beauty ain’t she? 😉
It’s amazing how many people open up when there’s an event such as Untold happening. People are more fun, energetic and open! There were literally times in which I couldn’t move from where I was stood as there was one person after the other wanting their photo taken! Always fun, and again everyone spoke English!
So, there were a few big names attending Untold Festival this year. Namely, Afrojack, Armin Van Buuren, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Faithless, Scooter, Parov Stelar and Tiesto! My list could go on-and on, but you get the idea!
Was really surprised to see that the opening performance on the Main Stage (Ursus Untold Arena) was Inna! To tell you a secret, I’ve had a thing for Inna since I found her, before I even moved to Romania. She’s definitely one of my first impressions of Romanian women! So very pleased that I was able to photograph her performance on the first day!
It was also totally awesome to see Kwabs performing live! Everyone pretty much knows his viral song ‘Walk’
Turns out, he’s got a whole bunch of songs and it was nice to add a chilled and soulful artist to such an awesome line-up of electronic hits! It goes to show that some great artists really do come out of the UK and possess all sorts of talents and skills!
Of course, the next and final major name I was looking forwards to hearing was Martin Garrix! This guy is an inspiration for you musicians and DJ’s around the world. Simply because he’s managed to hit success at such a young age with hit after hit of groundbreaking tunes!
What I think I loved most about his performance is that, although it was the final day and everyone was surely tired… he brought so much life and energy with his badass music and his general attitude! The guy was a true legend and appeared to really be enjoying himself at his first performance in Romania.
So, I’m going to wrap this post up now as I’m sure you’ll have a chance to see the videos, photos and even more media over on the official Untold Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/UntoldFestival/
Until next time, thank you very much for reading and stay tuned for more! 🙂
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