Romania is well known for most of the gothic representations of Romani and vampires, but besides this lore, there is so much more coming out of this country including events. One of those events is the Servus Transilvania Festival, a gathering that aims to diversify the culture that northern Transylvania can provide. The festival will take place in Biertan, north of Sibiu County, Romania.
Romania is known for many details, mostly related to the romanticization of rural legends originated in the early beginnings of the country back in the seventeenth-century. With a landscape of the perfect blend between nature, constructions dating back to the middle ages, a complicated history, and the lore coming from Roman gypsies and farmers, Romania is the perfect setting for a mysterious environment. However, Romania has more to offer in the modern age. That is one of the reasons the Servus Transilvania Festival took place as a gathering where people not only have the chance to enjoy the landscape, but also to enjoy local artistry and food together with a musical background.
Servus Transilvania Festival takes place in the Woistal valley, near Biertan in the Transylvanian region. The area is well known among horror film enthusiasts due to the folklore involving it, after being the scenario for novels like Abraham Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ and any reinterpretation of the vampire lore. However, the region is also known for its connection to the Black Sea and Carpathian forest, as well as a rich agricultural culture with products following centuries of tradition in their manufacture. There are organizations within the area that want to promote other sides of the Transylvanian culture that is not related to what most people know about the country. One of this groups is the Woistal Rock Community, which not only promotes rock culture in the Sibiu area, but also other aspects of the Woistal valley, such as craftsmanship, and agricultural products.
At first, Servus Transilvania Festival served as a promotional strategy for the area, to promote organic products and handmade objects made in the area. In its inaugural year, the festival was more oriented towards a hipster community, which included indie and folklore groups from the area, back in 2015. In 2016, the festival followed the same line, which attracted more people to the area, and serving as a contrast to the horror film festival Luna Plena or Full Moon that also takes place in August in Biestan. However, in an era that demands diversity, festival organizers thought fitting to include other musical genres into the festival to make it more appealing to the audience.
In this edition, the Servus Transilvania Festival organizers decided to have three approaches into the festival. The first one is the musical where there will be a contest with around fifteen bands from both Romanian and international backgrounds. Among the international bands, the festival will present the Andorran progressive metal act Persefone to the Transylvanian audience. Persefone has been creating music since 2001; with five albums including ‘Spiritual Migration’ released in 2013, and their latest work ‘Aathma’ just released this year. Another international band that will take place are progressive alternative Greek band Poem who have been around the scene since mid-2000; they have two works under their name ‘The Great Secret Show,’ ‘Skein Syndrome’ and have toured with Anathema in their most recent Dollarspean tour. Besides these international acts, there are Romanian acts such as Dirty Shirt who blends progressive genres and folklore; Kempes are representative of heavy metal; Platonic Band who have a more of a jazz and blues blend; Dordeduh who includes very specific elements of their ethnic roots into metal and Indian Fall who experiments with black metal.
Besides the musical part of the festival, there will be activities that promote tourism in the area, since the valley of Woistal and the city of Biertan are both considered the jewel of the Transylvanian landscape, as well as enjoying the farmers landscape in the peak of the Balkan summer. Servus Transilvania Festival provides an area of camping to enjoy of the beautiful weather and landscape. With such a farming and agricultural culture, it comes as no surprise that the festival provides an excellent offer on local food that includes confitures, jams, and more complex food that are traditional to the area.
Servus Transilvania Festival will take place between August 18th and 20th in Otto Wagner’s valley, in the Woistal region, two kilometers away from Biertan, part of the Saxon culture in the Transylvanian area.
More information regarding the festival can be obtained on their Facebook page. If you can spare some time out this summer, do not hesitate to take the chance to visit the area and enjoy the festival freely.