My best friend, Alecs, lives in a different city and we don’t really see each other as much or often as either of us would like, which is why we decided this summer to do something just the two of us. And what better way to spend a weekend with a dear old friend if not in a new city that hosts a great rock music festival? So we went to Bucovina Rock Castle!

And let me tell you, it was the best festival in my opinion (and I reckon hers too), and we are probably going to go every year! We were lucky enough to get backstage passes because I worked as a customer support representative with one of the organizers of the festival and when he heard that I am going to Bucovina Rock Castle, he hooked me up with the backstage passes for me and my friend.

And you know what? It is really awesome to see your favourite bands away from the crowd and have a lot of space to move around, and be so close to take great pictures and have chairs – that we only used between the concerts because the bands were too great to sit down. However, we also stayed way in the back with some of our friends or in the middle of the crowd, dancing together (and trying to stay away from the people who were doing pogo). Practically, we experienced the concert from every angle, right?

The place where it all happens is the Seat Fortress of Suceava, a medieval citadel build around 1400s in what used to be Moldavia. The castle has a huge ditch around it and you’ve probably guessed, that’s where the festival happens.

I went to this festival with no expectations other than to have fun with my friend. I did not know many of the bands because that was not the purpose of my trip. I listened to Toy Machines, Andi’s band (the friend and coworker, in charge of Bucovina Rock Castle and also in a band), because he gave me his album last Christmas. Unfortunately, our bus ride was longer than planned and we missed his band (next year or maybe a future concert where I live), I knew about Sky Swallows Challenger – only because another friend and coworker is part of the band and I was pleasantly surprised by their concert. Of course, both of us were excited for Luna Amara, no matter how many time we’ve seen them in concerts. Other than that, I was familiar with a few songs from Russkaja and one week prior to the festival I listened to Relative’s album Positive.bucovina_rock_castle_002

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Nevertheless, this festival blew me away. Each day the lineup was great and even more surprising is that I did not get bored waiting for the band I knew or was looking forward to that day – which is why Bucovina Rock Castle tops all the other festivals I went to. Plus, this is how I discovered Dirty Shirt – cannot wait for their next concert in October. Alas, I listen to their album so much that I’d better write a blog post just about them.

Most of the bands are Romanian, so this festival was a great way for me to discover more bands from my country like Basska, Fluturi pe Asfalt (roughly translated as Butterflies on the Pavement) or Dirty Shirt (my absolute favourite new discovery). But it also brings artists from other countries – and this year it featured two really nice Austrian bands – I was definitely excited for Russkaja and they did not dissapoint.

Weirdly enough, what I am most looking forward at concerts is not the music, but the way the bands interact with the public and this was by far the best festival in terms of that. Russkaja came back on the stage three times because we couldn’t get enough (so did Dirty Shirt, but I am talking too much about them already).

It was an amazing experience and we had a great time. Three nights of awesome music and two full days for visiting – but I will probably write some blog posts on that as well. Until next time, here is the sunset seen from the Fortress.

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What festival or concert are you looking forward to?

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