Highlights of Bucharest Spotlight Festival 2017

Spotlight Festival featured

Last year I attended the second edition of the Spotlight Festival. A year has passed since then and I just couldn’t miss the third. I love how this event changes the face of Bucharest and adds color to the otherwise grey urban landscape. If you even think about visiting the Romanian capital, I would strongly recommend that you do it during this festival. It will really help you see Bucharest in another light (yes, pun intended). Now let me show you the highlights of what you missed this year.

My first stop was The Central University Library of Bucharest. For this one, artists from Germany combined light, color, sound and of course the architectural details of the buildings to create a magnificent show, using video mapping. This technique is impressive for it’s ability to transform a building’s facade into a canvas for the artists to work their magic on.

Video mapping at the Central University Library of Bucharest
Video mapping at the Central University Library of Bucharest

Right across the street, at the National Museum of Art of Romania, there was another video mapping show, put together by artists from Hungary. Besides of creativity, this show also hit a soft spot, having a woman’s face appear both at the start and at the end, as if it was trying to escape the building and transcend into the real world.

Next, I went on to see the light installation from Krețulescu Park. Created by an artist from Slovakia, this installation represents runners using movement as a way of manifestation for art, peace and liberty.

Light installation from Krețulescu Park
Light installation from Krețulescu Park

The next stop was without any doubt one of my favorite installations. Despite being a static structure, it’s curved lines were animated by colorful projections that resembled either a hilly area or the waves of the ocean. Mesmerizing is the word that would best describe it. Plus, the creating artist is Finnish. Bonus points for that.

Beautiful colors flowing over the static structure, creating the illusion of motion
Beautiful colors flowing over the static structure, creating the illusion of motion

When I decided to move on, I suddenly felt like I felt the vibe of an open-air nightclub: upbeat songs, disco balls, flashy lights and people dancing all over Victory Avenue. As a matter of fact, the attraction was justly called Discoballs. I wasn’t surprised when I found out that the show was put together by Romanian artists. We sure know how to have a good time!

And we’re back at video mapping. This time at the Novotel Hotel. The building’s facade transformed vividly with lights and textures, which made it so fascinating to watch. Light shows are great, but when sound, color and creativity get involved, the result is guaranteed to leave you speechless.

Novotel Hotel
Novotel Hotel

Moving on, my next stop was the Bucharest Telephone Palace, where I took a trip down the memory lane. The building was a huge screen for playing… Pac-Man, the classic ‘80s arcade game with the yellow dots and the little mean ghosts. Remember that? I sure did, and it was amazing!

Another amazing building that is in the center of attention every year within Spotlight event is the National Military Circle. Even though it was another show of video mapping, this one had something special: interactivity. In front of the building there was a stage where children from the crowd could have fun by dancing and jumping around. The shadows of the children were projected on the building and they could interact actively with the images that were shown on the building. For example, above each child there was a beehive and they had to jump high enough to reach it. And every time they did, they earned a point. Basically, the show was a very entertaining game, both for the children and for the rest of us that had so much fun watching the little shadows move around on the building’s facade.

Moving on, the next thing that caught my eye was a series of volumetric letters that spelled IUBESC (English translation: I AM IN LOVE). It was so romantic seeing so many couples looking deep into each other’s eyes after seeing this light installation. Me? I was just sitting there thinking about how much I love pizza and chocolate. Still counts as some type of love, right?

Trust me, love really brings light into your life. Sometimes literally.
Trust me, love really brings light into your life. Sometimes literally.

Continuing my stroll down the Victory Avenue, I finally got in front of the CEC Palace. The iconic building was covered in lasers that moved in synchronization with the electrifying music.

CEC Palace
CEC Palace

As a bonus, here are a few more photos of places transformed with the power of light:

 

LED lights
Light and darkness. Order and chaos.

 

Traditional Romanian motifs
Traditional Romanian motifs being created in the rhythm of the music.

 

This is what you get sign
What you see is what you get. Makes sense. We’re at a light festival.

As a person that has lived for many years in Bucharest, I can say that Spotlight Festival is the thing that the city was missing all along. Light, color, music, joy and creativity, all these elements are brought together onto the streets and shared with everyone that is willing to be transposed into another state of mind.

Now it’s time to share you opinion. Tell me in the comment section below if the Spotlight Festival is something that you would like to experience in the future. Also, what was your favorite part of this year’s edition? What caught your eye? What else would you like to see at a festival like this?

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17 Comments on "Highlights of Bucharest Spotlight Festival 2017"

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Guest
5 months 22 hours ago

Such a pretty festival. Love a good light show!

Guest
5 months 2 days ago

We were in Bucharest many years ago and had a good time. It’s good to see the city putting a shows like this one. Thanks for posting.

Guest
5 months 3 days ago

This looks like a fantastic festival. I love the use of light on buildings.

Guest
5 months 5 days ago

Awesome stuff. It sort of reminds me of “Nuit Blanche” in Toronto, which I truly adore.

Guest
5 months 6 days ago

This looks amazing, would love to see this for ourselves! #feetdotravel

Guest
5 months 6 days ago

Festivals are always so funfilled! This is reminding me of a similar festival of light I attended in London called Lumiere!

Guest
5 months 6 days ago

These installations look wonderful. The lights just make the buildings look so magnificent.

Guest
5 months 6 days ago

I’ve never heard of light festivals. Learn something new everyday hahaa. I hear Bucharest is magical in its own right, I can’t even imagine how even awesomeR it is when all lit up!

Guest
5 months 6 days ago

The Spotlight Festival looks amazing; I’d love to go one year!
Viola xo | A Piece of Viola

Guest
5 months 6 days ago

So interesting. I have never seen video mapping in real but it’s really high on the list. The central library one is my favorite and I too liked the static one. The event at National Military Circle looked quite engaging too.

Guest
5 months 6 days ago

I love those light and projection festivals. Thanks for sharing the Bucharest one!

Guest
5 months 7 days ago

Light festivals are all the rage now – In Australia we have a thing called Vivid Sydney where music and lights are displayed on the Sydney Opera House and your image of the novotel hotel reminded me of this. What an interesting way to get people out to experience art and bring the architecture back to life!

Guest
5 months 7 days ago

Very interesting. I’d love to see those lights – and it’s also so cool to see a post about a place like Bucharest, unlike Paris or South East Asia which appear on every travel blog :)

Guest
5 months 7 days ago

Love the light installation! So cool! My favourite is the light installation from Krețulescu Park. The Video mapping at the Central University Library of Bucharest also looks amazing!

Guest
5 months 8 days ago

The first time we saw Illumination Festivals was in France and we were floored by the visuals and the technology. This one looks amazing too!

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