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