UNTOLD Festival 2017 provides spectacular weekend for European ravers

An incredible assault on the senses, UNTOLD 2017 proved not only visually spectacular, but provided the perfect blend of artists to cater for a truly diverse range of tastes. Set in Romania’s Cluj Napoca area, UNTOLD’s reputation continues to grow year-upon-year, with a huge proportion of ravers now travelling to Eastern Europe to experience the burgeoning dance scene there, with festivals like EXIT and UNTOLD leading the way as industry trailblazers.

With a total of more than 330,000 people visiting the festival over four days, UNTOLD was the place to be, and We Rave You were lucky enough to soak up the summer sun, and experience this woodland spectacular. Here is how it went down…

With a magical almost-Tomorrowland-esque feel in the air, Cluj was packed with floral vibes on Day One, with peace, love, unity and respect, all high on the menu from ravers. Danish artist kicked things off, with American comedian and DJ Dillon Francis pulling on the jersey of the Cluj-Napoca team to send the crowd wild. Always knowing how to put on a show, Dillon showcased his eclectic mix of primetime bangers, before preparing for the arrival of mainstage heavyweights Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso. Whizzing through their back-catalogue of Swedish House Mafia hits, the pair delivered a typically high-tempo performance, with fireworks shooting into the air to signal the end of an incredible set as the duo stood in their customary unison pose, fists locked together in the air.

Day Two saw performances from the likes of international vocalist Elle Goulding, and Dutch supremo Don Diablo. The Hexagon label owner, who has been climbing the dance charts rapidly over the course of the past few years, continued his meteoric rise with a vibrant set full of future house anthems and bass-driven reworkings, sending the crowd into raptures. Standing high on his decks, the ‘Cutting Shapes’ superstar bellowed his love for Romania down the mic, with the thousands gathered below him boomeranging the feeling straight back through heart-shaped hand signals and beaming smiles. With former DJ Mag Top 100 winners Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike also performing on the incredible ‘Dragon’s Nest’ main stage, Day Two really solidified UNTOLD’s status as one of Europe’s premiere festivals right now.

The third day of the festival saw perhaps the most emotional moment of the entire weekend, with trance legend Armin Van Buuren climbing the Dragon’s Nest and bringing over 90,000 participants with him into the magical realm. The Dutch DJ, much loved by fans in Romania, stood for almost six hours on the stage, and at the end of the show, was seen to be visibly moved to tears.
I simply have the best possible job in the world,” Armin later explained.

“It was 8:30am in the morning and people just kept on dancing to my set. It literally brings me to tears when I see what music does to people. There were three girls standing front row, waving their flags, and one of them burst into tears with almost every tune that I played. At one point I thought: please stop crying, because you are going to make me cry as well! And so it happened…”

If Day Three was about emotion, Day Four was about going out with a bang! The most anticipated artist of the day, the World’s #1 DJ, Martin Garrix, played the Dragon’s Nest for the second time in his career and told fans he was very anxious to return to Cluj. The 21-year-old artist recently said in an interview that he has three favorite festivals per year, including UNTOLD. With Alan Walker and Afrojack also booming out massive sets, showman and party-boy Steve Aoki was left to do the honours, stage diving and cake flinging in his typically dramatic manner, adding:

“It is incredible what’s going on here. All the great artists tell me throughout the year that this is the best festival in Romania and I was so curious and anxious to get here. For me and for many other artists, UNTOLD is the world’s finest and best festival.”

Hardwell, who also visited cancer survivors backstage with Martin Garrix, in a highly hospitable act, echoed Steve’s sentiments, with UNTOLD 2017 closing in spectacular style.

Four days of magic in Cluj were enough to seal the impression that UNTOLD really is Europe’s best kept secret, but with more and more attendees flocking to the festival each year, it may only be a matter of time before Cluj starts seeing similar amounts of tourists to those see in Miami in March, or Amsterdam come October. A foundation built on love and peace, the vibes of this woodland retreat, coupled with a truly world class array of talent, make UNTOLD a must visit for any fan of electronic music!

(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews. www.journojake.com