Innovation That Matters

Transylvanian music festival takes payment in blood

Sport & Fitness

In an effort to address the blood shortage in Romania, Untold festival traded blood donations for free tickets to the event.

Tickets to music festivals can be prohibitively expensive, so patrons often trade voluntary work such as collecting rubbish for free entry. But earlier this summer, Untold Festival in Romania took an unusual approach and launched its Pay with Blood scheme. In an effort to address the blood shortage in Romania, the organizers announced they would give discounted tickets to anyone who donated blood at one of the country’s 42 blood transfusion centers, in the run up to the event.


Only 1.7 percent of Romania’s population donate blood, making it second to lowest in Europe. Untold Festival, which took place for the first time this July in Cluj-Napoca, took inspiration from the region’s links with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and other vampire stories. After registering on the festival’s website and visiting a centre to give blood, people can receive a 30 percent discount on weekend tickets. Alternatively, donors could visit a mobile transfusion unit, which was set up nearby the festival site, and recieve a free day ticket.


The campaign was very successful with 45 people signing up on the first morning. It also brought a great deal of attention to the first time festival, which hosted international acts including David Guetta, John Newman and Boney M. What other much needed resources could be collected in this way?

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