Every July since 2013, the shadows cast from Bontida's Bánffy Castle are lit up by Electric Castle; the festival itself is not quite as eerie as the 14th-century Neogothic surroundings would suggest, however.
Blissed-out days in the blistering heat precede hedonistic nights of dancing and indulgence, seeing an ever-swelling community of vivacious festival-goers convene from all corners of Europe year upon year.
Mirroring this diverse demographic, eclecticism lays at the heart of Electric Castle's lineups. With a continual vision to curate a mosaic of far-reaching and formidable artists, 2019's edition has executed this ethos with aplomb.
To emphasise this notion, we've cherry-picked ten of Electric Castle's must-see artists from each end of the music spectrum:
Florence + the Machine
What better place to start than with ethereal enchantress Florence Welch; baroque-pop, indie-soul, art-folk, whichever category you wish to place her artistry in, her pedigree is undeniable. Headlining Glastonbury Festival in 2015 (as the festival's first female headliner this century) was truly a landmark moment for the quintessentially English vocalist, and she's remained a most sought-after headline act since.
Nu-metal as a genre may have faded, yet there is still a large portion of affections directed towards a handful of the scene's luminaries. Fred Durst, Wes Borland and co. being one of them. The delectable combination of chugging riffs, bone-jarring basslines, and sardonic rapping from Durst himself is still a sight to behold, years after they first made their name. Baseball caps and baggy jeans at the ready.
The Grammy-nominated producer traverses instrumental hip-hop and experimental electronica, collaborating with the likes of Anderson. Paak and New York Bronx legend Kool Keith. Her explorative processes caught the eye of Brainfeeder aficionado Flying Lotus, who gave TOKiMONSTA (real name Jennifer Lee) the platform to bloom into one of LA's most exciting prospects.
Eccentric is one way to describe this Estonian kook, given his penchant for controversial, creepy imagery in a similar vein to that of South African peers Die Antwoord. His inimitable brand of Baltic rap has most definitely caught attention, however, as much as his lurid visuals.
In true laissez-faire tradition, the Swedish tracksuit-clad punks enjoy the finer things in life; drinking, smoking, and general daily debauchery. Drawing comparisons to the likes of Nick Cave and Ian Dury for their lyrical self-deprecation and metronomic instrumentation, this drawling sextet are leading the new wave of contemporary punk artists, with a hint of saxophone for good measure.
Electro-pop doesn't come any more infectious. Tipped as future festival headliners, CHVRCHES, led by the spritely and defiant Lauren Mayberry, weave an 80s synth sheen with spirited poppy hooks. The result: optimistic, summery pop-bangers that are equally danceable as they are anthemic.
The kind of high-tempo euphoria to ease you into the early hours of the night; a modern icon within the drum and bass scene as a purveyor of the 'liquid' sub-genre, London Elektricity aka Tony Colman co-created label Hospital Records and worldwide events brand Hospitality back in 1996. Since then, the label has become one of the most celebrated in UK dance music, particularly, offering a home to nurture new and undiscovered talent.
Formed in New York, the house/EDM duo are surprisingly conceptual when it comes to their creative process, drawing inspiration from a multitude of instruments, cultures, music genres, and even literary scholars. Seamlessly merging each facet into a playful, joyous, and sensual listening/dancing experience, SOFI TUKKER possess a mainstream appeal alongside avant-garde sensibilities.
The German-born, French hip-hop producer/beatmaker channels samples and textures from an array of Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and rare Western R'n'B records throughout several eras into a global, groove-laden amalgam that feels just as retro as it does progressive. His live mixing is a winding exploration that needs to be seen as well as heard.
Not your typical virtuoso pianist, Nils Frahm's affable personality at times contrasts his affecting and harmonic neo-classical oeuvre, intermittently drawing crowds in with his raconteuring in-between pieces. Just as well; the gripping mix of haunting arpeggiators and swirling keys, both magical and moving, will make you weep incessantly.
Electric Castle 2019 takes place in Bontida, Romania from 17-22 July. Book your tickets, accommodation, and travel here.
For more info, take a look at our guide.