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Living in the capital of Romania, Bucharest, has many perks. There is always something new going on that can get one excited. It seems as though every day there is a new restaurant or a new cultural event, making the capital city an entertaining place to be in. The Spotlight Festival is certainly on the list of events that bring excitement, people wishing to witness the spectacle of lights in years and years to come. Using light installations and projections, in a short period of time, the Spotlight Festival became the crowd pleaser of Bucharest.
When one hears the word festival, the first thing that comes to mind is a stage surrounded by people enjoying themselves. But even though music plays a big role in the Spotlight Festival, it's not the focus of it. The focal point of this festival is the light installations, which are placed throughout the city center, foremost on the Calea Victoriei Street. It is here that Bucharest's oldest and most appreciated buildings come to life each year in April.
The Spotlight Festival has been making spring special in Bucharest for four years now, this year marking the fifth edition of the event. There are several light installation festivals taking place all over Europe every year, setting a new European trend. The light festivals only take place at night, so that the installations and projections can be best seen. In the past years, the Spotlight event in Bucharest started at around 8 pm and ended before midnight. It is impossible to stay inside when the capital's streets seem to develop a life of their own and are beckoning you to join the fun outside.
For those who have joined the city's lights during the event these past four years, the creators of the Spotlight Festival illuminated various touristic old buildings. Even though some of the chosen buildings have changed from one edition to the next, there are a couple of them that remain constant and which the public will surely see illuminated in the years to come.
Among these buildings is a place where one could once hear the saying "Give a lion to the Athenaeum of Bucharest". The Athenaeum has been a popular choice of the festival and is one of the biggest crowd-pleasers. Right on the other side of the street is another frequent pick of the festival, the National Museum of Art of Romania.
For the past two years, DJs and flashmobs have attracted big crowds in front of the Muzica Store, a shop of musical instruments. It is here that all surrounding buildings turn into an exterior disco, through light projections that mimic the interior game of lights of a nightclub. This portion of the event is called DISCOBALLS and will surely keep you entertained. All of the above-mentioned places and many more await spectators each year with light projections, light installations, street artists, a lot of music, and fun.
This year, the Spotlight Festival chose a special theme for the event - Europe Lights. The festival wishes to show through its art different perspectives of what Europe will look like in the future and how we must all unite in spite of our differences to become strong together. Taking place between the 18th and the 21st of April, the festival will definitely gather great amounts of people. This was the same for the past four years, with over 500.000 people being present at the last edition.
If you wish to visit the city by day and see the festival at night, then you should be aware that most museums that transform into light spectacles can also be visited before dark. Many interesting museums that aren't on the festival's list can also be found in the area, like the George Enescu Museum, the home of musicians.
The spot of the event is ideal for tourists, due to the amount of cultural visiting places in the area, as well as coffee shops and restaurants. A close-by restaurant that shouldn't be missed is Bucharest's Excalibur Restaurant, a place where one can take a break from technology and experience medieval dining.
The Spotlight Festival turned into the crowd pleaser of Bucharest seemingly overnight. It isn't hard to see why. The Calea Victoriei Street turns into a realm of wonder through light and music. Take part in this bright festival, and let the lights guide you through the night.
Cover picture © Credit to: istock/AGCreativeLab
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