Waha is one of the top Romanian festivals for electronic music. It take place in the magical forests of Transylvania, up on a hill (or a small mountain, I’ve never figure it out) three main stages, a few smaller ones, cafes, bars, restaurants (with plenty of vegetarians options), workshops, chill areas live together. As you may be used from other festivals here the land in not flat, you are actually walking in a variety of levels to access the stages (which somehow always seems you are going uphill).
From the main entrance, which is a farm road through the forest, you can turn right up to the hill where the main camping site is, also some strange workshops (like dancing blindfolded) take place up there. Turning left from the main road you see a big open space, that’s where most of the festival exist: cafe, restaurants, toilets and shower: you can shower in the open air ones made only by organic organic stuff, basically made by tree branches and they give you honey as shampoo. No kidding!
If you keep walking you find a big stage called Live stage: a variety of electronic music is played there, it’s usually more towards deep house than minimal techno though. Imagine all these not just in an open field (as you can find in a boring park at a London summer festival) by in the variety of an ancient forest: trees creates mystic shapes while some of them have lanterns softened by coloured rice paper, others clothes coming down as death leaves.
The beauty of it is that in between stages is not packed so you can actually sit down to chill in the field wherever you want (hay bales are left around for that). The stage that gets most of the attention is the Deep stage. Best DJs, local and international, play under the stars, where a constant crowd of people dancing for at least five days. When the sun is going down that’s the best place to be. Moving again to the next main stage, is the Psy stage, you can be easily hypnotised by the amazing colors of the visuals that lights up trees, curtains and people’s clothes (also very colourful). If you haven’t get what kind of music is played there I’ll give you another clue: they dance really fast, like they’re shaking. Yep! It’s trance music. Imagine a music festival where a big community of trance lovers dance next (or sometimes with) techno lovers. I don’t really know any other place that can bring two such different side of the electronic music together as Waha do.
What makes the festival unique though is the freedom to go everywhere you want. There are no fences. That’s right! Let me say that again: There are no fences at all in festival! Once you arrive by the entrance, at the top of the mountain, you pass security check and tickets, you are technically free to roam everywhere you like. This trust makes it special, it doesn’t feel like just an electronic music festival: if you had enough of loud music and dancing people you can take a walk everywhere you want. You’re still “in the festival”, but you are just living a different experience. You can listen to music even if you are up on a tree or deep in the forest, the sound change as you move and you have freedom to move, so in a way is like you are in control of the sound as well.
Now when you think I’ve already said everything about the festival the best has yet to come. You can go down a steep hill leaving the main stages till you arrive to a small valley with trees (of course) and with a stream! Beautiful walks are possible along it, you can also drink fresh water from it or just wash your face while walking barefoot. It’s pure magic. Again, tell me which festival allow you to play with water in a river while electronic music is playing uphill.
We filmed Waha festival for three years and every time was a unique experience. It’s the combination between music and nature that makes is always interesting, so even you don’t feel too much like staying in the crowd and dancing you can go for a more intimate experience lived with just few friends by your tent and the music in the background.
At Waha festival you are in control of your days and nights and that’s truly special.