A Transylvania music festival wants your blood. Yes, you read the correctly. Festivalgoers are being offered ticket discounts for blood donations. The rather unusual request is an attempt to tackle a blood shortage in hospitals across Romania, which has the second lowest number of active blood donors in Europe.
The music festival – Untold – is taking advantage of the country’s legend of being home to the infamous bloodthirsty vampire Count Dracula. The ‘Pay with blood’ campaign sees Untold teaming up with Romania's National Blood Transfusion Institute to give deals to donors during the festival's run from July 30 to August 2 in Cluj-Napoca. The festival, which is among a number of cultural events taking place this year in Cluj-Napoca, is predominately aimed at young people. The lineup includes Avicii, David Guetta and Armin van Buuren.
A poster promoting the 'pay with blood' campaign. Image credit: www.untoldfestival.com
“Given that Romania faces an acute blood shortage in medical facilities, a campaign that takes inspiration from these myths in order to draw attention to a real problem is more than welcome. The 'Pay with blood' campaign is aimed at boosting awareness of this need and contributing to increasing the number of donors in Romania,” said the festival director Bogdan Buta in a statement.
The 'Pay with blood' campaign gives a 30% discount to anyone who becomes a blood donor online at one of the country’s 42 blood centers by July 24. Those who turn up on the day can receive a free one-day pass if they give blood at a mobile blood collection unit. The Guardian reports that 45 people have already signed up and given blood on the first day of the campaign.
“It’s great, I’ve never seen anything like this before. It’s a positive campaign, but I hope people continue giving blood afterwards, when there is no reward for them,” Krisztina Fejer, a 23-year-old photographer from Cluj-Napoca, told The Guardian.
Currently, only 1.7% of the Romanian population are active donors, whereas the number is much higher across the rest of Europe, with 66% being active donors in Austria and 52% in France.