Transylvania transfusion: Music festival urges fans to trade blood donations for tickets

Music aficionados in Transylvania, the birthplace of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, are being encouraged to be good and donate blood in exchange for cheaper tickets to a festival in Romania, which has been struggling with an acute shortage for transfusions.

Organizers of the ‘Untold’ electro-dance-music extravaganza which runs from July 30 – August 2 in the city of Cluj say it's the first festival where tickets can be paid for by donating blood.

"Given that Romania is facing an acute shortage of blood in medical facilities, a campaign inspired by these legends to draw attention to a real problem is more than welcomed," festival Director General Bogdan Buta said.

"Through the campaign 'Pay with blood' we want to raise awareness of this need and contribute to increasing the number of donors in Romania," he added.

Nationally, only 1.7 percent of the population donates blood, and most only become donors when they need to help a relative or friend, according to data from the National Institute of Blood Transfusion. Fewer people chose to donate blood in the first quarter of 2014, Romania Insider reported. The director of the Bucharest Transfusion Center, Doina Gosa, blamed a lack of promotion on boosting donations as one reason behind the decline in interest.

The Untold festival, whose headliners this year include Armin van Buuren and David Guetta, offers a discount to anyone who donates blood at one of Romania’s blood centers until July24. Those who donate blood at a mobile unit which will only operate for two days in Bucharest or at the blood transfusion center in Cluj-Napoca will receive free one-day festival tickets.

© David Mercado