Eat, Sleep, Untold, Repeat. Never have I lived a more accurate t-shirt cliché.
Friends come by and we sip some tea. Three shots of it. Start feeling better and call an Uber. Oh yeah, Uber finally made it to Cluj. It's been the same pre-festival ritual four days straight. Eat, Tea, Uber, Untold.
A Brazilian marching band welcomes us in past the security gates. Nobody knows how to Samba but the beat is intoxicating (which is fitting isn't it?). The crowd follows the band through the park. To the spectators on the side it must look like Rio's take on the pied piper.
We said we'd explore but it's hard to stay away from the lure of the Arena. Plus it fills up fast. Too fast. The pit is now packed in by 9 pm, regardless of who is on stage.
On Sunday night we catch Lost Frequencies and I fall into a deep depression. I can't take the chaotic combination of pop intros, genre switching, and hard, EDM drops. It's soulless and meaningless. It demeans the original work, it makes a mockery of remixing, and it's not even true to electro house.
It's the musical equivalent of a finger painting or trash art (I realize that's insulting to trash artists and finger painters alike, but the analogy sounds right). The drop maddened crowd seems to love it though and that makes me even more depressed. I feel like Seth Troxler at Tomorrowland and anyway, my whining is nothing new, even electro-house DJs have pointed it out. Nonetheless, rather than kill everybody's vibe with my analysis I try to avoid spending too long in the Arena.
The tram and its exuberant atmosphere is a refuge from the Arena. So is the aptly named Stormkeep stage, where the DJs play real house music. It may not be to everybody's liking but at least it's coherent. The Galaxy stage is mostly a bore, as I may have mentioned already, and neither the sounds nor the names call out from the other stages.
More drinks, more dancing, more bumping into friends, more burgers from the Big Red Burger Bus, and a walk among the hammocks wrap up the experience. Kind of, there's one other thing...
Untold was all about Flag Hunting.
I could tell you all about chasing down flag bearers for pictures, but, since pictures speak many more words, the Instagram account created specifically for the purpose will tell you all there is to it.