CEVA DE VARĂ – Our Festival

The Workshop Area

From the beginning to the end, the workshop area was full of life. Placed in the middle of the festival area, with the stage and music in the back, relaxing area and slack line to the side and food area in the middle, people was crossing the area, playing and enjoying all the interesting workshop taking place.

During the day people had the chance to try different activities for both children and parents. There were workshop with building kites, making poppet dolls, painting workshop for children, and a big medieval workshop with bow shooting, sword fighting, handicraft and medieval dancing.  Most activities ended when the concerts on the stage began, but during the evening/night it was possible to do sand drawings in front of the stage.

The Contest area

Basically we had two main contests at Ceva de Vara festival. Contest for MTB bikes and orienteering contest. There was also small contest on bikes  for children organized by police from Sf.George and children had to overcome some obstacles and do it as fast as possible with minimum mistakes.

Contest for MTB bikes was 10 km long and going through Intorsura Buzaului countryside. We had 14 participants in male category and 3 in female category. All bikers were excited before the race  but not all of them when race was over – some of them didn´t finish – technical problems or they just gave up and some of them were very exhausted at the end of the race.

Orienteering contest was more successful in terms of participants. We had around 60 participants and most of them were doing very well and almost all of them finish whole race which was prepared for them in forest and surrounding area.

In each contest three best in male and female category got nice handmade cups and all participants got memorial medal.

I wish to organize these two contests next year again and hopefully we will double number of participants in each contest.


The Playing area

The festival finished, but still, a lot of keeping going around in the organizers head. Now I will try to describe and render a picture of the festival and Zona de Jocuri in particularly from my personal point of view.

First of all us have to thank to the unpredictable weather of Carpathian mountains. Last days before the festival weather forecast was not very joyful. The rain and thunderstorms were about to do its dirty job on Saturday afternoon, exactly when the festival had to begin.  However we were given a chance to conduct the festival – no rain and no thunderstorms in the afternoon, but on the contrary modest sunshine and fresh weather kept for the rest of the day. As one can guess, the mood was excellent. Organizers and participants were happy that their work did not went to nothing, visitors were happy that their unusual afternoon went as planned.

Worth mentioning, that organizers of Zona de Jocuri were especially happy as their activities were exceptionally concentrated on w-a-t-e-r. After all, the festival is called CEVA DE VARĂ! It comes naturally, that summer goes together with water, doesn’t it? At the beginning the belly slide and water balloon fight area was quite empty. However, after the sun started to shine stonger, more and more people were willing to get wet and refresh themselves.

Brasov based NGO Asociația COLORS also carried out summary activities such as soap bubbles workshop, performance art with poi and some funny and summery outdoors activities. A lot of people, ranging from toddlers to seriuos men wanted to try it out.

To sum up, water activities in the festival did not performed its best, but they did not go for nothing. Next year sun will shine stronger and more people will get soaked! By the way, a lot of volunteers wanted to try the belly slide, however tense working schedule did not let them do that, but we are sure that belly slide is going to be repeated!


The Stage

Impressive by its size and by its decoration, the stage was the starting point of the festival itself. From there we officially open the event at 2pm. A lot of different artistic performances happened, starting from the medieval storytelling introduction.

After a two-hours break, we turned on the sound again for a nice storytelling from the Mini Reactor Company, coming from Cluj.
Then, the official line up started with the Open-stage. The concept of open-stage is basically to give a chance to everybody to express him or herself in any way. In this part we had a lot of participants bringing different forms of expressions.
From the medieval dances to theatre and through music and comedy, all the people could have the stage only for them and appear just for one moment in front of everyone.

In order to end the open stage a Dj from Cluj mixed some tracks and people started to dance, already!

As planned, the local group FRESH played a 50 minutes show, covering famous song of the moment. Energetics and motivated, they started to gather people around the stage.
Gradually, the workshops, contests, activities stopped and we had a really nice moment when all the people sat down to look at the Musical Jugglery. A poetic performance mixing jugglery, theatre and music presented by two French guys during the sunset…
Meanwhile, musicians from YOUVENIS prepared themselves and started to play around 9pm.

The brilliant and well-organized show, mixing their compositions and some covers was really appreciated by all the people around.

Finally,  ALIZARINA (aka Simon PHELEP), volunteer from France at Mirakolix ended the line-up of the evening with Balkan/Electronic music full of swingy beats also from his own compositions. Some psychedelic decorations were installed and the lights were softer, more suitable for the dance.

After that, in order to finish in a sweet way and to accompany the star-gazing, a jam session took place on the stage with Alizarina at the clarinet and Julio, a Spanish guy at the guitar. As it is the goal of a Jam Session, some musician joined the melodies, a bass and some percussion to make it even more interesting…

Full of diversity, the stage was a great place of expression, sharing and giving all your best from art. Anyway, isn’t it the goal of this place?

The Relaxing and adventure area

The relaxing and adventure area was all the day open for people to relax in our self-made hammocks and sit on the hay cubes, where they could play small games like “X şi zero” (“naughts and crosses”), Mikado with big sticks. Children could play with our volunteers a big memory board game called “ZickeZacke” where they can play in a chicken costume. Besides that the “Organizaţia Studenţilor Medicinişti” held a workshop of first aid three times, “Slackline Bucureşti” had a Slack Lining workshop and also let the Slack Lines there until it started getting dark and children and adults enjoyed walking and even trying some small tricks like the professionals. We had a small workshop of how to make flower crowns and closed the area at 8 pm in order for the people to enjoy the concerts on the stage.

And we also always had information and promotional materials about EVS and about our both projects “Playride” and “Science Playground” in order to make the people know who we are and what we were doing during the whole year in Intorsura Buzaului.

All in all it was a calm day in our area!

The Sports Area

With Frisbee, the professional players that came from all over Romania took over the training part and did most of the coordination themselves. This gave me some more time to prepare the next game (football) and help in other places where it was necessary. What I would do differently next time with Frisbee is to have a separation based on age: a juniors game and a more grown-up game that looks more like the real deal. Now we had immense fun as well with some mini-games and the players adapted really well, so everything was fine. There were between 30 and 40 players on the field, with a few of the volunteers of the festival joining in on the action as well.

Andrei helped a lot also at the football games and because of that there were 2 games playing at the same time AND the Frisbee players used a part of the field to practice for themselves. Football was kind of self-organized by the players that flocked to the fields as soon as it became clear that Frisbee ended. No need to coordinate that, really. There were at least 40 players of football as well.

Dodge ball was fun and easy to play for the kids. We adapted the rules a bit (it’s really flexible) so it’s not so hard to understand for everybody and we could start soon with playing. Most of my time was spent with getting the special foam balls (that we got from the dodge ball association based in Arad) back in the field and the remaining balls that were not in the game to be left alone or at least not kicked at. Next time we could definitively do it again and have 2 or even 3 courts where the game is played. However you need 3x the volunteers too, then, since it needs to be refereed and the balls need to be put back in the game. About 20 players showed up for this game.

The games are simple enough for easy set up, people understood it and everybody had great fun. One negative about the whole location of the sports field is that it is all surrounded by a 2 meter high wooden fence that completely seals off the area from the rest of the festival. It is really hard for people to see what is going on there (even that something is going on there at all) so you constantly need to remind the people about this by going out and dragging people in and announcing it on stage. Also the photographers didn’t come to the field at all because of this. So for the next edition either try to open the field up more somehow or spend more time showing the people that the sport field is there too (bigger banners than the rest of the areas).

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