Culture

The Surprisingly Musical Benefits of Donating Blood in Transylvania

by Rafi Schwartz

July 22, 2015
image via (cc) flickr user aldenchadwick

Dracula, as we all know, “vants to suck your bloooood!” It just so happens, however, that the world’s most notorious vampire isn’t the only Transylvanian interested in your precious bodily fluids. So are the organizers behind Romania’s UNTOLD music festival. But rather than requiring blood to quench an unholy thirst that follows them throughout their immortal lives, the festival staff has a much more noble purpose in mind: To help reverse that country’s dangerously low blood donation rates.

Only 1.7 percent of Romanians actively donate blood, rendering that country second to last for blood donations within Europe. With that in mind, UNTOLD festival organizers have launched the “Pay With Blood” campaign, in which anyone willing and able to donate blood will be compensated with discounted—and in some cases, free—admission to the concert series. In a press release provided to the Romanian National News AgencyUNTOLD’s general director Bogdan Buta explains: 

poster via UNTOLD

‘The UNTOLD Festival takes place in Cluj-Napoca, in the heart of Transylvania, which drove Romania to worldwide fame with the legends about vampire Dracula. 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.”

To participate in the “Pay With Blood” initiative, all one needs to do is show up at any of the 42 clinics run by Romania’s National Blood Transfusion Institute before July 24th. There, donations are rewarded with 30 percent discount for festival tickets. What’s more, festival-goers who already gave blood between July 17-19th at the NBTI’s mobile donation truck in Bucharest, or at the transfusion center in the city of Cluj-Napoca on July 20th and 21st, weren’t just offered discounted tickets. Instead, they got entirely free one-day passes.

The festival, which opens July 30th, is scheduled to feature over 150 international performers, including mega-star DJs David Guetta, and Avicii. And while there’s no guarantee that the Pay With Blood campaign will succeed in inspiring Romanians to become regular blood donors, signs are looking good. The Guardian reports that nearly 50 people, many of which had never given blood before, signed up to become donors on the campaign’s opening day, all before noon. 

[via iflscience]

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The Surprisingly Musical Benefits of Donating Blood in Transylvania