Have you dreamed about taking over a 100-hectare island for a whole week for one of Europe’s largest music / cultural festivals? And doing all this is Budapest, one of the world’s most fun places to visit?
I hope all your dreams come true so easily: the Sziget Festival (sziget = island in Hungarian), which drew a crowd of over 450 thousand last year, is taking place 8-15 August. That’s right, in a few weeks!! With an amazing lineup!! Got your tickets?
Over 500 concerts at Sziget (8-15 August)
You can decide to stay in the city and reach the island via a short trainride – or camp right there and not waste a single minute getting from A to B during this amazing week. The tents all around you will be inhabited by people just like you – only from literally all around the world, coming together to be free for a whole week, cut off from the outside world. If you’re tired of plain camping (= the free option), there are some upgraded and VIP camping/housing opportunities for a fee.
But now that you have a place to stay and start to look around what to do – with over 15 stages, you’ll definitely find stuff that intrigues your taste, from indie, rock and pop through EDM, house and techno (think for example Kygo, The Martinez Brothers, Dave Clarke, Popof, Ben Ufo). You can even try the party boat on the Danube – this is one of the sure favorites of hip-hop fans from all around Europe and the rest of the world.
Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, Stormzy, Cigarettes After Sex, Oscar and the Wolf – some of the big names from the first two days… Shortly followed by Lana del Rey, Parov Stelar, Liam Gallagher, Wolf Alice and Tommy Cash. And Arctic Monkeys, The War on Drugs and Milky Chance. Long story short: you’ll definitely find a bunch of really cool stuff in the 500 or so concerts.
Food, arts, and chilling out
As for food, various restaurant centers await Szitizens (got it, right? that’s you my Sziget citizen friend), with dishes of a bunch of nationalities, and drinks including amazing Hungarian wine and pálinka! There’s also great places to get good vegetarian food.
If you’re worried about getting bored between concerts – LAME! By now you must know that this a place that will keep you entertained. Outdoor yoga? Check. Theater performances, exhibits? Sure thing! Comedy shows, international film screenings, visuals and projects, and all sorts of programs galore, all around the island, which several people have compared to a giant and fun amusement park… And if you really don’t feel like doing anything, you can go for the chill out areas.
Banki Lake Festival (July 11-14)
OK, you want to go to a Hungarian festival, but on a slightly smaller scale and distinctive philosophy – Bánki lake is the perfect place for you! For 10 years, it’s always held in Bánk, a small village with a nice and big lake right next to it. This year it takes place 11-14 July, and is themed around 10 years from now: what your life will be like in 2028.
The music is very contemporary and progressive, mostly Hungarian, with some international bands. You can see great theater and absorb art, get to know a bunch of really cool NGO’s – and you’ll love the fact that the whole festival is run as a social enterprise, not as a cash machine.