Next week will see thousands flock of Hungary’s Óbudai-sziget (Old-Buda Island) for an entire 7 days of music and festivities. 2005 saw the greatest number of festival revelers, with 385,000 attending the festival to see acts such as Basement Jaxx, Franz Ferdinand, Korn and Nick Cave, amongst others.
Development of Sziget
The festival has grown out of all recognition from its original form. Founded in 1993 as a relatively small student festival, it has grown to become one of Europe’s premier music festivals, with half of the attendees coming from outside Hungary. It has been unofficially labeled as the ‘European Burning Man’, the legendary American festival held in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada. The festival now boasts an eclectic mix of musical styles, including blues, jazz and world music, on top of the popular rock and electronic acts.
This year, festival goers will be able to enjoy several premier acts on various stages, including; Snow Patrol, Lily Allen, The Ting Tings, Bloc Party, Fat Boy Slim, Pendulum, and legendary rockers, Faith No More as the headliners on the mainstage. The line up covers all subsections of rock, from indy, to punk, metal. These will include both major international acts, as well as smaller local acts on the rise.
Location of Sziget Festival
The festival itself takes place on the Old-Buda Island in the middle of the River Danube. While most festivals are fenced in with metal, the Danube provides the perfect natural circumference barrier for those intending to break in. According to organisers, all attempts to swim or raft the river have met in failure and are discouraged due to the tricky nature of the fast-flowing Danube River.
The river surrounds a 266 acre area, which sites both the campsite and 23 tents and stages, hosting all kinds of entertainment, including poker and artistic areas to accompany the music areas. Revelers should never be short of something to do with much of the entertainment running all night. Music did run late into the night, but complaints and a lawsuit from those living in the surrounding residential area has lead to a curfew on most of the major stages. However, it has been set at 11pm, no later than most of the other major European festivals. Some of the smaller stages still run until later.
Tickets are split into three types, camping, non-camping and day tickets. Camping tickets allow holders to enter the festival on its ‘day -1’, which is Monday 10th August, giving holders an extra two days on the non-camping ticket holders, and includes being able to camp on the site and use camping facilities. Non-camping allows holders to enter on the 12th, or ‘day 1’ but does not include camping. Many of the festival goers who have travelled a distance get themselves bedded down in hostels in the near-by city centre, which is not too far a journey from the festival and, of course, has the added comforts of a shower – a blessing for some that miss the hygiene not so associated with living in a tent.
Camping Tickets cost 150 Euros and Non-Camping Tickets Cost 120 Euros. Festival begins on ‘day -1’ on the 10th and ‘day 1’ on the 12th.