Held annually since 1993, Sziget Festival is one of Europe’s biggest events. Attracting hundreds of thousands of music- and arts-lovers from across the continent, the seven-day festival has been likened to Burning Man in Nevada, with a similarly, “colorful and open-minded” attitude that promotes unity through music and cultural and creative exchange.
At Sziget’s core is music: large-scale concerts are held on the main stages, supported by smaller performance areas, games tents, sports and leisure arenas, arts and culture spaces, markets, cinemas, folk villages and chill out zones. The festival happens this year from 6-13 August, staged, as always, on the usually tranquil Óbuda (Buda Island) in the Danube River, between Buda and Pest.
Voted by The Independent as one of Europe’s top five festivals, it is now in twentieth year, and has features such legendary artists as Toots and the Maytals, Patti Smith, Lou Reed, Sex Pistols, Prince, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, and Radiohead. Electronic music artists, DJs and indie bands also form part of the schedule. This year, the closing act will be US indie rock band The Killers, while electronic pioneering duo Leftfield and celebrity gangster rapper Snoop Dogg are also billed.
In a line-up that represents multiple genres, indie rock and pop bands like The XX, The Friendly Fires and Two Door Cinema Club balance a dance music program that includes Steve Aoki, LMFAO, and Axwell. Then there are the lesser-known artists such as Pittsburgh punk band Anti-flag, Japanese drummers Gocoo, Scandinavian death metal crew Amin Amarth, the Goran Bregovic Wedding and Funeral Band, and a folky ‘dream-pop’ band dubbed The Wild Beasts.
To accommodate all the talent, this year’s festival has been extended a day, with a ‘Day -2′ added to the beginning of the schedule, which already includes a ‘Day -1′. Day -2 will feature exclusively Hungarian bands, with 70 local acts scheduled for the day. Throughout the entire event, attendees can take a break from the dance floors to explore what’s happening in the smaller zones. Around the island, guests will find a Blues Bar, a ‘Holland meets Hungary’ area, a Roma folk tent, a multi-cultural interactive zone, street theater and a relaxing wine garden.
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