Sziget Festival in Budapest: Woodstock on Danube

Over the years, the Sziget Festival in Budapest has become one of the biggest cultural and musical events in Europe. Of August 9 to 16, its 25th edition, placed under the sign of brotherhood and the meeting of European cultures, offers a sparkling poster, with more than a thousand events. But Sziget ("the island" in Hungarian) is above all an opportunity to party on an island in the heart of the Hungarian capital with all of Europe. Hot atmosphere and non-stop delirium guaranteed with nearly 500 festival-goers who came to have fun for a week at this Woodstock goulash trend.

Music, encounters, freedom: that's all Sziget!

At the start of the 1990s, two music-related buddies, Péter Müller and Karoly Gerendai, discovered an abandoned island which would soon become their Eden. Located in the heart of Budapest, on the Danube, Obuda was then a fallow military territory, as large as the Parisian district of the Marais. Our two friends dream of creating an open-air festival for the students of Budapest. Their project materialized in 1992 with the first edition of the Diàk Sziget festival, “the island of students”. It consists of a libertarian gathering that brings together a few hundred young Hungarians eager for meetings, for freedom after the communist glaciation and explosive cultural events. The Sziget saga has only just begun ...

Years later, the Sziget festival has grown into the largest open-air festival in Europe. Festival-goers come to Sziget to discover the best of European music of all genres, from the Atlantic to the Urals. And that's not all ... Between the wooded hills of Obuda Island, they also find a space devoted to art and creation (theater, dance, exhibitions, etc.), a circus, meetings, numerous places to relax such as a beach (Sziget Beach), restaurants and bars, as well as stalls to taste culinary specialties from Hungary or elsewhere.

Hundreds of artists from all walks of life (in 2016, 102 countries were represented) perform on nearly fifty stages and marquees. All in an atmosphere which, in some ways, recalls a certain month of August 1969, on the other side of the Atlantic. The proof ? You can pitch your tent on the green Hungarian lawns of the campsite installed on the site with showers and toilets. And, in Sziget, the atmosphere is very, very hot, soaring day and night: the party is in full swing non-stop.

Leave your sovereignist grandpa at home

You may be wondering: how did Budapest get there? Well, you don't know Hungary very well! Located in the heart of Europe, this country has always been the most active of the former Eastern bloc.

Budapest has always been a crossroads of cultural influences halfway between East and West. This East-West syncretism is reflected in the architecture, the arts, the delicious local cuisine and… the people, quite simply. The “pearl of the Danube” could be a sort of Paris which would give itself an oriental feel, mixed with Mitteleuropa. In short, a happy mixture. A space of freedom in an increasingly conservative Hungary, the Sziget festival is a reflection of this unparalleled mix.

It allows audiences from East and West to come together to celebrate music and creation in fraternity. Sziget undeniably brings together “old” and “new” Europe. And what better than a meeting to send clichés and prejudices in the trash?

Ask for the program!

So go to Sziget to party with the Polish plumber and the Czech dentist! On each of the twenty stages, alternative music from the East will intersect with those from the West, international celebrities will rub shoulders with local references and music in traditional colors will be closer to the latest trends of the moment. The Sziget Festival, it's more than a thousand concerts, shows, events!

Music softens customs and brings people together. It therefore takes the lion's share. The big stage Union , 30 m wide, accommodates in particular Pink (August 09), Tom Odell (August 10), Kasabian and PJ Harvey (August 11), Rita Ora (August 12), Metronomy (August 13), Major Lazer and Two Door Cinema Club (August 14) and Alt-J and Interpol (August 15). The scene of world music invites to a mixed and colorful trip to the four corners of the planet and especially to Serbia with Goran Bregovic, in Zimbabwe with Mokoomba, in Russia with Leningrad, or in Mali with Tamic rest.

Fans of electronic music will not miss the stages ARENA and A38 where they can have fun on big names on the international techno scene: Steve Aoki, Flume, Oliver Heldens, Rone and many others.

Are you still in good shape? Many other stages will be open night and day: the Theater and Dance marquee, the Blues and Jazz stages, the tent and a new open-air cinema, which will notably host film concerts. Are you nearing an overdose? Well, go and discover beautiful Budapest. You just need to cross the bridge over the Danube!

Useful information

Sziget Festival
From August 9 to 16 mail:
Official site:

Go by plane
Direct flights Paris-Budapest with Air France, EasyJet, Transavia ... or festival tickets + flight with Destination Clubbing

Go there by train
From Paris-Est, count 17 hours of travel, via Munich.

Go there by bus

From many cities with Popvoyages

How to stay 100% Sziget?
The festival offers everything you need: camping, restaurants, refreshment stalls, bars, but also banks, grocery stores, exchange offices, a pharmacy or even a post office, all specially designed for the event. Some will have the chance to stay at the privileged French-speaking Apéro Camping (limited places), an idyllic and unmissable place in the heart of the festival, allows them to benefit from a unique atmosphere, “French-style” catering and a campsite many privileges. It is the most wooded place on the site where a friendly French-speaking reception team is at your service 24/7. TheAperitif Camping Finally serves as a meeting point and information. You can find information in French, tips about the festival, a list of must-see places in Budapest and meet lots of festival-goers!

Audio Video Sziget Festival in Budapest: Woodstock on Danube
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