About This Festival
Sziget’s winning festival recipe comes not only from its prime location on the island of Óbudai-sziget in the Danube in the heart of Budapest (one of the world’s great cities, smack in the middle of Europe, where east meets west), but also from its 24-hour non-stop mix of music, art, food, performance and regional culture. It has become one of Europe’s most popular summer festivals, recently having received the honor of “Europe’s Best Major Festival.”
Sziget Party Island
Some people like to call Sziget the Eastern European Burning Man. Yet, while there are similar creative elements (see below), it’s a fully-fledged festival that has transcended comparison. First and foremost, Sziget is a music festival. It attracts big name musical talent, but it’s the sheer variety of musical experiences that sets Sziget apart.
The diversity of performance, music and art is sure to have something for everyone. Regional performers are top-notch, and there are more than 1,000 performances in a week. Expect gypsy music, wandering horn troupes, spontaneous entertainers and the Roma tent showcasing energetic local talent. If your tastes are eclectic, Sziget is your perfect home.
There’s a huge amount of interactive art spread throughout the island. Sziget appears to be taking note from Burning Man by adding more interactive art each year. The Tarot Labyrinth is a longtime favorite where your path is determined by the fate of the cards. Sziget takes mazes to a new level with the Luminarium, an inflatable chill zone that resembles a cathedral from outer space.
Budapest is naturally part of the attraction, where there's still a raw vibe to the city. People from every corner of the globe mixing it up in the heart of Europe makes for a rocking good time. Festivalgoers flow in and out of the island and around the city, but it’s easy to identify and connect with the roving, wristband-wearing Sziget tribe.
Your week will be packed, and if that isn’t enough, Sziget keeps adding days on the front end to make it longer and fit in more music. The crowd is more international than local, except on Hungarian Music Day, which is great for getting a more local vibe. The worldly atmosphere makes the festival especially appealing, though the number of Dutch attendees is impressive. We wonder if anyone is watering the tulips in Holland during the week of Sziget!
For most people Sziget is a camping festival, and there are some prime spots to call home for the week. Scout out a shady spot on the far side of the island — you might even find us there. It’s a 24-hour experience with all services, most music, food and drinks functioning all week long, so prepare to get little sleep. Even if you’re camping on the island, take a daytime break and explore Budapest. One of the best excursions is to the hot springs of Gellert or Szechenyi Baths. If you happen to be in Budapest the weekend before Sziget, Cinetrip throws an amazing dance party in the mansion-esque baths complete with lasers, Tesla coils, DJs and costumes.