Sziget – One of the Biggest Multicultural Festivals of Europe, Over 400K Fans from Over 70 Nations!
Sziget is Budapest’s larger than life culture and arts festival that’s one full week of partying!
Welcome to Sziget
Sziget is the most wonderful time of the year for Hungarians across Europe and across the world! The word “Sziget” literally translates to island, as in Sziget, the party island for the ultimate festival! The first Sziget started out as a national Hungarian celebration and has been a growing hit ever since. While you may be not familiar with Budapest’s most popular festival, Sziget keeps a steady supply of awesome bands and incredible art!
Music at Sziget
Europe is the home of rock festivals! This genre actually gained lots of popularity years ago right in Hungary. Though people may think many listeners do not subscribe to traditional Hungarian music or a lot of the culture, when it comes to loving this kind of music and art, over thousands of people make their way to Sziget each year.. Each summer, attendees make their pilgrimage to see favorites like local musicians, traditional artists, and week packed with other incredible interactive activities!
With so many musicians, the festival often expands into five days rather than three. Check the Sziget website regularly for any new additions or changes to the schedule.
A Cultural Festival Experience
Glancing through Sziget’s list of bands may give you the idea that the festival only features big name bands. However, as well as featuring fan favorites and popular names in the genre, this festival has an incredible lineup of new, smaller bands that are quickly gaining traction in the underground music world.
In addition to discovering new talent, hearing lesser known bands at Sziget allows for a more personal experience. At these smaller, there are less people in the crowd, more areas for dancing, and better chances to get to know the artists in person.
If you are worried about going to Sziget and not knowing any of the bands playing—don’t worry! Before you head out to this festival, make sure you listen to a few tracks of the performing artists and maybe even have a few new favorites to check out on the festival days.
The Sziget Family
The atmosphere at this festival is something many do not expect if they are outsiders: warm and inviting. While many onlookers and outsiders would see a festival like Sziget as something to be dedicated only to Hungarians, but international fans from all over can’t get enough of this fest! The attendees that come in year in and year out always talk about how much the fans feel like family.
If you’re visiting for the first time, don’t worry! Try looking online to meet people that are already planning to go to Spigot. While you’re at the actual festival, try your best to talk to new people and make new friends. Sziget really breaks down any barriers or preconceived notions of new festival attendees.
For those that are die-hard Sziget lovers, do yourself a favor and buy your tickets in the early bird season; the festival often sells out in no time! Early Bird Festival tickets are the cheapest but be sure to try and not wait too long as these festival tickets do sell out! If you cant stay a full seven days, get yourself a couple of day passes.
As the festival approaches, the ticket prices escalate at different tiers. If you miss purchasing tickets all together, check the festival website to see if anyone is looking to sell or exchange their tickets.
Preparing for Sziget
Do not make the mistake of being underprepared for the weather at Sziget. Dress for hot and humid weather; bring a hat and sunblock for the sun. Dehydration does happen often at festivals—especially in the Europe in summertime.
Weeks before Sziget, it is important to make sure you are hydrating yourself well to prepare for the festival. During the festival, definitely take a water bottle with you, preferably a reusable one. Along with a water bottle, festival fans often swear by water packs in order to stay happy and hydrated. In order to make the most of the water, keep the alcohol and caffeine beverages to a minimum.
What to Wear to Sziget
Sziget sees several summer festival friendly fashion choices. From chains and spice, the dark heavy clothing, you’ll see it all at this festival! Whatever your inclination is towards fashion, it is a great idea to keep your surroundings in mind as you prepare! Suggestions for clothing include going a little lighter on the fabric, avoiding dark colors, visors and headwear to block the sun, sunglasses, and a watch to keep track of the time.
Take a look at pictures of past attendees to get an idea for what to wear. Keep in mind that it’s possible to celebrate at this summer fest and not get overheated! Opt for one or two dark clothing items while keeping the rest of your look cooler with white items.
Safety at the Festival
In addition to staying safe at Sziget, the event is no different from other festivals around the world. It is important to keep track of the scheduling changes at the festival. The festival has a phone app that updates immediately with any new information. Having the phone app will keep you aware if any bands drop out, shows get cancelled, and the other unforeseen circumstances. Festival apps also have a handy map with all the amenities and band information enclosed.
When thinking of festival safety, it is important to note what NOT to bring to Sziget. When attending the festival, do not bring professional recording equipment, professional cameras or video equipment, drones or flying devices, coolers, camping equipment, non-collapsible chairs, glass containers, framed backpacks, outside food or drink, unlicensed pets, illegal substances, selfie sticks, motorized personal vehicles apart from ADA approved items, weapons and/or explosives, amongst other things.
Sziget does allow empty reusable water bottles, two factory sealed water bottles, standard backpacks, baby strollers, sheets, towels, blankets, purses, non professional cameras, hand-held umbrellas, portable phone chargers, and flags, totems and rage sticks are among the accepted festival items.
Getting to Sziget
The festival grounds are pretty close to the main airport in Budapest. Many people simply bus or shuttle into the festival grounds the first day of the show and camp out for the remaining days. Along with the energy and money saved with carpooling, these coach buses plant a tree for every full bus they have. If you are camping, consider renting a car in order to carry all your luggage around. A car is especially helpful if you are staying somewhere offsite and have to commuter back and forth for the entire week.
Consider getting assistance from a travel agent to help you determine the best prices and packages to go with for your trip. If you are staying eight days or longer, you will want to get the most out of your vacation as possible.
Accommodations and Travel details
Though the native residents flock to Sziget for the festival, many people travel into the city when coming to Sziget. For festival goers that are traveling, this festival has partnered with several hotels, hostels, and motels to accommodate you.
Booking through the festival website will get you cheaper rates and better travel packages. Many of the hotels and accommodations offered are within walking distance of the festival grounds. that are in walking distance of the festival. Additionally, attendees can use Air BnB to rent vacation homes for the perfect festival vacation.
How to Make it Through Sziget
So after you’ve nailed your supplies down, purchased your tickets, marked down key spots on the map, it’s time to seek out sage advice before you start your Sziget adventure. Take note that it will take time to settle in on the first day of the festival. Pace yourself when you get there so you don;t burn out on day one.
For the on-site campers—go the extra mile and splurge on good quality equipment. The die hard Sziget fans will tell you that through the three days of wind, rain, and endless sun, you’re going to need to best of the best for shelter, shade, and protection while you sleep–you never know what the weekend may have in store.
Out in the Countryside
Budapest is a place with its own unique hangouts, popular tourist places and great landmarks that are just waiting to be explored. While you’re in town for Sziget, make it a point to explore the rest of the city. When all is said and done, don’t forget the true meaning of this festival! Make new friends, listen to traditional tunes, dance to your favorite music and live life as one loving community.
So whether you’re a Hungarian native or coming from countries away, Sziget is a destination music festival worth traveling to.
Visit information about festivals section to explore a full list of festivals happening around the world yearly!