Sziget was a celebration of Budapest and Europe


Sziget Festival

The Hungarian capital is recovering from a feverishly hot but well-attended Sziget Festival. Nicknamed “Eurostock” for some very obvious reasons, the festival is a beacon for summer travellers and music lovers to visit Budapest.

Sziget, enjoying its 22nd year, welcomed over a half million visitors to the “Island of Freedom” this summer. Hosted on a small woodland island on the Danube, this year’s festival featured such international superstars as Robbie Williams, the Kings of Leon, Ellie Goulding and Avicii. The event was started after the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s. It is billed as a celebration of liberation and unity, and attracts visitors from all over the world. According to the event, 95 countries to be precise.

“[We] believe that this year’s Sziget may generate a profit due to the record number of visitors, said the event’s chief organiser Károly Gerendai. He told local Hungarian media he was happy with how the event unfolded.

There were some fears that unseasonably warm temperatures may have caused problems for festival goes, but according to Gerendai, they didn’t cause serious interruptions to the event. With the crowds and number of campers on the site, he said the lack of rain was probably beneficial.

Although the main draw of the event is the music, like many other festivals, Sziget also entertains the crowds with unique arts displays, circus acts, interactive exhibits, and food from around world. The images created during the festival show an eclectic group of people who are enjoying life and music in the Budapest summer.

The festival has gained a reputation for being a vocal Hungarian supporter of free artists. At Sziget, those in attendance enjoyed an inflatable labyrinth, a massive chalkboard “bucket list”, and an interactive magnetic art display.

Budapest is best known for its historic UNESCO World Heritage sites and its riverside monuments to Hungary’s history. Its position on the Danube makes it a premier cruising destination for those looking to enjoy Europe in luxury. And if you are planning a European river cruise in 2016, maybe you’d like to enjoy the sights and sounds of Sziget next year.

Image Credit: Mishimoto (flickr.com)