Experiencing Europe’s Biggest and Best Music Festival
Some of the world’s largest, and most extraordinary, festivals can be found in Europe, and it was the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary that was recently given the honor of winning the very best “European Major Festival” award.
Traveler’s Guide to Experiencing Europe’s Biggest and Best Music Festival: Sziget in Budapest, Hungary
Even if you hadn’t planned on visiting this region in the heart of Europe, Sziget is the perfect excuse to begin making travel plans. This massive six-day pop/rock music festival brings over 65,000 attendees per day, and has been taking place annually since 1993. If you really want to do it right, you might jump aboard the festival’s own “party train,” transporting travelers all the way from Amsterdam in The Netherlands to Budapest on a ride filled with champagne where riders will be treated to DJs for their dancing pleasure.
The event features international acts with music from a wide variety of genres from blues to jazz and world music, and of course popular rock ‘n roll. In 2011, the festival had headliners that included Prince, Celtic punk band Flogging Molly, 30 Seconds to Mars and many others.
2012 Sziget performers
This year’s festival will take place from the 6th of August through the 13th, with highlights including metal day featuring DimmuBorgir, Lacuna Coil, Hammerfall, Moonspell, Ignite and Superbutt on August 7. American rock band The Killers will perform at this year’s festival along with Snoop Dogg, Sum 41, Leftfield and SebastiAn, while other acts include UK indie rockers Maximo Park, The Roots, East Coast Crew and Denmark’s Agnes Obel.
Where to stay
The event takes place on Obudai Island, making this adventure an experience that travelers will likely never forget. Campingis a fun and affordable option, where you’ll be able to stay right in the heart of all the action. Sziget is not just about music, with many activity options available including the cinema, tennis, football, swimming, archery, zip-lining and even bungee jumping. Campers will need to arrive early, however, in order to find a decent place to pitch the tent and will have to live without many basic comforts throughout the festival, including going without a shower.
If you would prefer indoor accommodations, be sure to book as soon as possible as they tend to sell out quickly. Visit the Sziget Festival site for a listing of lodgings in each Budapest district, including detailed information. It is also suggested that travelers do not arrive by car, but take public transport instead. If bicycle is an option, you can ride straight to the festival gate and agents will secure it for free during the entire length of the event.
Cultural exchange and more
Sziget presents many opportunities to make friends from all corners of the planet, drawing a wide variety of all sorts of people together in one location through their desire to create via music, or even painting and the cinema. Here you’ll find Finnish metal-heads and French hippies, Hungarian rockers, German techno-heads, Scottish punk-rockers and even American blues aficionados. Óbudai Island is the place to be this August for those who really want to experience a grand adventure this summer.
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