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Welcome to Sziget Festival in Budapest

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Sziget Festival began as a small gathering of like-minded music fans in 1993. Today, the week-long event at Óbudai-sziget on the Danube river is one of the biggest parties in the world.

Budapest has become a tourist hotspot in recent years. Hungary’s capital city was voted the continent’s top travel destination for 2019 from a list of 20 must-visit locations by the prestigious European Best Destination (EBD) committee in Brussels. As well as the stunning architecture and the fact it’s easily accessible from other parts of Europe, the city’s unique culture is also a huge draw for visitors.

Over the course of a week, a leafy island on the Danube is transformed into the home of Sziget – one of the biggest music festivals in the world. For the first time in its history, the festival will also be dedicating time on its main stage to a series of performances and short speeches, giving a voice to timely social changes affecting attendees and beyond. The Love Revolution Special programme will also highlight sustainability at the festival, another integral theme of the week.

From 7-13 August, Óbudai Island will see headline sets from The 1975, The Foo Fighters, Florence + The Machine and Ed Sheeran at Sziget. The full line up features international acts who will perform on six main stages.

As well as music, there are theatre performances and other activities for visitors. Daily film screenings will take place, which will include a series of shorts, as well as former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith’s starring role in Mapplethorpe.

With Budapest proving so popular, it would be a shame to attend the festival and not take in some of the sights the city has to offer. A great way of exploring the city is hopping on board one of the daily boat parties that cruise along the Danube, offering food, drink, music and unparalleled views of Budapest’s stunning architecture.

From little acorns... The first festival took place on the site on Óbudai-sziget in 1993, originally dubbed Diáksziget (Student Island) and featuring only Hungarian bands. The second event in 1994 was subtitled “Eurowoodstock,” and featured a retro lineup including original Woodstock performers Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The adoption of the moniker Pepsi Sziget in 1996 brought with it greater clout thanks to the eponymous sponsor, reflected in the addition of acts such as Iggy Pop, Slash and The Prodigy, and 1997 upped the ante with David Bowie, Motörhead, and Faith No More. The event adopted its current name Sziget from 2002, and lineups have expanded increasingly over the years, following closely trends in music internationally, and with the ever-increasing participation of festivalgoers from abroad. Prince famously performed on the eve of the festival proper in 2011.

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