If you've never contemplated a trip to Budapest, Hungary to take in its flagship Sziget summer festival, here are five reasons why you're a fool to have not consider that, okay?
The Lineup Is Good
The Sziget line-up has its fair share of big-name crowd-pleasers this year. There are genre-defining artists like Blink 182, The Prodigy and Outkast, electronic titans such as Skrillex, Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris, international superstars like Stromae, Ska-P and Die Fantastichen Vier, and some sort of unholy trinity of British artists in the form of Bastille, Jake Bugg and Tom Odell. But look a little deeper and there’s plenty of quality to be had: Wild Beasts, Darkside, Manic Street Preachers, Kelis, Queens of the Stone Age, Klaxons, Bonobo, Girls In Hawaii, London Grammar, Mount Kimbie, Kavinsky, The Big Pink and Band of Skulls among the artists likely to appeal to DiS-cerning festival-goers. And that’s to say nothing of all the world music and genre-specific stages where you might discover the best new band you’ve never heard of. To check out the full line-up so far, click here.
There Are Plenty Of Other Things To Do
Of course, there’s a whole lot to do even when there’s no music happening. You could take a ride on the Sziget Eye to get a panoramic view of the island and Budapest itself, recover from the night before by chilling out at the beach, or take part in some sporting activities if you’ve got energy to spare. There’s also an entire area dedicated to Budapest’s famous Ruin Bars, a variety of art installations - including the spectacular Luminarium and the often hilarious 'Before I die…' wall - and the chance to discover your fortune in the unique Tarot Labyrinth. You’ll have plenty of time to check everything out, because…
It’s Longer Than Most Festivals
Sziget scoffs at your weekend festivals, with their early-entry days that feature little more to do than sit around and get pissed while you put up your tent. No, Sziget will provide music and entertainment for an entire week - the five main festival days (Wednesday-Sunday) feature a packed program, and even the Monday and Tuesday (referred to as 'Day -1' and 'Day 0' respectively) feature some big hitters. It’s the perfect excuse to make a holiday of it. Speaking of which…
The Location Is Pretty Damn Good
Sziget takes place in Budapest, on an island in the middle of the Danube river. If that hasn’t got you packing your bags already, let me elaborate. Not only have you got this brilliant alternative festival-world where you can quite easily spend the entire week if you so wish, you’ve also got one of the most culturally interesting and vibrant cities in Europe right on your doorstep. If nothing else, take a dip in one of the city’s spas before you take your flight home, you’ll feel much better for it. Oh, and another up-side of the location is…
The Weather Is Great Too
You’re pretty much guaranteed temperatures of 25-30 degrees or higher in Budapest in August, so you can leave your wellies at home - indeed, if it does rain at all, it’ll come as a refreshing change rather than a depressing inevitability. Fortunately, the organisers are well aware that watching bands in the baking midday heat isn’t an ideal experience, and so the times are staggered to start at more like 4 o’clock in the afternoon - and even when it cools off to more like 15-20 degrees in the evening, you’ll still be good to walk around in your shorts.
For more info and tickets, check Sziget Festival’s official website.
Photo credit: Sziget/Balázs Mohai.