In August, Budapest revolves around one single event, the free-spirited & internationally recognized Sziget Festival. In seven days, nine headliners will take the main stage between 7-13 August, but the accompanying programs are also worth our attention.
This year Sziget Festival brings us a bunch of world-famous musicians that cover a broad spectrum of music genres and attract people from different backgrounds. Martin Garrix, Post Malone, Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine and The 1975 will entertain a crowd of thousands on the exact same stage within a few days, whereas headliners will follow headliners on two days of the festival: The National will play after Macklemore on Saturday, while Twenty One Pilots and Foo Fighters will wrap up the most joyful week of the summer on Tuesday.
For the first time this year, the festival is launching its Love Revolution Special project that embraces a number of performances and short talks that raise attention to global social issues and our collective responsibility to react to them. World-known primatologist, UN Messenger of Peace and environmentalist Jane Goodall will give us a lecture on nature conservation, whereas former VP of the United States Al Gore will talk about his The Climate Reality Project in a video message. On Monday, Emi Mahmoud – Sudanese poet, activist and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador – will call attention to the hardships of refugees, since she works to make their life better with her poetry and her own experiences as a refugee. The American Drew Dollaz, who became widely popular as a street dancer, will talk about suicide, bullying, and poverty through his hybrid dance style, but Switzerland will also delegate two talented dancers to Sziget Festival. The touching performance of Dakota and Nadia will unfold around a topic that can’t be described with words: domestic violence.
Although the Island of Freedom is all about music, we would love to show you a little piece of its amazing repertoire of theatre performances. This year, The Giant Street Theatre program series will host the French Les Commandos Percu band of percussionists who will blow our minds with their (literally) fiery performance titled Silence every night, starting after the concerts on the main stage have ended. We have more good news: Cirque du Sziget will return to the festival with never-before-seen new circus performances, straight from Canada, Ethiopia, France, Argentina and many more far-away countries. The Big Top awaits visitors who are up for something special every day between 2 PM and 11.30 PM. In addition, the Theatre and Dance Tent will see contemporary dance performances by artists from four different continents (South America, Australia, Asia and Europe), meanwhile focusing on the introduction of rising local dance groups too. If you have ever wondered what a Hungarian old-time fair is like, don’t forget to visit the amusement park of Karzat Theatre that brings puppet shows, fortune-tellers, jugglers, artistes, a set of magical equipment, and good vibes to the festival. On your way to any of the performances – music, dance, or theatre – you may bump into tribal rituals, human-sized marionettes, or living statues as an international competition is about to take place on the streets of Sziget.
All of the abovementioned don’t even cover half of Sziget Festival’s incredible program schedule which we recommend you to study well before setting off to Óbudai-sziget. Due to word limit, we couldn’t praise the One Love Afro-Latin-Reggae Village, Magic Mirror, TedxBudapest Salon, or the House of Hungarian Music, so you have to visit szigetfestival.com to learn about them.