The roads leading to Hungary will soon be flooded with both casual travellers and discerning audiophiles. One of Europe’s largest cultural events, the Sziget Music Festival is being held in Budapest from August 8–15, 2018. The multi-genre festival is taking place on Óbuda Island in the heart of the capital city, which is home to the River Danube, the gorgeous Parliament Building and the best Hungarian restaurants and ruin pubs.

If these attractions and George Ezra’s song ‘Budapest’ didn’t convince you to visit the country earlier, the line-up at the festival certainly will. The main acts include some of the biggest artists from all over the world from Arctic Monkeys, Gorrilaz, Kendrick Lamar to Dua Lipa, Shawn Mendes and Mumford & Sons.

Those who enjoy electronic music will find themselves gravitating towards performances by Kygo, Above and Beyond and Bonobo, along with other artists. Other musicians include Cigarettes After Sex, Goo Goo Dolls, Parov Stelar, Little Dragon and many more. There are over 15 stages, with a few dedicated solely to European artists, world music and Hungarian music, including jazz, classical and opera performances. You can even hop on to a boat party along the Danube each day and listen to music ranging from House, Hip-Hop, to Breakbeat as well.

As is befitting the name of the country, there is enough and more to whet your appetite if you’ve had your fill with music. The venue is peppered with art installations, visuals and projects made by local artists. We’d suggest keeping your phones at the ready for unexpected visuals of life-sized skulls, trees hung with illuminated dresses, and colourful cattle installations, if you feel like counting sheep.

Szitizens can choose to camp in the festival grounds for a more immersive experience
Szitizens can choose to camp in the festival grounds for a more immersive experience

Besides art, there are performances such as comedy shows and fire shows, and plenty of activities including dance and yoga workshops and International film screenings to keep one on one’s toes. Similar to the likes of electronic music festival Tomorrowland in Belgium, and Outlook Festival in Croatia, Sziget draws in a crowd of close to 450,000–5,00,000 visitors each year.

Szitizens, as the visitors of the festival are called, can choose to camp in the festival grounds for a more immersive experience. If you are, however, visiting Budapest for the first time you can stay in the city and take a car or via the H7 rapid transit line.  

As with most music festivals these days, the rules are pretty stringent and clear. Leave the alcohol, drugs, umbrellas and any harmful and sharp object at home, lest you are willing to part with them at the checking booths. You are, however, allowed to bring your own food, non-alcohol drinks (up to 2.5 litres), and a small bag.

‘Hungary’ to get there? Get your tickets here!