Festival Spotlight: The Island Bash of Sziget

Photo Credit: Sziget 2010 Press Photos

Festival Spotlight is a column devoted to introducing our fans to festivals around the world. We cover everything from large multi-day monster concerts to indie fringe fests. Click here to see the full list of Festival Spotlights.

Every August, music festival fans around Europe make the trek to Budapest and the home of Sziget. This unique multi-day festival takes place on Óbudai-sziget Island in the middle of the River. With 250+ acres, there’s more than enough room for the hundreds of musical acts and thousands of attendees.

Budapest, Hungary
Dates: Typically held in mid-August
Number of Days: 5-7
Crowds: 350,000+
Music Genre: Everything
Alumni: The Killers, R.E.M, Fatboy Slim, Faith No More, Jet, Foo Fighters, Coolio, Green Day

The Island Nation of Sziget. Photo Credit: Sziget 2010 Press Photos


1. Arrive in style. There’s a “party train” with DJs that transports folks from Western Europe — making this the absolute coolest way on the planet to get to get to a festival.

2. Learn Hungarian. You caught the eye of a cute Hungarian and need some words. Every day from 10 am to 10 pm, the crew of Balassi Bálint Institute help foreigners learn helpful Hungarian phrases like how to order beer. All fun. No exams.

3. Voted best fest by everyone. Each year finds Sziget in all sorts of “best festivals” lists like Financial Times, Songlines Magazine, The Independent, and the European Festival Awards.

Sziget means “island” in Hungarian.

Check out this short documentary from Pamela Maddaleno about Sziget 2010 to get an idea of the festival flavor.

Born during a sweaty, backstage, Bonnaroo downpour, the editor-in-chief's mission in life is to dance, write, and travel to every great festival that this wide world has to offer. While his identity remains a mystery, you may have already met him, probably when he helped himself to your party favors.