On Sunday I checked out the final day of the Sziget Festival here in Budapest. Sziget is the Hungarian word for Island. As you can imagine, the Festival is held on a small island on the Danube River, in the North end of the city.
Getting to and from the Festival was remarkably easy with the logistics having been well thought out. A commuter rail line drops you off just outside the festival entrance. The journey from the city centre didn’t take more than 15 minutes. When I returned home late at night, the trains were still running regularly. I never wasted any time waiting for a train or standing in long queues.
One downside of the festival is that prices are higher than what you’ll see in the city. While you can get a slice of pizza for 200HUF, you’ll pay 650 HUF at Sziget. A beer can be found at city pubs for under 300 HUF, while at Sziget the cheapest one I saw was a Dreher for 650. Also, instead of using cash to pay for your food and drinks, you need to line up and get a paypass, which you load with money. You have to return to a booth at the end of the night and return your card to get back your balance and deposit.
There’s also a silly‚ environmental program where they charge you 500HUF and give you a garbage bag. You get your 500 back if you return your bag full of garbage. I had two beers and a slice of pizza so my garbage went straight to one of the bins. I tried returning my bag and explaining that I was only at the festival for a few hours, but they wouldn’t refund me. I now own a 500HUF garbage bag.
Musicwise, I was able to catch three big acts on Sunday: The Kooks, Outkast and Calvin Harris, who closed down the festival. The Kooks closed their performance with their signature song Naƒ¯ve. Outkast played all their classics including Hey Ya!, Roses and The Way You Move. André3000 wore a t-shrt that read “What type of Stereo or you?” Calvin Harris played a set that featured Summer, Feel So Close and We Found Love.
I didn’t want to lug around my DSLR at‚ a rowdy music festival, so I was only able to grab some photos and videos with my iPhone. Here’s a few shots.