Sziget: a festival in another world

When I’m questioned by people as to where Sziget is, I find it difficult to answer. While it’s geographical location will bizarrely bring you to an island in the middle of the Danube in Budapest, Hungary, it literally feels like you are on a different planet.

You’re in a foreign country but everyone speaks English, you’re in Hungary but don’t have to pay with Hungarian forint and you see thousands of Irish people, yet the temperature exceeds 30 degrees.

The Island of Freedom as it’s labelled, is arguably the most diverse festival in terms of music acts and day-time activities. From EDM to pop and from techno to heavy metal, all music needs are catered for.

The festival offers five or seven-day tickets and throughout your stay on the island everything you purchase must be on a Sziget ‘Festipay Card’. These are bought on the island and you can top up your card with euros so don’t bother exchanging currency.

Just like New York, Sziget never sleeps. There is constant activity throughout the island, so don’t expect to receive a great sleep.

Uniquely there is no set campsite for the standard ticket-holders. You’ll simply have to pitch your tent wherever you can find space and finding a spot with shade is imperative.

You cannot bring alcohol onto the island however it’s not impossible to sneak spirits inside. You need not worry about paying €5 for a pint inside, this isn’t Ireland. The price of either lager or cider pints works out as no more than €2.50.

While standing at the main stage in amongst thousands of spectators you might just turn around for a brief moment to take in the atmosphere. If you were to look over your shoulder you would see a someone dangling in the air following their 230ft bungee jump.

Overlooking the main stage and for a mere fifty odd euros, Sziget gives you the chance to mark a huge tick off your bucket list.

Every evening at 7pm as the sun still lingers in the sky, the festival throws a quick party for a few minutes whether it be a flag party, confetti party or dry paint party. By the way if it’s the dry paint party… you’ll have to brush off your hangover the

following morning as best you can and get down to the showers early to prevent standing in a queue for almost two hours.

This year the festival will be celebrating it’s 25th anniversary and so far it has announced such acts as Major Lazor, Pink, Kasabian and Rudimental. The festival will continue to announce names until June so be vigilant.

Whether you spend one day or seven days at Sziget it’s difficult not to have a good time. Explore, reach out and absorb everything the Island of Freedom has to offer and don’t look back in ten years time wishing you went when you’re younger.

Overall rating: 9/10