Interview – Sziget Festival
The Sziget Festival is one of the biggest cultural music festivals in Europe. It is held every year in August on Hajógyári-Sziget in Budapest. Bogi is a student at ELTE in Budapest who loves the festival and who has been there before. We met her and talked about her experiences as well as her expectations for this year.
When was the first time you went to the festival and why did you decide to go there?
It was in 2015 and I only went for a day. The reason I wanted to go there was to see Mø live. I got to know her and her music that summer thanks to Lean On and when I found out she was coming, I just couldn’t miss the chance to see her.
What is so special about the Sziget Festival?
The size of the festival means that there is a big number and diversity of venues and a lot of artists and activities to do. You don’t have to be interested in music at all, there are a lot of sport, crafting, cultural, artistic, spiritual and educational activities. Literally so much to see and do, I never got the chance to see everything.
What is absolutely necessary when going to the Sziget Festival?
Be prepared for all kinds of weather and bring some hand sanitizer, tissues, water, and sunscreen. Also, come with an open mind and with the mindset to just forget about your troubles. The most important thing is to have fun.
Do you camp at the festival or do you stay in your apartment in Budapest and why?
Since I have an apartment in Budapest, I haven’t camped yet, mainly because it is a lot more convenient to sleep in a bed and not having to queue for hours to take a shower. Also, since I usually go alone, it is not really fun to go camping.
How does a typical day at the Festival look like?
To me, it has always been about the concerts. That is why I usually spent my days camping front row at the stage or at the back of the A38 stage, to meet my favourite artists. Also, I enjoy making friends with strangers from all over the world or making friends with security guards. And if I am not making friends, there is nothing better than just walking around on the island for hours, exploring.
How would you compare your first experience to nowadays?
The Island of Freedom still gets me excited, the same way as the first time I went to Sziget. It feels like I am leaving reality behind for a couple of days. Everyone is happy, everyone loves each other, there are no judgements and there is no hate. The only thing that is different from my first experience is that I now know my way around, so I can’t get lost anymore. Now I namely know exactly where to go if I need something.
What was your best experience at the Festival and what was your worst one?
It is really hard to choose my best experience, but I think I mostly enjoyed seeing my favourite artists and making a connection with them. Just to name a few, I really enjoyed meeting CHVRCHES and seeing the Paramore tribute show. Also, I liked seeing The Pretty Reckless perform. The worst experience I had is probably when the crowd behind me got too crazy and pushed me, or rather crushed me against the barrier till the point I felt like I would suffocate. That happened to me at the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis show last year. Other than this, I have had no bad experiences.
Is there anything that you are missing at the festival or is there anything that you think could be improved?
Maybe there should be more bathroom facilities, but they are improving every year. Also, cheaper prices, in general, would be awesome. And I would love it if more of my favourite artists would be invited to play at the festival. But all in all, I am very satisfied with what the festival has to offer.
What is your highlight of Sziget this year?
The highlight of this year so far is definitely to see Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, and Nothing But Thieves live. I also want to finally get inside the Luminarium, because I heard that it must be magical in there.