Preview: Sziget Festival 2016

Sziget might well be the closest to freedom any festival experience could possibly offer. Based on its own idyllic island in the middle of the gorgeous Danube, Sziget provides festivalgoers with a week of pure wonder. The festival consists of seven days of some of the best music 2016 has to offer alongside some truly incredible cultural arts programmes. Starting in 1993, the last 23 years have seen the festival create some of the greatest line-ups on the planet – this makes it no surprise that the predicted attendance of this year’s event is around 500,000 people. In case this sounds like meaningless PR here’s a breakdown of exactly what the festival consists of, then you can decide for yourself whether it lives up to the hype…

Beginning a description of this wonderland is a task in itself. The festival boasts twelve official stages, and while the line-up this year is stunning, the music is just the start of the festival. The island also offers its own beach and two sports arenas where fans can go and practice a host of competitive and less competitive sports. Not a fan of physical activity? Have no fear, there is also a Chess Tent, and the innovatively named Gamelandhub where you can challenge friends new and old to competition of games consoles, board games, darts, poker and e-sports. If there is anything you could possibly want to do during your week in this paradise, Sziget have got you covered.

“Based on its own idyllic island in the middle of the gorgeous Danube”

Culture and arts are both key aspects of the festival as is shown by the numerous theatre, dance and performance tents as well as the gargantuan Artzone. Those looking for awareness and knowledge are encouraged to venture towards Ability Park, Hungarikum Village, Museum Quarter, or NGO Island. It would also be fantastic to explore the I Ching Labyrinth, though frankly the puzzling description means you’ll have to explore it to know what it is. In case this all sounds entirely exhausting, don’t panic! There is also a mesmerising Luminarium, a Beach Chill Garden, and a massive Campfire. Finally (before we even mention the music), this might all sound wonderful, but maybe you’re a party animal; in that case as well as boasting so many pubs it has its own Pub Quarter (a village of pubs), the island hosts a lot of beer brought directly from its own brewery, and The Jack Daniels Experience.

This might seem like the ideal way to spend a week, but this hasn’t even touched one of the main reasons to attend the festival: the music! Spread across seven days the line-up boasts countless European and world music bands, as well as some of the biggest names from our airwaves. Rihanna brings the Anti World Tour to the festival on Thursday 11th August (the second day of the festival). Bastille and John Newman are some of the many big names on the following day. David Guetta, Bloc Party, and Zedd are the pop heroes on the Sunday.

“Some of the biggest names from our airwaves”

Bringing the noise on behalf of the rock community over the week are Muse, Bring Me The Horizon, Sum 41, Bullet for My Valentine, Skunk Anansie, and Parkway Drive. Those that like their rock a little lighter and preceded by the word indie will be pleased to see Noel Gallagher, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Lumineers, Kaiser Chiefs, Kodaline, and Jake Bugg. This is all alongside Jess Glynne, Crystal Castles, Sia, Die Antwoord, and M83. That’s just a snippet of the more than one thousand gigs over the week. The line-up clearly speaks for itself, so you don’t need to be told that this isn’t something you can afford to miss.

Sziget takes place in Budapest, Hungary on August 10th-17th. 7 day passes and single day passes are still available here.

Liam Fleming

Images Courtesy oféter Kálló

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