I’m at Sziget festival in Budapest this week, until Sunday – a full week of festival fun. It’s the longest festival I’ve ever been to, a whole 2 days longer than Glastonbury. There are acts from Monday to Sunday, but my first day at Sziget Festival was yesterday, Tuesday.
I’m on my lonesome until my friends arrive tomorrow, but after Latitude I’m becoming a bit of a pro at going to festivals on my own. It means you can come and go as you please, see exactly who you want and also you don’t drink to keep up with the group. Obviously not quite as much fun but that’s the trade off.
I spent a few hours at Sziget yesterday after walking for two hours from my apartment (festival cheat, I know) – I was convinced it would be round the next corner. Finally found it and I saw some guy getting his super soaker full of booze taken off him, he obviously hadn’t read my how to sneak alcohol into festivals post.
I managed to see Ska P, the balloon party, Queens of the Stone Age (who were Amazing) and Deadmaus (who were also Amazing). I also saw a few things that from my life in festivals I noticed were clearly unique to Sziget Festival…
They make you use a payment card
You have to pay 500 Hungarian Forints for the card (£1.25) and the same again for a bin bag. If you bring the former back full and the other back at the end you get your money back. Interesting. At first I thought the payment card was really annoying, especially as the queue for it was a mile long, but as soon as you get in the bar queue or food queue you realise how much faster it makes things from there. Apparently you can also get your money back from it when you leave, so I’m definitely warming to the idea.
The final countdown
Up on the main stage screens they show a count down from 60 to when the bands come on. And they come on time. Everyone counts down together and it’s a really fun way to get the crowd excited.
Drinks are cheap!
Around £2 a beer and £4 a cocktail. Prices were double and a half more at Latitude a few weeks ago.
Good variety of food
I’ve seen burgers, wursts, gyros, pizzas, liver tortillas (thought I was ordering an innocent tortilla, quickly backtracked when I saw the word ‘liver’), tapas and I finally chose a falafel wrap for 1150ft (£2.90).
There’s a lot of crowd surfing
Sad story for you: I bought a necklace on my two-hour walk in and put it on straight away. In comes a crowd surfer who me and my co-crow weren’t strong enough to hold up so we had to let him gently to the ground. He grabbed my neck and pulled my necklace off –the stone fell out and the chain ripped. Proud owner for approximately 4 hours.
Global audience, who like to show it
This is the most internationally diverse festival I’ve been to. Speak to someone and you never know where they might be from. Unless they’re waving, holding or wearing a massive flag as a cape that is.
It’s so busy, so busy. It was only day 2 and already it felt more hectic than even Glastonbury did and there are loads more people still to come as the 5-day ticket holders haven’t even arrived yet. Loads of people will have day tickets for the weekend too.
People want to party hard
Some too hard. I saw some right messes being paraded past the crowd by their friends, even before 9pm last night. And the festival goes on till 4am.
I didn’t get much of a look around last night as I was only interested in the main stage, but the site looks absolutely huge. You can watch live on the website, look at it! Crazy!