A day at Sziget Festival

Have you ever been to a music festival? Although there are quite a few famous music festivals in the UK, I have never been to any of them. However, during a summer holiday in Hungary, I went to my first music festival! The Sziget Festival has been running every year in Budapest since 2002 and it is one of Europe’s biggest music festivals. Sziget lasts for a week and features famous singers and bands from around the world. In Hungarian the word ‘sziget’ means island, which is a very appropriate name as the festival takes place on a large island in the middle of the Danube River in Budapest. The festival has many visitors from around the world and lots of people come on special ‘party trains’ from other countries such as France and the Netherlands. 

Many people choose to stay at the festival for a whole week, camping in tents or staying in one of the island’s hotels. I only stayed for a day, but it was still a lot of fun. It was very hot in Budapest in the summer with the temperature nearly reaching 40 degrees Celsius. Due to the heat the ground had turned to dust!

The island was essentially a small village, with shops, restaurants, bars, and massive tents for music performances. During the day I explored the island on foot, which took ages! By the late afternoon the music started. First of all I saw a Hungarian band which played techno and trance music. After this I went to get myself some food and a drink to rehydrate myself. Then it was time for the evening’s big event – a performance by the popular British singer Ellie Goulding. She performed on the main stage which was outdoors. Fortunately it didn’t rain! Ellie Goulding has had two number-one hits in the UK and she is a well-known artist, but I found her performance disappointing. In my opinion her voice was weak and she didn’t make any effort to engage the crowd. Of course, I am sure that lots of people were happy to see her, but personally I wasn’t impressed. After Ellie’s show it was getting late and I needed to sit down. I had a cup of tea and then headed for the island’s beach area to relax. At about 2am I was exhausted and so I left the island and headed back to my accommodation in Budapest.

It was great to see the excitement and feel the energy of the Sziget Festival. Although I am pleased to have tried my first music festival, I think it will be a few years before I attempt another one.