Review: Sziget 2023 – Return To Island of Freedom!

Photo credit: Aleksandra Zinkiewicz.

Although the Sziget Festival 2023 ended a week ago, the excitement has not subsided yet. “Super Early Bird” ticket sales have already ended for the die-hard fans, who had the opportunity to purchase tickets for Sziget 2024, even without any information on the performers. However, as one of Central Europe’s leading festivals, Sziget has cemented its reputation for bringing the world’s biggest stars to the stage every year; last week’s festival included such global stars as Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, David Guetta, Lorde, Niall Horan, and Macklemore.

The festival has been taking place since 1993 and it is one of the largest festivals of its kind in Europe. This year’s edition was the 29th, as the festival did not happen in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. The whole event takes place on the island of Óbudai in the Danube.

Sziget is an event with a truly international flavour. This year’s edition attracted just over 420,000 people from over 100 countries, according to the organisers. Upon entering the festival, the first thing you see is flags of countries from all over the world, and across six days on the island, you can probably hear most of the world’s languages! On each of the dozens of stages you could see a wide variety of artists presenting their skills; far beyond just music, these included great acrobatics, dances, shows and even a circus.

Many services were improved for this year’s festival; there were normal toilets in the festival area, replacing the previous portable toilet booths, which was a great convenience, especially for people staying on the campsite. The gastronomic offer was also significantly improved, and several of the stages received a makeover and a new sound system. The whole festival area looked amazing, decorated with beautiful light installations, huge inscriptions, and flags, perfect for photo opportunities. All these things contributed to the festival’s amazing atmosphere. Despite the fact that prices of products on the festival site had increased significantly, it was still possible to find food, drink, and other goodies in the budget range.

Sziget is not only about music and concerts; there were also many opportunities to relax. Each day of the festival featured various workshops, discussion panels and shows. You could find a place to take a nap, meditate, do sports, or express yourself through art. There were even massage stations, booths for dying your hair or getting a tattoo, and even bungee jumping. In addition, there was also a place for ecology, when well-known activists appeared on the stage between performances. The reusable cups at the festival could be returned to reclaim your deposit, or kept as a souvenir.

If you’re still wondering whether to go to the festival next year, it’s definitely worth it. The festival truly has something for everyone, and brings a unique experience you will not find anywhere else. Sziget is a demanding festival set over a huge area, and you will definitely feel tired after a whole week, but all this is worth it for six days that will stay in your memory for a long time!

You can already decide which artists you’d like to see on stage at next year’s Sziget festival, which takes place from 7-12 August 2024. Check out WISHMACHINE here

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