Sziget Festival

Sziget Festival is one of the biggest in Europe, organized every August for a week in Budapest. My best friends purchased tickets there in the Spring and since Budapest is a bus ride away from Bratislava it would've been stupid to miss this chance to go check it out.

We stayed in a hostel/hotel on Téréz Körút, a very nice area walking distance from the centre and the river. The place was really nice and rooms clean and with modern furnishings (points for that!), but with the price we paid (53€/night) I would've expected the owner to be in the reception when he was supposed to. As a punctual Finn there are some situations where I want service exactly when it is promised; for example if check out should be done between 10-11am I would expect someone to be in the reception to receive the keys. Not a big issue, really, we were in no hurry on Sunday, but I like things working smoothly when I travel and I'm willing to pay extra for that. In this case I felt I paid the extra but didn't receive what I should have.

My friends had already spent two days in Budapest so we met them at the hotel, had a drink, got a bottle of wine and went back to the hotel to get ready for some Szigeting. I had great plans for what I wanted my hair to look like and G had promised to make me a French braid. But the Scandinavian hair doesn't play according to the rules. Poor G brushed my hair for ages and tried to get it to work but to no avail. Eventually she gave up and made a bun... but because my hair is so fine it was a teeny tiny bun. I've always cursed my hair as a useless stack of dead hay and now I have convinced someone to see I wasn't exaggerating! :D

From another hotel we picked up some more people and headed off to Sziget (some with a tampon up their nose because of a sudden nose-bleed). The festival is arranged on an island and in addition to all sorts of music performances there are also design exhibitions, acrobatics and you-name-its. When you get there you should first head to a little kiosk where you can change money into this special card with which you can purchase drinks and food. I didn't really get the point of that whole thing, I even saw some people paying with regular bank cards... Maybe they came up with it because people forget that you can't pay in euros in Hungary. Dunno.

I had three shows I wanted to see: Major Lazer, Kings of Leon and Paloma Faith. We arrived to the festival perfectly for the first gig. I only knew two tracks from them, but since they play electronic music I figured it has to be danceable. And it was! Problem was we were in the middle of the huge crowd and I don't do well in such places. I need my own space and I very much hate strangers touching me, but in the middle of the crowd you can't really avoid it. I usually stay at the back in festivals and I think that's why Ruisrock went so well for me: I had plenty of space to jump around without hitting anyone or being hit myself. Nonetheless it was a good gig and since Lean On is one of my all time favourite songs, I left the gig with a smile on my face.

After Major Lazer we had to find the part of our group that had gone to see some other gig and we found them from the most disturbed gig I have ever experienced; local gypsy music. People were going wild and the music on top of the mayhem made the scene absolutely hilarious. But it wasn't for me or G so we headed off to see Kings of Leon after ten minutes. I've always liked Kings of Leon but didn't expect anything special, just a good gig. But after that renkutus (= jingle) Kings of Leon sounded like the best band ever! :D And they do actually have really good songs in addition to the ones heard on the radio. 

I don't know why but after the KoL gig I became so tired all of a sudden I could barely walk. Maybe it was the combination of heat and beer or that I hadn't eaten much that day, I dunno, but I just died. And it was about 10 o'clock... embarrassing! We tried to find our way back to the gypsy-stage but got completely lost. After wandering around for a while we decided it's probably best to leave. When did I start giving in this easily?!? What I should have done was to get a hot dog and a drink, stuff them in my face and find a gig that had danceable music. But no, I decided to leave without even trying! And now I missed most of one of the biggest festivals in Europe! I was so mad at myself the next morning. I have to go there again next year, if just out of spite for myself. At least I had a good night's sleep...


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