They are back! Sziget Festival, Balaton Sound, Volt Festival, and many more. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, going to a summer music festival was a staple element of most people’s summer plans. Unfortunately, the recent global health crisis made them a rarity in the past 2 years.
This year, however, with the number of daily covid cases gradually decreasing and communities learning to cope better with this crisis, the big music festivals are returning to Hungary.
Here are a few that are really worth checking out:
Date: 21st – 25th June
The last time the Volt festival was organized was in 2019, right before the pandemic. This festival is one of the larger festivals in Hungary, hosting local as well as international artists. Here you will find a variety of musical genres represented, ranging from electronic to hard rock to jazz. This year’s lineup includes big names such as Muse, the Killers, and Yungblud. Apart from visiting the festival, I can also recommend spending a few days in the festival’s host city, Sopron, a quaint town on the Austro-Hungarian border.
I also have some good news for enthusiasts who had tickets for the 2020 Volt festival but were unable to validate them due to the pandemic: tickets purchased for the 2020 Volt festival are automatically valid for the Volt festival 2022.
Date: 29th June – 2nd July
Location: Zamárdi, Lake Balaton
Another crowd favourite is Balaton Sound. This festival has also been postponed for the last two years, and everyone is thrilled to have it take place again this year. The specialty of this festival is that it takes place at Lake Balaton, directly by the water, hence, participants can take a dip in the lake any time it gets too hot for them. It is not uncommon for festival-goers to live at the festival location in the camping area, and spend their days in their swimsuits, which gives the whole event a casual, “no-rules” feel.
Since this is a very large festival organized in a relatively small town, I would definitely recommend booking accommodation as soon as possible, to ensure you have a place to stay either in the festival camping or in other accommodation available in town.
Again, tickets from 2020 are automatically valid for this year’s festival and the lineup this year includes exciting performers like Becky Hill, Marshmello and Robin Schulz.
Date: 13th – 17th July
Location: Lake Velence
Another festival by the water is the EFFOT festival at the Lake Velence. The performers here tend to be local or international artists who are not as known as by the other big festivals. Here you have the possibility to live on a camping site in the festival area and make the most of the lake nearby. This is a particularly popular festival among university students, as considerable ticket discounts are available to them.
Therefore: if you are a student, with a taste for local and alternative music, EFFOT is your place! This year’s lineup includes: John Newman, 30Y, and Wellhello, to name just a few.
Date: 20th – 24th July
Another budget-friendly, nonetheless interesting music festival is the campus festival in Debrecen, Hungary’s second-largest city. This festival presents a perfect mix of alternative and mainstream, of local and international, music and artists. It was first organized in 2007 and has been growing ever since, so much so that it has had to move from the inner city to the beautiful Nagyerdő natural conservation area at the edge of the city.
This year’s lineup boasts internationally famous artists such as Tiesto, Zara Larsson, and Aurora, as well as local and somewhat retro favourites such as Tankcsapda, KFT, and Korda György and Balázs Klári.
Date: 4th – 6th August
Location: Paloznak, Balaton
Reminiscent of London picnic concerts, the Paloznaki JazzPiknik is a place where lovers of jazz, mellow and vintage music can come together and enjoy a nice glass of wine at rustic wooden tables or on a picnic blanket under fairy lights. Albeit, some performers can really animate the crowd, such as Rick Astley in 2019 or the Gipsy Kings last year. What I really like about this jazz picnic, is that it is a festival for all ages, therefore it is a great place to spend time with your family, even if that includes small children as in my case.
Another nice aspect is that the festival is located on a small hill not far from Lake Balaton, therefore a beautiful view of the lake expands behind the main stage. Artists performing this year include Al McKay’s Earth, Wind and Fire, Lisa Stansfield, and Emeli Sandé.
Date: 10th – 15th August
And the big one! Sziget festival is one of the biggest festivals in Europe and many participants from all around the world come to Hungary every summer, especially for this big pop music festival. In 2019, the first day alone accommodated 80,000 participants. Hence, the last two years, in which the festival was postponed, were really felt by festival-lovers. At Sziget festival, you can again validate your 2020 ticket, and with other festivals, you have the opportunity to live on-site in the camping areas.
While Sziget participants do not have a lake to bathe in, the festival is hosted on an island in the Danube River where they may also cool down on a very hot day. Furthermore, Sziget festival aims to minimize its ecological footprint by promoting environmentally friendly policies on the festival grounds and through the use of reusable recyclable cups for drinks. This year’s lineup boasts Justin Bieber, Tame Impala, and Dua Lipa to name a few.