Review: Sziget Festival 2016

Art & Culture

"I still have a lot of work to do to become a full-fledged Szitizen. In fact, I have zero stamps in my Sziget passport due to never having it with me during the tasks, I hope they won’t deport me next year."

Living up to its name as the 'Island Of Freedom', from what my memory serves this was quite possibly one of the best festivals I have ever been to. No other festival has given me such a social experience. Everybody seemed to know everybody. People I met from numerous cities across the world filled my Instagram feed with pictures of Sziget shenanigans. Even day to day activities felt special as I bounced  between the Olympic tent trying to catch up on sleep whilst watching team GB; there was even an on-site Aldi, reminding me of Freshers’ week back home.

There was much to do; foam parties, battle ball, bungee jumping and even a gaming tent if you'd had enough of reality. The circus was the place to be to brush up on Carnival skills, from fortune telling to juggling… If you were co-ordinated enough that is.

At night time pleasure came to life. Telekom, A38 and Colosseum were all hostpots after the mainstage where Dj's beat their craft. A record number of nearly 500,000 visited the Island this year and I’m pretty sure 300,000 were at the lock outs of A38, this didn’t stop us from partying outside the tent.

Each act felt like a headliner of its own – a rare feat – in large due to the capacity of each stage and the amazing set lists played. A38 blew me away by the diversity of acts from Tourist to Bloc Party. The variation was impressive, another reason why Sziget is seen as one of the best festivals in the world. The Telekom stage was where the Dj's were truly able to show off; the crowd was taken over by mix after mix, the graphics and visuals incredibly mesmerizing.

The closing show was the finale this festival deserved and more than one could hope for. Glowing lights, waved in harmony by thousands of people, fireworks and flames. Track after track equalled ecstasy. As I experienced this it began to sink in that Sziget was coming to an end, and that we would all very soon have to go back to our everyday lives.

Camping next to the ''Belushis '' of Sziget I was surrounded by Aussies and Kiwis, and being the token English bloke I knew the stakes were high and drinking levels would increase. In the morning, your choice of wakeup call ranged from having a tequila shot to – for the slightly more responsible – going to the beach to grab a cup of coffee. You can guess what my camping buddies did.

Constant late nights meant constant early mornings due to the sun beaming through the sweaty six-man tent. This had us retreating with sleeping bags to the beach where trance music would play throughout the night. It was hypnotic, an ideal setting for a good sleep alongside the sausage-resembling pillows.

The final touch that made Sziget stand out was the maintenance of high standards, both in comfort and practicality, making the festival experience my best one yet. The roots of the festival remained present, culture was kept. The ‘Hungarikum village’ was where goulash was the delicacy and Hungarian dancing was a must.

Little is certain in this life, but next year, as long as God allows, I will return. 

Tickets for next year are available HERE

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