The Island of Freedom has closed its gates on Sunday night (or Monday morning, depending on how you count the days). This was the 23rd edition of the festival, and it has broken every record on daily and weekly attendance. During the week-long event the number of visitors exceeded 441,000, coming from all over the world. The top ten countries where visitors have come from includes the Netherlands, the UK, France, but also Australia, with more than 1,000 visitors coming from Down Under. But the organizers recorded visitors from Botswana, Ecuador, the Cayman Islands and Guadalupe as well – a total of 95 countries.
The youngest visitor to step onto the Island of Freedom was an eight month old baby from Germany, while the oldest was an 86 year old grandpa, coming to visit with his grandchildren, but already planning to return next year. The festival was attended by its 7 millionth visitor this year – his (or her) reward is a permanent pass to be used on at any future editions of the festival.
“The large attendance is the confirmation of our efforts,” lead organizer Gerendai Károly said. “We’ve always wanted to create a unique festival to stand out due to its diversity and ‘feeling’. Based on the large attendance, I think we are on the right path”.
Here are some numbers from this year’s Sziget Festival:
- although the visitor capacity of the festival has been raised to 90,000 people, there were three days when the island was “full” – on Monday (Robbie Williams), Friday (Avicii) and Saturday (Kings of Leon)
- the budget of the festival was grown this year due to some of the extra expenses, like with Robbie Williams’ performance, to 4.7 billion HUF (about €15 million / $16.5 million), but the event was still profitable. With the high performance of the VOLT and the Balaton Sound, the organizers can close a profitable season
- visitors from 95 countries have attended the festival, in total numbers that exceed 441,000
According to Gerendai, the festival has unfortunately reached its maximum capacity when it comes to its surface. There is no way for it to expand and add more venues and camp sites, “but we can always improve on the services and the events”, he said. The only way for the attendance to grow further is by balancing it among the days, to avoid the inconsistencies of this year.
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