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Sziget Bookings Manager Dan Panaitescu Awarded Post-Mortem at Europe Festival Awards

Dan Panaitescu was for a long time one of the most important people in building the lineup for Sziget Festival, but not only that: he served as the International Booking Manager for Sziget, Volt, Balaton Sound, and Strand Festival. He is credited with having a very important role in the transformation of the Sziget Festival from a small, regional event into one that is widely considered one of Europe’s best summer festivals. Dan Panaitescu was one of the key professionals Sziget has to thank for receiving the “Best Lineup Award” at the European Festival Awards last year. Unfortunately, Dan passed away last year in a car accident – his memory was honored by the festival renaming its main venue to “Dan Panaitescu Main Stage” in 2016.

Dan Panaitescu made an impression during his years of serving the Sziget audience. At the latest edition of the European Festival Awards, his contribution to the growth and quality of Sziget Festival was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award.


Panaitescu was born and raised in Romania – a restless child, as he was described by his parents. Bored of the life he had as an economist in Sighisoara (a city in Northern Romania), he was always seeking new opportunities – he decided to flee the communist Romania in 1989, crossing the border illegally to Hungary (knowing nothing but “Don’t shoot” in Hungarian at the time). He was granted political asylum in Hungary and settled in Budapest where he soon got involved with touring and concert organization for local bands like Beatrice, Pokolgép, Bonanza Banzai, Pál Utcai Fiúk, Európa Kiadó, URH, Sziámi, Auróra, and Hobo Blues Band. From here to Sziget it was just one step – he stayed with the festival since its beginnings until his passing in the summer of 2016.

Dan Panaitescu

Hopefully, the person taking over for Dan Panaitescu will be at least as dedicated as he was.

(photo: festivalinsights.com)

PS: In other news, Sziget was named the “Artist’s Favourite Festival” at the 2016 European Festival Awards.

18 thoughts on “Sziget Bookings Manager Dan Panaitescu Awarded Post-Mortem at Europe Festival Awards

  1. Hope the Main Stage will keep his name in next editions. People have to keep asking who this guy was.

    Does anybody hae the list of the other title won by other festivals? (Like best lineup and best major)

  2. Best Small Festival – Snowbombing (Austria)

    Best Line-Up – Primavera Sound (Spain)

    The Brand Activation Award – UCLL AND ENECO for the Smart Energy Grid at Pukkelpop (Sweden)

    Agent of the Year – Natasha Bent

    Best Indoor Festival – Reeperbahn Festival (Germany)

    Best New Festival – Mad Cool Festival (Spain)

    Artists’ Favourite Festival – Sziget Festival (Hungary)

    The YES Group Health & Safety Innovation Award – Southside Festival (Germany)

    Best Medium-Sized Festival – Paleo Festival Nyon (Switzerland)

    The Green Operations Award – Shambala Festival (UK)

    Headliner of the Year – Muse

    Newcomer of the Year – Dua Lipa

    Promoter of the Year – Alter Art Poland (Poland)

    Best Major Festival – Rock Werchter (Belgium)

    Award for Excellence and Passion – Christof Huber

    Lifetime Achievement Award – Daniel Panaitescu [Posthumou

  3. Totally fair prizes this year, I might say!
    (Probably Werchter deserved also the best lineup, but it’s okay in any case I guess)

  4. Gerendai sold about 70% of the company to Edition Capital. is this means good line-up is on the horizon? or the end of the things to come?

  5. @fffsf the same question I was wondering about.

    Stronger lineup? (bigger headliners, exclusivity)
    or shittest lineup? (EDM/Pop oriented)

    there will be more money for sure.

  6. According to their website, current projects of Edition Capital include Bestival, Camp Bestival, Field Day, Rewind Festival, South West Four, Boardmasters and Common People. Most of these seem to have quite eclectic lineups.

  7. Well, ‘cept for Bestival we aint talkin about massive events, I guess. Im not really into the company festival’s market so I dont really know, but looking at the line ups of those festivals that the company is running, I see more quality names than sellouts, especially when it comes to Field Day* and Boardmasters, so I have a good feeling about it.

    In any case, selling the 70% of the company is a thing from any point of view we look at it. Wonder why they decided for such a thing and how big was the quote sold in terms of cash.

    *If that means that we gonna have Aphex Twin confirmed, since he headline this year’s edition, well Im fine lol

  8. Sziget Ltd.’s operations will continue to be overseen by Gerendai and Sziget’s other owners: Gábor Takács will continue as head of international projects, as will Norbert Lobenwein and Zoltán Fülöp as managers of VOLT Festival Balaton Sound, and children’s programming for the company’s various festivals. Joining the current management team will be James Barton, founder of the Creamfields festival and former electronic music manager of American events company LiveNation, as well as Paul Bedford former financial director of Cream Group.

    So how are we supposed to feel about this? A massive organizer of live electronic music is joining the team.

    Source: Hungary Today

  9. This isnt only a bad thing. I’ve been to creamfield once (2012 when last day was cancelled) and the line up of edm artist is mich better than any other festival. If you have deadmua5, tiesto and eric prydz playing at the same time its a hell of a line up. one of these would be great for Sziget, they have them on one day at the same time…

    The major concern is that Sziget is nog about EDM, its about diversity. Something they have to be aware of, that’s what made the festival this big and succesfull.

    On the other hand this might be an opportunity, when they bring a big bag of money. So they are able to pay coldplay and all the other bands which are now to expensive. Let’s wait and see…

  10. pfeeehh
    Everything sziget’s needed is “electronic music manager” like we didn’t already have that crap every year…

  11. Anyway, I saw that Arenal Sound Festival announced Carl Cox and Flow Festival (which btw is totally nailing it this year) announced Maceo Plex and Jon Hopkins… They have the chance to build the best Colosseum lineup EVER this year

  12. It would be ace, but I find hard for people like Carl Cox or Sven Vath to play at Colosseum. That stage never had such big names. They would need an a38 size, but a38 late night program seems really far away from techno-house.

    Anyway, Sziget Italia just contacted the team of the new sziget street promoters via email; I think new names next week or in two weeks.

  13. Gimme a night with Aphex Twin, Flume and Jon Hopkins and feel free to put Major Lazer play for 24/7 on the remaining time and I will be satisfied in any case

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