This year Sziget will last for seven days – five full days, plus the Day -1 and the Day Zero – but from Wednesday to Wednesday, just like in the old times. The event’s organizers will try to top last year’s atmosphere, focus more on environmental awareness, hygiene, visuals and the quality of services. The event, considered Hungary’s top tourist attraction, will guarantee the safety of their visitors coming from all over the world – and is expected to be sold out completely. And it has gotten a brand new anthem, Be With You, by Toldi Miklós and Odett.
Prepare for Sziget to be sold out
During a recent press conference, Gerendai Károly looked back at last year’s Sziget Festival. He spoke of the record number of visitors and the three “Sold out” days, considering these to be a confirmation of the organizers’ efforts. He mentioned the “Best Lineup” award won by the event this year and admitted that it won’t be easy to organize a better one – but he promised to try.
Gerendai told the press that, considering this year’s feedback, he expects the festival to be “Sold out”. “The five-day Passes have sold out weeks ago,” he said, “and three-quarters of all the seven-day passes have already been claimed.” He mentioned the next change in ticket prices, on May 5th, when he expects another “rush” to happen. He said that the interest for the festival was high even before the first performers were announced, which confirms that most of the visitors are not coming for specific artists, but for the Sziget feeling itself: the diverse musical lineup, the variety of programs, the high-quality services, and the unique visuals. Speaking of the visuals, Gerendai mentioned the Art of Freedom competition, which received over 200 entries from designers, visual artists, “light sculptors” and enthusiastic amateurs, out of which the festival will select the best 100 to decorate the island.
Mind the environment
One focal point of the festival will be environmental awareness. The organizers plan to communicate better to raise awareness about all its aspect, from conscious consumerism to the use of green energy. They will also ban all merchants from using plastic bags, replacing them with recyclable – or even recycled – containers. They will also install more containers to collect cigarette butts. Besides, they will collect all obsolete camping gear from the visitors, donating them to the refugees heading for Europe.
When it comes to hygiene, there will be improvements compared to last year. The organizers have upgraded the toilets and showers, and increase the number of the cleaning staff. They don’t want to merely offer more of the same, but with improved comfort as well.
Food and security
If we spoke of toilets, let us speak of the “input”, too – this year’s Sziget will be attended by caterers from outside Hungary, too. Among them, the FoodStock, the festival relocation of Slovakia’s best restaurant, Fou Zoo. And, as usual, visitors will be able to find anything from burgers to pizza, and whatever street food they might imagine.
Last, but not least, a word about security. Gerendai admitted that it’s not easy to guarantee the security of the visitors of such a big festival, but that the outstanding efforts of the organizers are generally recognized. The festival plans to increase the visitors’ sense of security, with the security personnel staying out of sight to assure seamless entertainment for the visitors. The most spectacular improvement will be the “Check-in” system at the gates – the same system used by airports and border crossings. When buying a ticket, the visitor will be identified, and the serial number of the armband will be linked to the visitor’s person. This way the security system will detect any illegal entry attempts at the gates.