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Sziget festival to pay rent for site (updated)

UPDATE: The mayor of Budapest, Istvan Tarlos, has said that Sziget will probably get a serious discount on the rent it has to pay for the space where it takes place. “Sziget will still get a very serious discount – somewhere between HUF 1 bn and HUF 1.5 bn, according to our current estimates”, the mayor said, according to this article.

Pretty bad news for the organizers of Sziget. According to XpatLoop, quoting deputy mayor of Budapest István György, the Budapest City Hall has decided to stop leasing the site to the festival for free.


According to the same source, the city wants to charge Ft 2.5 billion (around 9 million euros) for the use of the site.Last year, Sziget Festival’s budget has been around 2.7 billion Forint.

Sziget chief executive Karoly Gerendai has asked for a meeting with the mayor.

19 thoughts on “Sziget festival to pay rent for site (updated)

  1. This would be the the death of the Sziget festival as we know it for sure! I guess you don’t have to worry about higher ticket prices, but more about the cancelation of the whole festival!

    The tickets got more and more expensive over the last years and many people from hungary complained that they can’t afford the tickets anymore. Even the people from West Europe started to moan about the prices in the last three years (because they also have to pay for transportation and accomodation (hotel or the additional camping fee) and it seems that many people are not willing to pay higher ticket prices anymore….

    If the organizers have to raise the ticket prices to a price of let’s say 200 – 220 Euros, because they could settle a deal with the city paying a third or half of what the city is claiming, MANY people will not go to Sziget anymore and the festival has no chance to break even!

    The local promoter still has his other festivals (Volt and Balaton Sound) and might consider putting his energies into these festivals and cancel Sziget completely.

  2. @Mellowmaniac: we didn’t want to be that drastic and say it, but yes, unfortunately, it could lead to the end of it…

  3. Sziget festival a brings lots people into the city to charge for the site is greedy they lose more money if ticket prices go up or cancelled bad buisness decison by budapest mayor and will back fire !

  4. It’s a commercial festival so that the city should earn some money by getting rent for the island, too – but what the city demands is ridiculous!

    I’m sure the city knows about the value of the festival for Budapest and they will find some kind of arrangement, but it shouldn’t reflect in the ticket prices, which went up about 20% EVERY year within the last five years or so…!

  5. I’m sure everything will be solved in couple of weeks, this is the biggest event in Europe and everyone has interests in its success.

  6. @Lenny: this is probably not completely right, because there might be a political motivation to have the Sziget festival be canceled (beside the fact that the city of Budapest and the country Hungary might loose lot’s of income from the tourists visiting Budapest for the festival).

    I think some hungarians should be in a better position to comment on that, but the legislative in Budapest doesn’t seem to be too happy with a multicultural festival which is more international (and global) than hungarian…

  7. The mayor is making a big mistake… they should find an arrangement. Even if the festival would be canceled, loads of european people will come into the island during august, and will organize a big (bur illegal) festival… (maybe like the first editions of the pepsi sziget 😉 )

  8. I received an official statement from the Sziget press office today, who asked me to spread it. The statement doesn’t say that the issues are solved yet, but that the organizers are optimisitc about finding a solution..!

    ‘The organisers of Sziget Festival are confident that they can come to an agreement with the mayor of Budapest and Sziget Festival will take place at its usual location in 2011 as well.

    In recent days rumours have been circulating that the mayor of Budapest intends to raise significantly the rental fee of the area that serves as the traditional location of Sziget Festival. According to news recently published the rent he would demand from organisers is equal to the festival’s entire budget. Organisers presume that this unrealistic figure must be the result of a miscalculation, and requested an audience with the mayor, which is going take place in the near future. The organisers are confident that as in the case of each and every one of numerous disagreements in the past they can once again come to an agreement with the mayor and Sziget Festival will doubtlessly take place in Budapest this August.’

  9. Damn, sounds like they’re deliberately trying to kill Sziget 🙁
    Otoh, first name is announced, Shaking Godspeed

  10. And that discount is a joke of course, from 0 to 1 billion is still outrageous. Stupid conservative nationalism, financially this is so plainly stupid, it has to be political.

  11. @mellowmaniac: Hopefully, things happen as they should and the mayor understands that the festival benefits the city of Budapest, too…
    @Pep: thanks!

  12. The organisers of Sziget Festival are confident that they can come to an agreement with the mayor of Budapest and Sziget Festival will take place at its usual location in 2011 as well.
    In recent days rumours have been circulating that the mayor of Budapest intends to raise significantly the rental fee of the area that serves as the traditional location of Sziget Festival. According to news recently published the rent he would demand from organisers is equal to the festival’s entire budget. Organisers presume that this unrealistic figure must be the result of a miscalculation, and requested an audience with the mayor, which is going take place in the near future. The organisers are confident that as in the case of each and every one of numerous disagreements in the past they can once again come to an agreement with the mayor and Sziget Festival will doubtlessly take place in Budapest this August.

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