Two sold-out days, attendees from 103 countries, 452,000 visitors: this is what the organizers of the 25th Anniversary Sziget Festival can take pride in this year. This year, the event has seen its 8 millionth visitor, and its youngest, too – an 11-months old baby from Hong Kong. Next year, the festival returns between the 8th and the 15th of August (once again, Wednesday to Wednesday). The first 25 years of the festival are gone – here’s to the next.
After 25 years – The year of change
For 25 years, Genendai Károly was the lead organizer of the event. Starting with the next, his place will be taken by Kádár Tamás, Sziget’s manager. He considers this year’s anniversary edition to be a watershed event.
An era has ended, during which we built a unique, trendy, multicultural festival, standing out on the international festival scene with its special feeling, its cultural variegation, unique programming, quality of services, and last but not least, its spectacular visuals. Today, Sziget has become such an exemplary festival that has been copied by many, thus we have to change to avoid being one of many.
Sziget 2017 – the numbers
Kádár admitted that the audience was lower than before – he attributed this to the copycats “cloning” Sziget, and the event’s “bad luck” when it comes to its lineup. Still, this year’s event attracted more than 450,000 attendees, turning the event into a pleasant, “livable” one. Yet this falls behind last year’s event with far more “sold out” days.
The number of home countries the attendees came from this year grew to 103. The largest number of visitors came from Holland, followed by the UK, France, Germany, and Italy. An increasing number of Hollywood stars were also among the attendees – it seems that while in the US, the stars go to Coachella, they have chosen Sziget in Europe. Among the celebrities attending the event, there were names like Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, Luke Evans, and Justin Theroux. Among the performers taking the stage at this year’s event, there were many who have crossed the ocean only to perform at the festival. Among them, there were names like Iggy Azalea, The Chainsmokers, and Macklemore.
The live streams from the Island of Freedom could be followed by millions from all over the world.
The pleasant surprise of the event was reserved for a student girl coming to Sziget from Romania. She was greeted at the gate by Gerendai himself and received a “forever” Sziget pass for being the 8 millionth visitor to the event. The unpleasant one was suffered by Macklemore, who had to stay in Hungary for longer than he expected due to kidney stones – after the Island of Freedom, he had the chance to experience the Honvéd hospital, too.
While it has disappointed some, Sziget 2017 was still an important landmark in the event’s history. Here’s to the next 25 years of Sziget Festival.