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Sziget: Here’s to the Next 25 Years

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 TamásSziget’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.

Kádár Tamás

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.

(Unpleasant) surprises

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.

35 thoughts on “Sziget: Here’s to the Next 25 Years

  1. Can’t say that’s a victory for Sziget. Of course the press has to release the good news for the marketing, but in a matter of fact this edition was – at least until the 8th of august – a big defeat for the booking team, for the SMM and for the logistic team.
    Sziget is growing old, 25 years is more time than I am alive: it’s time it starts to change some asset drastically, and I hope (but that’s not a big hope tbh) that the new management will change few directions.

    What scaries me the most is that the management stated that the edition was unlucky because of the greatness of the performers (especially the main ones), not because of the artistic direction who turned full pop, totally lefting behind intere main genres.

    Well, we’ll see. Sure thing is that I expect a drop of 1day selling.

  2. @Steven: No, because I didn’t know about the secret party… hopefully next year they’ll do something similar, seems that it was cool this edition.

  3. I did. Brilliant idea! It was in a bathroom located more or less 80m from the Telekom Arena exit, walking towards the Main Stage. It was sooooo cool!

  4. It seems that the aftermovie is coming way sooner than last year (it was at the end of November), as they already posted a teaser on Facebook!

  5. Last year we could already buy tickets on the 25th of September, but nothing yet regarding Sziget 2018 tickets.

  6. First…everybody has to forget the bad lineup and of course the prices…

    A normal start should be in november or december…

    I’ve got my flight and a hotel…so well prepared….

  7. New AM album is coming next year, so let’s pray to the Sziget Gods to have them at Sziget in August…

  8. Let’s hope they tour in August in Europe not as the 80% of the headliners touring in July every damn year.

  9. Hey Szigetins – I was planning on Sziget 2018, but saw some disturbing comments on the FB page for the festival. Seems lots of people had severe food poisoning (likely due to the 40′ temps), and was wondering if anyone here saw or experienced that kind of thing. I don’t want to organize a trip for friends and family if the fest was as unhealthy as some are saying. I loved 2016 and want to go back, and sure, I had the sziget flu afterwards, but somehow, food poisoning sounds like a less good time.

    I was hoping for tix to be on sale already, but some of these comments have me thinking twice. Look. I’m sure there are problems everywhere, every single year. But it sounded like it was a pretty bad fest for food safety…and that’s no good. (People were also complaining that food got way more expensive as the fest went on, which is another concern).

    What say you?

  10. I didn’t experience food poisoning, I only got the Sziget flu after the festival, but I think that you can experience food poisoning too, if your immune system is pretty weak.

    You also need to know where is the best food on the Island… I don’t think that you can get poisoning from Lidl, Auchan, Zing burger, Digo Pizza or Vegan love.

  11. The food was not that good than the other years…I think because of less people…especially in the extern areas…the food was standing too long on the heaters and in the sun…

    But….is this a reason not to go?

  12. Food was good as every year, but unfortunately 3 out of 20 people catched a 24-hour-fever-and-diarrhea flu. We didn’t eat the same, so not sure where it did come from or other people were eating the same, but didn’t catch the flu.
    BTW, is that the so-called Sziget flu?
    P.S.: I’d rather have another diarrhea than 2017 lineup.

  13. Matthias: LOL
    I guess that Sziget flu is when you get back from the festival and the body decides to punish you for the excessive party and drinking and banging and shit like this

  14. sziget flu: When you got back from sziget and you realise there wasn’t any quality act on the bill.

  15. Did you see that now there is only one Sziget Facebook page? They united Sziget Italia, Sziget France & the other countries pages with Sziget Festival Official.

  16. Austria still has its own page.
    But they’re a**holes, as they didn’t present 2 winners out of 5 participants of Sziget passes sweepstakes. They just ignored the whole thing. Poor marketing

  17. Not for me… just found out, that I don’t see the Original Official Sziget page. I always get redirected to Austrian’s page (obviously I’m located here)
    Last post I see is from 31st August

  18. Gorillaz announced at open’er, 4th of July.
    I can feel it already, butthurting a whole year and ending up with Anastascia, Rebecca Black and Boyz II Men as headliners.

  19. They’re playing in Budapest on November 13, so there is no way for them to play at Sziget in August. It was same with RHCP last year.

  20. Roskilde & Open’er announced Bruno Mars as headliner… let’s hope this is a sign which means that crap headliners will be in June & July and some quality acts will play in August, on the Island of Freedom…

  21. Bilbao did the following early bird promotion:
    first we tell you that The XX and Gorillaz (GORILLAZ) will be two of the heads, than I tell you that you can buy a ticket for 80 €.

    Now, guess which choice I dig for between this and “yeah give us 250 € and yeah well maybe Mumford and… nah, wait, I think we can, yeah Emin… nope, okay, Sziget 2015, with higher prices, and lower performances, yeah, cool, vibes”

  22. BBK Bilbao has to do this. They have nothing else but music. They don’t sell if they don’t give names because they don’t have a strong fan base like Primavera Sound or Rock Am Ring with fans that go every year and they don’t have anything else than stages with bands. That’s why they first announce and then sell.

  23. I won’t be going to back to sziget after the sziget 2017. By day 2 I had the worst food poisoning of my life. People say “it’s the heat” no my friend, it’s the fact that this absurd company couldn’t invest a little more money in some soap to wash your hands. There was soap every morning from 9-10am, after that it was completely empty everywhere including the bathrooms. The people who handled our foods didn’t have any antibacterial alcohol soap (I asked all of them to borrow some for myself). So basically you have people pooping and peeing without washing their hands and touching the doors filled with germs of an unclean toilet. Then they cut your fruit/food and take a guess what you’re eating. It’s vile. I’m surprised the authorities didn’t do an investigation in this place, so many people got sick. I’m not just talking a little bit, I’m saying the entire campsite around me got food poisoning. Completely unacceptable and thankfully no one died.

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