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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.

8 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!

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