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Record Breaking Attendance at Sziget 2015

The Island of Freedom has closed its gates on Sunday night (or Monday morning, depending on how you count the days). This was the 23rd edition of the festival, and it has broken every record on daily and weekly attendance. During the week-long event the number of visitors exceeded 441,000, coming from all over the world. The top ten countries where visitors have come from includes the Netherlands, the UK, France, but also Australia, with more than 1,000 visitors coming from Down Under. But the organizers recorded visitors from Botswana, Ecuador, the Cayman Islands and Guadalupe as well – a total of 95 countries.

The youngest visitor to step onto the Island of Freedom was an eight month old baby from Germany, while the oldest was an 86 year old grandpa, coming to visit with his grandchildren, but already planning to return next year. The festival was attended by its 7 millionth visitor this year – his (or her) reward is a permanent pass to be used on at any future editions of the festival.

“The large attendance is the confirmation of our efforts,” lead organizer Gerendai Károly said. “We’ve always wanted to create a unique festival to stand out due to its diversity and ‘feeling’. Based on the large attendance, I think we are on the right path”.

Here are some numbers from this year’s Sziget Festival:

  • although the visitor capacity of the festival has been raised to 90,000 people, there were three days when the island was “full” – on Monday (Robbie Williams), Friday (Avicii) and Saturday (Kings of Leon)
  • the budget of the festival was grown this year due to some of the extra expenses, like with Robbie Williams’ performance, to 4.7 billion HUF (about €15 million / $16.5 million), but the event was still profitable. With the high performance of the VOLT and the Balaton Sound, the organizers can close a profitable season
  • visitors from 95 countries have attended the festival, in total numbers that exceed 441,000

According to Gerendai, the festival has unfortunately reached its maximum capacity when it comes to its surface. There is no way for it to expand and add more venues and camp sites, “but we can always improve on the services and the events”, he said. The only way for the attendance to grow further is by balancing it among the days, to avoid the inconsistencies of this year.

How was your week? Share some of your experiences in a comment!


20 thoughts on “Record Breaking Attendance at Sziget 2015

  1. Bad news,this means Sziget will become an EDM shit/crap pop festival … i had fun as usual but this was the worst lineup ever for me…

  2. Great festival and amazing atmosphere… even with Avicii or Ellie Goulding as headliners, you could find, luckily, some quality music on other stages at the same time.

    Sorry for the offtopic… does anyone have the moment when people went on stage to hug Florence Welch? I can’t find it on YouTube. Thanks a lot!

  3. Well, I like how we all agree that we had tons of fun at the end of the festival and people are still hating/complaining. I’m sad to see this website becoming a place to hate – it used to be a nice place to secretly check line-up before anyone with john’s hints. I guess we need a new SzigetNews without shitting on every post

  4. One of the best edition I’ve been to. Amazing, incredible, unique.
    And for the lineup problems, I believe that if you only look at the main stage you can see evident problems, but without names like Avicii playing maybe I’d never have been to The Gaslight Anthem gig in A38, one of the best of the whole festival to me.
    I’ll be back next year, no matter who’s gonna play. But I also believe the lineup will be better. Smart choice to have the festival from Wednesday to Wednesday. This way you can have names coming to Europe for pukkelpop/lowlands/frequency and names coming to Europe for Øya, Way Out West and Flow.

  5. ahahaha it won’t became an EDM festival 🙂 they just called one of the biggest pop producers of the moment to do a djset after a band who headlined glasto. I personally didn’t liked it but where is the problem? It was good for somebody else. The end show it’s a sort of decision, a way they decided to go through, but just because people like it.

    Those 3 days were sold out because they had the biggest hedliners (robbie – kasabian+avicii – kings of leon subbed by major lazer) so I can’t see why you are worried about sziget becoming edm crap, people coming just for one day are attracted by big names. Anyway atmosphere was just gorgeous during the week, moshpit with limp bizkit, dropkick murphys, kasabian, major lazer, yellow claw etc was insane. That’s sziget, the audience. Lineup on the main can be less pop of course, but it was just a year you know 🙂 and main stage is a small part at sziget. If you really like sziget you know it’s true

  6. Felt much busier on the island this year but still no real
    Queues for Drinks Or toilets. Amazing organisation. Sound
    Was Stunning for The most part. Didn’t like the new location of the world Music, much better where the hill
    Was last few years. Saved some walking though. Chill out beach worked really well:), Magic mirror was great as always.

  7. Chillout+Beach was definitely my favorite place for the late morning/afternoon. I went there twice even at late night, it was perfect if you wanted to find a little bit of relax and “silence” drinking a homemade chai, gorgeous. Sziget it’s incredible

  8. My last post here for real, cause what I did here never reached the ones i thought should reach!

    First of all and most importantly, rip the poor german guy, who died there, I really hope he had his time of your life!!

    So here is my review of my first time at Sziget as a camper on a full week (I live in Budapest, so previously i just hit the fest for days):

    Infrastructor-wise Sziget festival is probably the best I’ve been to (if there is 90 thousand people that’s best you can get), no doubt abou, there is nothing i need to say. Only problem was, why they couldn’t water the areas to prevent the dust is beyond me.

    Music-wise: I never went to a festival I had fewer bands to see and it was what i expected an more, it’s frightening how bad people’s music taste. Basically all the bands I saw at the mainstage and had the biggest followings were awful should be banned from every music festival.

    The festival was the biggest shock to me that music is in real jeopardy in the 21st century, I hope it changes soon for the good.

    Sziget feeling-wise: it’s not there, it’s just like any other festival, drunk people having fun (there is no problem with that), my time there won’t be better, because there are umbrellas hanging from the trees.. actually had worst times than at other festivals, because there weren’t bands there to sing along, mosh and stage dive, aka having fun in my book.

    All-in all, I’m in shock that they had 3 sold out days with this weak line-up, and it indicates there won’t be any change for sake of booking quality, actual bands in the future. therefore there is no reason for rants. I liked agruing with you, won’t be bothering next year. seeyou.

  9. I’ve been to Pukkelpop, I’ve been to Primavera Sound, I’ve been to Sonisphere andy many other smaller fests but none of those were even close to Sziget’s fun. They may have better lineups, but my idea of fun is not just standing in the sun waiting for my band to play or run from a stage to another one all the day. That’s why I love Sziget. If I want to see Foo Fighters I go to a Foo Fighters concert instead of buying a ticket for a festival before the lineup is announced hoping for them to come. But maybe it’s my problem. I decide to go to a festival to live that festival. When I bought flight tickets for Pukkelpop 2013 the lineup was not announced, same goes for Primavera Sound 2015. I just want to try those festivals.

    Goodbye Art, Wacken is there waiting for you.

  10. First of all condolences to the family and friends of the former Szitizen who passed away. I know it might sound a bit morbid, but if I could choose a place where to die, Sziget would be first on the list. I wonder whether it would be possible to create a worship place where to remember fellow Szitizens – similar to the temple at Burning Man.
    It was my 9th Sziget and I have had a great time (as always, except maybe for 2012). Spoken to interesting people, listened to good music (DakhaBrakha were incredible!), partied with friends I hadn’t seen for a while. Like Bender I have also been to a couple other festivals (Primavera Sound, Glastonbury, Clockenflap, Afrika Burn) and I feel Sziget is unique mainly because of its mix of people and music. Everyone wants to have a good time while being open and respectful. Last but not least, koszonom szepen to the city of Budapest and the wonderful Hungarian people – without them the magic would never get shared. Peace.

  11. again the best week of the year. it was my 9th sziget. before I had some thoughts about bad lineup, but since I eneter the festival, I forgot about it. just fun and a lot of good music suprises + outstanding perfomances of favourite bands. I’ve been only at 3 dance acts – Gui Boratto, Mazor Lazer, NERO. all of them were great and I didn’t mind about a lot of dance acts that a lot of people hate. Avicii – well 10 minutes is enough. Foals were the best for me. 2nd place goes to Passenger. others that I liked: Robbiw Williams, Kensington, Florence and the Machine, Fututre Islands, Jungle, Selah Sue, alt-J, Gui Boratto, the maccabees, the ting tings, Ella Eyre, Marina and the Diamonds, Kasabian, Rudimental, Milky Chance.

  12. Art I’m so sorry you had such a bad time, but I’m really not surprised since you say things like “my time there won’t be better because there are umbrellas hanging from the trees”.
    First of all: maaaan, too much bad vibe! Do some yoga, smoke some weed, do some sex, go to the seaside, smile, i don’t know.
    Secondly: there’s such a big work from the management to decorate the island, and it is so beautiful, it helps making the atmosphere so special. I’m so sorry you didn’t appreciate it.
    There was also a lot of fun, not only drunk people hanging around (even if this is a part of the fun too) 🙂 And I’ve personally been to 4-5 concerts with moshpits, crowd surfers, stage divings, and a lot of fun as you mean it. If you just had let the good vibe go inside you, not thinking so much about the headliners etc.. 🙂

  13. I really love you all, im so happy that you feel the same i do 🙂 i love you all szitisens! YOU are the feeling, meaning and the thing there. Of course Sziget offers perfect atmosphere to have fun, but without you wounderful people, its nothing, thank you <3. And yes, i really liked many gigs, new and old ones, Kasabian, helsinki-Cotonou Ensemble, Kensington, KoL, Dotan, W&W and many many more. HUH! Next year again, its my 10th anniversary with Sziget, THEN we will rock HARD! PEACE AND LOVE and közönöm!

    PS. all the best for that poor guys family and friends,sad but like someone said, its place to go if you have to, R.I.P.

  14. Finally got a decent internet connection, so I can tell my impression about this Sziget!

    This year I came to Sziget with my girlfriend. It was my 2nd time and her 1st time.
    I have to say load of stuff, but I really need to focus on two things.

    We paid 67 € for: 1) reserved and more decent bathrooms and showers; 2) the chance to get locker for 25 €; 3) a free wifi; 4) sockets to charge our mobiles; 5) a reserved storage for luggages; 6) the chance to get a pre-pitched tent for 70 €.
    I know that Alternativa is organized by italians, and I knew personally the organizers, but the real organization (to pick the tent, to do the reception stuff: the real services, actually) is done by hungarians. In my whole life I didn’t get a worse service: the receptionists didn’t speak english very well; the wifi was free for everyone who was in the alternativa area(!!!) and weak so we had a lot of issues to get connected for more than 2 minutes; the luggages’ storage was free for everyone and it has reached the sold out the last day, when it rained (so we had to spent half the night in the reception, waiting for some space empty); there were really little of sockets: the only way to charge the mobile was to buy a portable-charger for 10 € + 2 € everytime you wanted to charge it (as if we didn’t pay a lot, already) and it charged like 30 % of the batteries, after that it always encountered issues at connecting the iPhones.
    But the biggest problem was the tent: they put every pre-pitched tent exposed to sun, and when I say exposed to sun I mean that at every freakin hour of the day there wasn’t sign of shade on the tent. Also, they gave us the worse tent ever made: it was so bad that humidity pierce the cover of the tent and got inside it. At the last day, when it rained the tent was totally flooded and we have been forced to pack our luggages inside the reception, in front of anyone standing there with no help from the reception. Of course, after that, we had to wait for two empty spot in the storage to put our luggages.
    The only things that was okay were the baths and the showers.
    No need to say anything else: they totally sucked.

    About the changes on the island. We walked around for the whole first days, and I mostly noticed those changes:
    1) They moved the Luminarium at south. And it’s ok, I guess: nearer the entrance, so people don’t have to walk a lot to get to one of the most important attraction of the island. Fine. It’s ok. Great. BUT WHY THE EFFING HELL DID THEY MOVED THE COXXPON CHILLOUT GARDEN IN SLOVAKIA?! I mean, it’s fine that the Coxxpon is near the beach, it is a really charming place to be, but it is way too much far from the center of the island (and with center I mean both the entrance, the A38 and the Main Stage): it took 4 km back and forth from our tent to get there and it was totally not chilling, I swear.
    2) They enlarged the A38 and the Main Stage. And it was a really good choice: Robbie Williams crowd at MS and Paloma Faith crowd at A38 showed the reason why.
    3) They moved the World Stage to a new location. Maybe it was less charatheristic but I found it was really pleasuring to have a real stage because for how the stage last year looked like it was totally not a primary stage.
    4) They put another barricade in the Main Stage Area, which forms a cross with the older barricade. I don’t know why they did, I don’t know what it was for, but I found it totaly unusefull and annoying when you need to move among the crowd.
    I didn’t notice any big change in the “logistic” matters. Anyone noticed something different?

  15. About the music, instead. I leaved Italy with no big expectation ‘cept for some undercard names like Infected Mushrooms, Gogol Bordello and Passenger and Florence + the Machine and Limp Bizkit.

    Now, I watched 31 shows in the whole festival.

    Some of the best shows I saw were:
    – SBTRKT
    Also I was pleased to discover how good were by live bands like Kasabian, Robbie Williams, Alt-J, Nero and C2C.

    Bands that, instead, totally sucked, in my opinion, were:
    – INFECTED MUSHROOMS, totally not what I was expecting. I was looking for some really techinal and good electronic music played with real instruments and all I got was violent mosh (with no reason at all) and the frontman which forgot the songs and spent the whole time inciting the crowd to do chaos. Also the acoustics of the guitar sucked a lot.
    – SOJA, didn’t like the acoustics and found the frontman really disinterested
    – ELLIE GOULDING, no skill, no presence, no fun. A waste of money and of headliner’s spot
    – AVICII, got no words for this shame they dared to call “musical show”.
    – INTERPOL, they are good, but the acoustics sucked

    What to say, I was really disappointed by the acoustics in the A38, but all in all it was a good festival, even with no big names.

    Also, I saw beyond the ones I mentioned: Irie Maffia, Gentlemen and the Evolution, Selah Sue, The Script, Alt-J, The Ting Tings, MO, Camo & Krooked, High Contrast, Awolnation, Hollywood Undead, Major Lazer, Kings of Leon, Paloma Faith, Nero, Sigma, C2C.

    Special mention to Fuerza Bruta: Real fun, real skills. Totally loved it!

  16. @Yelo : “some undercard names like [….] and FLORENCE + THE MACHINE”
    ahahahahahahahah UNDERCARD lol ahahahahahahahhah, you kidding?!

  17. You misunderstood me: About the music, instead. I leaved Italy with no big expectation ‘cept for some undercard names like Infected Mushrooms, Gogol Bordello and Passenger [[[AND]]] Florence + the Machine and Limp Bizkit.

    Anyway it wasn’t that the point of the post, thanks for the attention.

  18. I thought with that “and” you included them in your list of undercard, as you didn’t specify where the undercard ended 🙂 you just made a list of names.

    Anyway I agree with you about Alternativa camping, it’s not organized well for the extra money they charge. I think Vip camping at sziget is something really worths the price, the other solutions are just “meh”. I personally prefer basic camping to alternativa or siesta or apero… I save money for more funny activities. I tried all campings during the years.
    Yeah the Chillout garden was far away for you if you were at alternativa but it wasn’t for a lot of people, I definitely enjoyed the new location featuring the beach, magic atmosphere. 10 hot minutes to walk but totally worth it. My tent was near Colosseum.
    I think the extra barricades were because this year the amount of people (specially at the main) was more then other years, so they had to respect some security rules I suppose. Or at least they preferred to do this. All big concerts separate the Pit from the other part of the crowd.

    I saw all the show you said were the best for you and I agree, very enjoyable shows! I agree also about Avicii, it was not really like a show or a dj set, it was like somebody presenting his songs to a crowd. A simple sequence.
    I don’t totally agree about Goulding, I don’t think she has no skills but definitely she has not the presence to headline. She is something like The script or similar, a pop sub you can put on schedule one or two evenings at 7pm to sell tickets and fill the main with a lot of girls to make beatiful videos for aftermovie. But after them you have to call a proper headliner. Oh yeh, I really enjoyed Alt J after the script, and Foals before ellie goulding. But Libertines headlining ellie goulding night would have been so much appreciated 🙂

    This sziget was a lot of freakin fun for me, I loved it with all my self. I can’t wait to come back, it’s the best festival for the vibe and the fun definitely and I am no more tempted to do other festivals even if they have better lineups (except for Glasto and Coachella and very few specials). I don’t think I will come back next year, I love to do a lot of different things so I think in summer 2016 I’ll spend my money on a different experience visiting some other part of the world, but I’ll come back as soon as possible to try old and new things on the island of freedom, peace and justice everybody

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