Next year will be the 25th when the Obuda island in Budapest transforms into the Island of Freedom. Sziget will be back in 2017 with one edition that should be huge, considering that it’s an anniversary one. The organizers of the event have announced that the ticket sales for next year’s event will start on September 25th, at 5PM local time (GMT+1). And they announced the dates of the festival, too: between the 9th and 16th of August 2017 (once again, Wednesday to Wednesday).
Mark the date, and keep an eye out for announcements!
25 years of Sziget
Music events were held before on the Obuda island, ever since the 1980s, mostly rock concerts featuring local talent from Hungary’s rock scene. The first major festival to take place on the island was “Viszlát, Iván” (So long, Ivan), organized in 1991 to celebrate the Russian troops’ leaving Hungary after almost 40 years. But the history of Sziget itself did only appear in 1993, when current lead organizer Károly Gerendai and actor/poet/singer Müller Péter Sziámi have first organized Diáksziget (Student Island), with the slogan of “We need a week together” (Kell egy hét együttlét).
The second Diáksziget took place in 1994, on the 25th anniversary of Woodstock – so it got the subtitle “Eurowoodstock” and saw big names like Ten Years After and Jethro Tull perform on its stages. The festival was called Diáksziget until 2001, when it was renamed to Pepsi Sziget, only to get its current name (Sziget Festival) one year later.
Attendance over the years
The first Diáksziget was much smaller than the massive event we’re used to today. In 1993, the ticket sales hardly exceeded 43,000, and only locals came to the Island, with no attendance from foreign bands either. It took the festival 24 editions to grow to its current size, with close to half a million attendees from over 100 countries.
Over the years, major international artists like Slash, Iggy Pop, Clawfinger, David Bowie, Rammstein, Run DMC, Massive Attack, Robbie Williams, and many others, have delighted the audience with their on-stage performances.
Let’s see if Sziget can top the success of all its previous events with next year’s anniversary edition.