Sziget Festival // from the beginning

Sziget Festival is one of the largest European cultural and music festivals. It is held in the capital city of Hungary, Budapest, on an island. We collected interesting facts about the festival starting all the way back from its foundation in 1993.
The festival was founded by Müller Péter Sziámi (Hungarian underground musician) and his friend Gerendai Károly in 1993. They started the festival for the Students of the Universe, they called. In the first year 43 000 people came and only Hungarian musicians were perfoming. Next year they dreamed even bigger and held then called Diáksziget in the honor of the famous Woodstock festival, even Jethro Tull was performing. These days it is one of the biggest festivals in Europe. It grew to be a cultural and also musical festival, with day and night time activities and performances. The festival is a truly colorful event with colorful people from all around the world. It doesn't matter how old are you, who are you, everybody is free and enjoys themselves.

So now lets hear the fun facts with old Sziget commercials (sadly there are not too many in English).

Did you know...

Today half of the visitors are not Hungarians. It is really popular in France, the Netherlands, England...

First the tickets were very simple and it was really easy to sneak in without paying.
In 1993 a daily ticket did cost 300 HUF (one euro), today it is 13.000 HUF (49 euro), mainly due to inflation in Hungary.

Until 2000 it was mainly a rock music festival.

There are law suits againts Sziget all the time by the majors of near by districts.

It is more a sad fact for some people: but from this year you can not buy cigarettes on the festival caused by new laws in Hungary (you can only buy cigarettes in special shops, for more information read our article).

There is a Facebook Fun Page asking for the Beach Boys to perform at this years Sziget (more info).

Gerendai Károly, founder of Sziget and today a billionaire, started his career as a "billboard gluer". He did never attend any higher education.

Müller Péter Sziámi, the foster son of the famous Hungarian writer Müller Péter, mostly famous about his special lyrics.

After the second Sziget festival they were totally bankrupt. It took until 1997 to regain the losses.

Translation for the commercial:
"MOM Im just gonna jump down for a while (to the store, for walking the dog - can be followed by this in Hungarian, but also means jumping) ...
I'll be back in a week!

Pepsi Sziget, just find a good excuse to come!"

"Being located on an island, some festival goers have tried to enter by swimming across the Danube or by paddling across in an inflatable raft. The organisers very much discourage these attempts claiming that it has never worked and that it is dangerous due to the tricky nature of the fast-flowing Danube river."

In 2011 385.000 people attended the festival.

"The Island is such a place, where everything is free to do, but nothing is obligated to do."

And finally last years after movie:

for more info:

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