Friday, 28 August 2015

Sziget - The Island of Freedom: the reality.

Just over two weeks ago, myself and ten others took our first steps across Sziget's wonderfully rainbow bridge. I for one, did not have a clue what to expect whatsoever. For those who read my last blog, you will know that I was heading for Budapest completely oblivious to the Szitizen way of life.

Unfortunately I've come to the conclusion that I simply can't fit everything about Budapest and Sziget into one tiny blog post unless I force myself to scale it down, so here are my highlights and low-lights (in no particular order):

  • Cirque du Sziget: Being an avid lover of magic and circus acts etc, this was one of my favourite tents at the festival. Constructed just how a normal circus would be, several men and women acted out a number of different performances in a large circus tent; ranging from knife throwing to contortion - all for free!
  • Robbie Williams: From early childhood I have grown up listening to Robbie Williams (or 'Robbie Wigglyworms' as my sister used to call him) in the car; and so for me, seeing him live was a definite highlight. He was such a great entertainer and performer right from his opening song of Let Me Entertain You right through all his other hits such as Angels, Feel and Rock DJ - 100% my favourite night.
  • 7 O'clock parties: Everyday at 7 O'clock there would be a different type of party in front of the main stage. For instance there was a balloon party where thousands of balloons were handed out and then all released into the air at once. There was also a colour party with coloured powder, a flag party, a maraca party and a bubble party.
  • Lime slush: 100% my favourite drink at the festival. I probably had at least two of these a day - I would definitely recommend using as a refreshing vodka mixer!
  • All night party: Despite the last act on the main stage ending at 11:30pm each night, you were always able to go onto another party elsewhere; as many acts in other tents didn't even start until 2am and if they didn't take your fancy, there were loads of other bars or outdoor clubs to entice you instead.
  • Sziget Passports: Upon receiving our wristbands we were also given Sziget 'Passports' which contained the Artist line up and times, as well as other cool things such as a collectable stamp page for 'must see' attractions in Sziget, as well as a personal photo page - just like a real passport!

  • The heat: One of the main factors that I definitely didn't expect was the heat. It's safe to say that everyday temperatures soared to at least 40 degrees - lovely weather for enjoying a festival, not so lovely for camping in a gross, sweltering tent for seven days.
  • No sleep: I can guarantee you now that at no point will you find any peace and quiet in order to sleep. Wherever you go, at whatever time of the day or night, you will be surrounded by noise! *Top Tip - make sure to bring ear plugs!*
  • Ill: Similar to most holidays that involve constant parting combined with lack of sleep, I along with many others, did get a bit ill on about day 5 of the festival.
  • Lots of walking:  Despite loving how big Sziget was (400,000 attended across the week), it did mean that walking between areas such as the main stage and our tent took quite a bit of time, something that wasn't too pleasant in the 40 degree heat!
  • Money: As far as money goes, overall I would say that everything at Sziget was priced pretty cheaply compared to festivals in England. However due to 1000 Hungarian forints equaling around £3.80, it was pretty hard to keep track of spending as you never really knew how much you were spending; meaning I did accidentally spend quite a bit more than I had intended to...oops. 
Walking across the bridge onto the island into the festival, did honestly feel like you were walking into a whole new wonderful and magical world. I am willing to admit that camping for seven days at a festival in sweltering heat was tough, but with no doubt, definitely 100% worth it.


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