Imagine a festival where ALL the major music and visual arts festivals in Australia were held at the one place, at the one time. Big Day Out, Womad, Blues & Roots, Falls, Vibes, Livid, Festival of Arts, Splendor, etc.... Then imagine that one place is on an island in the Danube river in the middle of Budapest, Hungary with camping facilities and what appears to be a GDP of fun and hangovers. Crazy huh? Well this pretty much describes The Sziget Festival. 250 Acts, 25 stages and 300,000+ people attending over the course of a week. Just check out the website for the amazing line up of performances. And you hear people describe music festivals as an experience rather than just entertainment, and Sziget truly lives up to this. Week long camping, long periods without sleep and loud repetitive music. A couple of amazing head line acts, but as with any festival like this, the gold is to be found in the less known about, more underground acts, particularly when the Hungarian cultural ministry has applied their influence and made sure that the majority of performers are Hungarian.
Today: Gomez, Scissor Sisters, Coldcut and a whole bunch of Hungarian madness.
Tomorrow: Radiohead - I don't really care about anything else, regardless of how fancy their pirate ships are.
I haven't seen much of Budapest or the country, but the people are super chilled and great fun to talk with and it does seem that every Hungarian between the age of 14 and 30 are here right now. Hungarian sounds scarily like Finnish, with all of its pixie-ness and child-like magic. I know the two languages aren't compatible with one another, but I wonder if "laptop computer" sounds just as cute in Hungarian as it does is Finnish?
Props go out to Scott from Welland for recognising my old skool "SA Great" badge (which is sewn on my bag), in the Meduza dance tent at 3am this morning, and the friendly, funny Irish guys who are camped just next to our tent who think when the festival music stops between 6am - 10am is a cue to turn up their shitty boom box.
The next few days the forecast looks pretty ordinary. Thunder storms, rain and general nasty weather should be rolling later tonight and hang around until lunchtime Sunday. I can't be too long on the computers here thanks to intermittent black outs and other journo types wanting to use the internet for slightly more legitimate reasons. More reports from Fantasy Island soon.