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Musical experiences in special venues

A38 shipBudapestGreater Budapest

What could be better than a fantastic concert experience? One that appeals not only to the ears, the soul and the emotions, but also to the eyes. Special, unique concert venues can be places for unmissable musical events that will be remembered for a long time after.

A38: concert venue on a barge

When they see it docked at the Buda end of the Petőfi Bridge on the Danube in Budapest, many people do not even believe that the A38 ship is one of the most popular concert venues in the city. Of course, this was not the vessel’s original function: it was built as a stone transport barge in 1968 at the Lenin Shipyard in Kiev, and was used for industrial freight shipping on the Danube. When the lower section of the Danube became unnavigable during the Balkan War, the ship called Tripolje was forced to dock and was then declared a wreck. Its reconstruction began in 2002, when it was towed to the Petőfi Bridge. The Artemovsk 38 (renamed A38) has been operating as a concert and event venue, catering outlet and creative workshop since 30 April 2003. The belly of the ship, in addition to the concert hall, is home to two indoor bars and a restaurant for 170 people, while in the summer, the roof terrace hosts smaller club concerts. In 2010, it was expanded with a 50-metre-long and 11-metre-wide new floating glass and steel structure, which houses an exhibition space that mainly hosts works by contemporary artists, plus a concert hall for 100 people. Above the bow deck of the ship, the 33-square-metre, modern, panoramic television studio, which is used for Petőfi TV’s live evening programme, was completed in 2015. Guests can also arrive on BKV’s scheduled water buses, which call at a permanent stop next to the boat. The range of events and activities is extremely colourful, with almost everything from children’s events to rock concerts, as well as literary performances.


A38 ship, Budapest

Fertőrákos Stone Quarry and Cave Theatre among 1,000-year-old rocks

Performances at the open-air theatre and concert hall in the former quarry, which is also a World Heritage Site, have been held since 1970. About 750 spectators at a time can enjoy the performance in heated, temperature-controlled seats in the auditorium, which is located among millennial stone formations with a special atmosphere. The auditorium is also accessible to disabled spectators. But in contrast with the ancient environment, the stage technology is state-of-the-art. In addition to the sound and light technology, there are LED walls on both sides of the stage, where the captions and Hungarian translations related to the performances are displayed. Sixty musicians can play in the orchestra pit in front of the stage. Beneath the stage is a 1,100-square-metre service area system that mostly accommodates the performers’ changing rooms. The programme includes a variety of events from operas to rock operas, as well as classical and pop music concerts. 

Aggtelek Baradla Cave: Crystal clear sound among the stalactites

The Baradla Cave System in Aggtelek is also a World Heritage Site, and together with the Domica Cave System in Slovakia, is the largest such cave complex in Central Europe. Participants of the tours organised among the stalactites of the halls and chambers of the caves evoking a fairy-tale landscape will immediately realise that they are visiting a special place. The extraordinary feature of this unique venue is the special acoustics. You can best experience this in the cave’s huge concert hall, where the special sound is accompanied by mysterious, velvety lights thanks to the modern lighting technology. The range of music on offer includes various genres of classical and pop music, and the Year End's Farewell Operetta Gala, held on 30 December each year, is a well-established tradition. 

Tokaj Festival Pit: Wine and music

This is a World Heritage Site and a former mining pit serving music fans in the heart of the Tokaj wine region and its eponymous city. The special atmosphere is ensured by the proximity of the Bodrog, the view of the rock wall surrounding the Pit and, of course, the outstanding quality of Tokaj wines. The auditorium of the open-air grand theatre can seat about 2,500 spectators at a time: its auditorium, by the way, evokes the fan-shaped, rising form of auditoriums of classical Greek theatres. The technical stage equipment, including a rotating and lifting mechanism, is used to enhance the concert experience. The group of buildings surrounding the Pit houses service facilities such as a café and a wine bar. Fans of classical and pop music can find an event in all genres to enjoy here throughout the outdoor-activities season of the year.