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Three great festivals around Budapest that you shouldn't miss

Sziget FestivalBudapestGreater Budapest

Budapest is culturally diverse and it never gets boring, but from the beginning of May to the end of August, there are so many exciting events that you might find it hard to decide which to go to. With the arrival of summer, a series of literary, gastronomic, fine art and music events are on offer for those who want to have fun and relax. 

But in addition to multi-day events, you can also join one-day street parties or spontaneous events, such as joint improvisational music in the hustle and bustle of Budapest. Of course, for some events it’s worth buying your ticket well in advance.

The Island of Freedom – the long-standing Sziget Festival

The festival that needs no introduction is the legendary Sziget. There is probably no festival fan who has not heard of this world-famous event, which offers everything that music lovers could wish for: in addition to today's most successful musicians and crowd favourites, up-and-coming and exciting artists representing the underground scene are also given the chance to shine. Alongside the live concerts, island visitors can also enjoy alternative performances, art installations and a unique atmosphere. Every year, the organisers put more and more emphasis on sustainability, inclusivity and diversity. A great example of the latter is the project called Sziget Global Village, where guests can listen to Mexican cumbia punk or ethno-punk from Slovakia, an English band inspired by Celtic and gypsy styles, Greek ethno ska-rock or the collaboration of a French team with a Pakistani qawwali singer. It is also worth mentioning the Art of Freedom, which aims to colour the diverse world of the Island of Freedom with the visual power of striking, thought-provoking, sometimes impressive works and space installations in the festival area. Interested visitors can enjoy the world of arts between two concerts.

Colorado Festival – where the love of music and nature pervades

If you want something truly alternative and special, you should remember the name Colorado Festival. This mysterious and magical music event invites fans of electronic and alternative music to an area surrounded by nature, away from the concrete jungle of the capital. For many, Colorado is a kind of cult meeting, where music, art and community join forces as equal partners: you will feel the energy of freedom and togetherness as soon as you step into the festival area under the open sky and in the shade of the trees. The music on offer will take you on a real journey: world music, electronic music and alternative sounds are mixed, providing a unique and exciting musical experience. Special locations, such as stages created in harmony with the natural features, stream banks, and forest clearings further intensify the mood and enhance the charm of the festival. However, the Colorado Festival is not only about music: you can try out your artistic skills too. The art installations, sculptures and paintings displayed on the sites also inspire visitors, and the interactive art projects and craft sessions provide the opportunity to take an active part in creative processes. 

 

As night falls, the Colorado Festival puts on magical lighting and fiery performances for its visitors. Spectacular fireworks and candlelight around the stages further enhance the mystical atmosphere. Festival visitors sometimes gather around a campfire, play music, sing songs and tell stories. These moments make the atmosphere cosier and even more intimate, and provide a great opportunity to meet people and make friends.

Bánkitó Festival – the focus is on music and the picturesque lake

It’s not only Lake Balaton that offers lakeside festivals The Bánkitó Festival has welcomed fans of underground music for many, many years in Bánk, north of Budapest. Here, the idyllic scenery and the musical diversity are always in focus: the programme mainly covers world music and alternative and independent genres, so visitors can hear new and exciting bands in addition to their favourite performers. The Bánkitó Festival also emphasises creativity and art. Various installations provide an opportunity for reflection and starting a dialogue. In addition, workshops are also organised for festivalgoers, where they can test their creativity. One of the Bánkitó Festival’s important missions is to promote an environmentally conscious lifestyle, so sustainability is also an important aspect of how it is organised, with visitors encouraged to respect and protect nature. In the spirit of eco-awareness, there are a number of initiatives and activities to encourage festivalgoers to recycle, save energy and reduce their ecological footprints. So the Bánkitó Festival not only provides musical and artistic experiences, but also encourages a focus on a sustainable future, albeit not in a dry and formal way but in the form of informative and entertaining programmes. 

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