As of the 7th of March, this year all Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted in Hungary, meaning that all passengers are free to cross the borders without proof of vaccination or negative test results. Entry requirements are the same for everyone regardless of their vaccination status.
Not only the restrictions are lifted but the bans on parties and festivals are gone too! That means some of Europe`s best festivals are going to be back during the summer, and a few of these take place in Hungary that are worth traveling for.
Balaton Sound first started in 2007 on the southern banks of Lake Balaton, Hungary. Since then, it grew into one of the largest open-air festivals in Europe. It would be best to describe it as an electronic festival, but it`s not rare that it brings in some diversity with some hip-hop or pop artists, but in general, this is the place where the world`s biggest DJs turn up with sometimes more than 100,000 people. During the years there were artists such as Martin Garrix, Avicii, David Guetta, Carnage, Alesso, Timmy Trumpet, G-Eazy, Ty Dolla $ign, J Balvin, Nas, and hundreds of other artists performing. Most of these performers have returned multiple times and they love it just as much as the fans. A huge rave with the scenery. Imagine seeing the sunrise on the largest lake in Central Europe after seeing your favourite artists. It`s a bittersweet feeling really, you`re tired of the whole night of consuming things you shouldn`t consume while dancing, jumping, and walking around in a huge area. It is worth it though.
“I still get chills remembering the last time I played there back in 2018, the energy from the crowd was amazing. I cannot wait to be back at sunny Lake Balaton and do it all over again.”-Martin Garrix
The inside areas offer a massive variety of food and drinks, you can find anything from the £2 hot dog sold from those little stalls (me and my friend group`s favourite of course) to traditional Hungarian dishes. It`s the same drink-wise as well, it caters to everyone.
It has variable stages so you cannot be bored at any time of the day because there are always artists who are performing. The sponsors of the festival usually create super cute, sometimes luxurious lounge areas all around where of course everyone is welcome to do whatever they need to do to enjoy themselves.
Since it`s next to a lake you can go cool yourself down in the water and just enjoy the sunshine on the shore with music, and drinks while creating bonds with other people. If that`s a little too boring for you, you can find Ferris wheel and bungee jumping too, depends how much of an adrenaline junky you are. The festival also offers boat parties to make the experience even more full and pleasant.
A few names from the 2022 line-up so far: Martin Garrix, Becky Hill, Marshmello, Jonas Blue, Carnage, Robin Schulz, Deborah De Luca, Miss Monique, and great Hungarian artists as well such as Wellhello. You can check out the rest of the line-up on the festival`s official Instagram page or website.
The tickets range from €75 to €340 depending on what package you choose and if you want accommodation on sight there are multiple great options for that too in various price brackets to cater for everyone. You can check more names and tickets for between 29 of June and 02 of July on balatonsound.com.
It`s a psychedelic trance and arts tribal gathering taking place from the 1st -7th of August 2022.
It`s located in Ozora, hence why the name, 140 km from Budapest near a place called Dadpuszta.
The festival originated during the solar eclipse in 1999, it was called Solipse. In 2004 they have changed the name to Ozora, by 2010 it became one of the most influential Psychedelic Tribal Gatherings.
The festival`s main purpose is to celebrate human consciousness and relationships through music and art. There are plenty of places to discover and experience during the 7 days.
The main stage:
“The Ozorian main dancefloor, very much like the others around the globe, is a space that thousands of radiant, colorful people create together through dance, through their unique reflections of the same sounds and their unique expressions of the same collective unity, and in return fill up with cosmic energy and share the singular experience of living breathing oneness.”-says on the website, and I think it`s a beautiful summary of the festival as a whole and it shows what to expect as well.
The wheel of wisdom (with Dr. Sally and Prof. Bela Torkos):
It`s a unique program focused on the human consciousness and its development. They progressively introduce and take you through the developmental stages of consciousness and provides you to advance it each day with lectures, storytelling, yoga, guided meditation, and rituals.
In the teashack, you can try a wide variety of herbal and medicinal teas and potions that are “made with love”-says on the website. The best part about it is that the herbs are grown in the Fairy Garden behind the teashack which you can also visit while you`re attending.
In the Ozorian community`s kitchen with several hand-built traditional Hungarian ovens, everybody can prepare their own meals and it also offers gastronomical workshops which offers a lot of skills for you to learn in the “body is a temple” mindset.
Tower and Art Gallery where you can find exhibitions that represent the festival`s visual culture through collaborations of Hungarian and international artists.
Opportunity to release creative energies through arts and crafts workshops where you can even learn about ancient and modern skills and techniques while connecting with the creative minds and ideas of yours and others.
The festival also features other great facilities-like little markets and a lake that is open for swimming every day- that will probably make your experience absolutely beautiful.
500 tickets are available every month until the event on the website, 1500 tickets will be available for sale at the gate. If you purchase your ticket online, you`ll pay €85+€9 service charge when you decide to buy the ticket and you`ll pay the remaining €100 on arrival so all together the ticket cost €194. There are no day passes and weekend tickets available, if you buy the ticket you`ll have to buy it for the full 7 days.
If you decide to buy on-site you`ll have to pay €220.
Camping is included in the price of the ticket, but alternative accommodations and hotels are available, although it is recommended to choose camping to get the full experience.
The line-up is yet to be released.
VOLT Festival is one of the largest popular and multicultural music festivals in Hungary which is held in Sopron since 1993.
People love it because of its diversity, there`s rock, jazz, world, and electronic music so it`s really catering to everybody`s liking, there`s something for everyone. And it`s not only that! With all the music around there are other programs as well, such as theatrical performances, film screenings, exhibitions, and sports programs too.
This year’s line-up contains exciting names like Muse, Bring Me The Horizon, Yungblud, Borgore, Scarlxrd and you can see them live between the 21st and 25th of June.
Sziget – Island of Freedom
Sziget festival started in 1993 as a low-profile student festival at Obuda island in Budapest and it grew from that into one of the biggest music and cultural festivals in Europe. In 2011 The Independent ranked it among the 5 best festivals in Europe. Since the mid-2000s it`s been labeled as the European Burning Man due to its unique features.
-“An electronically amplified, warped amusement park that has nothing to do with reality”Index.hu(2014)
Half of the visitors are out of Hungary, mainly from the Western countries, like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, UK, Ireland, and Romania. By 2019 the attendance surpassed the 565,000 mark.
In 2002 Felsziget Festival (Peninsula in Romanian) was co-created with Sziget organisers in Transylvania and it has become the largest festival of its kind in Romania. In 2007 the olrganisers also co-created a festival in the southern banks of Lake Balaton: Balaton Sound which I already talked about, and Volt festival is the co-festival of Sziget.
It looks like the Island of freedom where it all started.
The festival offers a huge variety of activities. Alongside the multiple stages where concerts start in the early afternoon, there are loads of venues that include theatres, museums, circuses, and much more. Artists from all around the world attend the event to showcase their art and to include anyone who wants to create art.
When you purchase a ticket, you become a “Szitizen” and you join the “Love Revolution” which is the celebration of diversity, sustainability, happiness, and peace.
“The community of Sziget was founded 28 years ago based on the idea of creating a temporary “dream nation”, celebrating and sharing the best from cultures and people across the globe. We believe that everyone’s individual freedoms should be respected and everyone should have the right to the freedom of thought and lifestyle, sexual orientation, religion, speech and the right to equal knowledge and learning.
We believe in embracing diversity, respecting human dignity and looking out for each other. All nations and individuals should be treated equally, and social and individual responsibility should be encouraged and nurtured. We are convinced that the power of communities, the prioritization of sustainable development, the right to be happy and the power of love and peace can make our environment a more liveable and lovable place.”-says on their official website.
The event is also participating in other good causes:
The organisers partnered with Superar and their aim is to spread music to unprivileged children. Every reusable cup dropped off at collection points at the festival goes towards Superar program.
In the northeast of Budapest, a former agricultural area will be transformed into an ecological paradise. The visitors can adopt a tree for €20 to compensate the carbon footprint that they live while travelling to the festival.
Art of Freedom
The festival collabs with artists every year and let them create unique statues, buildings, and installations which are then showcased on the island. This year the theme is “The power of diversity”.
The lineup this year includes names like Justin Bieber, Dua Lipa, Arctic Monkeys, Princess Nokia, Steve Aoki, Alan Walker, and a bunch of other great artists.
You can buy a full pass which starts at €315, multiple days pass which starts at €215- or one-day pass which starts at €80.
Which one of these would you fly out for?
Written by: Alexandra Toth