Sziget festival has crossed the baseline and the preparatory stage is over. The festival area seems to be ready, although you could still see some finishing works yesterday. The Szitizens are more than ready, judging from how the people partied the last two nights. The weather forecast does not indicate even any drop of rain (not that it would not be appreciated) for the coming days (first rain to come on Sunday only), so everything is ready for the highlight of the Hungarian summer.
If day -1 was sold out (well done, Robbie!), the festival area on day 0 was giving the impression that it is sold out or at least very close to it too. There were people everywhere! And they lasted partying long! I think this could be accounted to the fact that after the sun goes down (luckily, it is around 20:30), the day starts as it becomes breathable and somewhat cooler.
I am not enjoying that much the omnipresent dust, but that belongs to the experience. But compared to Trutnoff Open Air Festival, where there is red soil, your sneeze would not be red. I however feel that I have the dust everywhere. And you can see that the artists are struggling with it too. Yesterday, poor Selah Sue had a dusty sweaty line on her cheek. Incredibly cute!
Speaking of which…
We wanted to come earlier, but somewhat the day passed faster than we thought and we managed to get to the festival quite late, so we missed Kensington (I am really feeling sorry for that as from what they were posting on Instagram, it looked like a time of their life) and our first gig of the day was Selah Sue.
We were fresh, clean and very excited as the gig that she threw in April in Budapest in A38 (the huge boat docked on the Danube) was promising that her Sziget performance will be good, if not excellent.
And she really threw a good party, the A38 tent was packed with (not only) Dutch and Belgians. The whole concert lasted for 1 hour and 15 minutes and although she was finishing at around the time when Florence + the machine were starting on the main stage, people did not mind skipping the beginning and rather stayed until the end to thank her for the great concert.
It was quite nice to see so many people knowing lyrics and singing with her! Our alpaca managed to get quite some new friends, it had fun with a orange flag too and made it several times to the screen. We also got to know that it is cool and we even got some feedback that it is weird. It is, indeed! But we are having a good time and no real alpaca has been harmed when making the fluffy one. All in all, Selah Sue asked with this performance to be placed on a big stage next time she comes. The show is lively, entertaining and if it would not be that hot in the A38 tent, I think she would never finish playing as the audience was just lovely.
Florence + the machine
As we were staying until the end of Selah Sue’s gig, we missed the beginning of the star of the day – Florence + the machine. I never saw even a single video clip of this band, I just knew some songs from Deezer and was a lot surprised that Florence is such a party girl and that she has strong drama skills that nicely accompany the message of the music she sings.
She performed barefooted with transparent top and white trousers and I still did not do my research, but I would bet my shoes that she has a dancing experience. As the improvised dance she was making was really artistic and energetic.
Florence + the machine were very communicative with the audience and several dozens of people were not believing their eyes, when she invited them to the stage to hug with her and the band. Originally, I think that she was only meaning to call to the stage the guys that had a cardboard sign Hug me, but it ended up as a multiple people hug. There was even a guy, who dared kissing her on the cheek. But she was not horrified or overreacting, on the contrary, I think she was rather surprised that it happened. And then, Florence said stop and a guy that got on the stage and was only 1m from her still wanted to have a hug, but the security was stronger.
This was a very impressive concert that offered a long show again (1.5 hours) and I believe that it was worth it!
I missed their concert in Budapest in November 2013, so I was excited that they would be coming to Sziget. I am not a huge fan of electronic music, but somehow this band is doing it right in mixing the best of electro with some vocals and energetic show. I was thinking that their gig will be totally full as they are quite famous, but putting them at 1:30 am was a good move as quite some people were dead by the time the concert started.
When I needed to grab some beer and answer the call of nature, I was really happy that we have our alpaca with us, because I would not be able to find my friends back. So the alpaca serves perfectly the two principal aims – it is a befriending machine (oh, we met and talked to so many nice people) and it is a mobile meeting point! If you want to see what Alpaca is up to, go and check the hashtag #alpaca on either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If you took a selfie with the alpaca, please post it, so we can have some of the memories and faces refreshed too.
The volunteers are not that fast in picking the trash from the ground, which by the end of the day, creates a dirty experience. Especially walking through the A38 has been really demanding.
This connects also to my little request – if you drink from a plastic bottle and want to get rid of it, do not throw it on the ground fully inflated with the cap on. Make it flat or remove the cap, save people’s falls.
And a little rant at the end – the food is at some places very expensive. I am not sure whether there is some guidance on the pricing, but paying 9000 HUF (30 EUR) for a kilo of chicken shashlik is very pricy. This transforms ino a price of 3000 HUF (10 EUR) for few pieces of chicken and some vegetables (namely onion) on a stick. On the contrary, do not get entrapped by those major food places and look for food trucks. Hungarian street food is increasing its popularity and the stuff that they make is really good – try Kolbice, Zing burger or quesadilla from the Telekom zone. Gourmet experience guaranteed!
This is it for today, time to have shower, charge the phone and enjoy one more day on the sun with thousands of people and the Alpaca! Follow our adventure on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Pictures from Sziget festival – Day 0 as alpaca saw it: