Day 4 was the dustiest and crowdiest day at the Sziget festival. I read somewhere that the organizers had a special spray to apply on roads to prevent the dust from coming up, but they had a runout already on Day 2. This special substance was not available anymore in Hungary so they were trying to get it from abroad. However, it seemed judging from the amount of dust everywhere that they did not succeed so much.
Many people started to wear face masks or just a t-shirt around their mouth and nose to avoid breathing the dust directly. This however did not prevent anybody from dancing, having fun and partying hard. Very well done. Szitizens!
We spent the afternoon wandering around, visiting our friend who works as a volunteer at the Jazz stage that day and our festival music menu started off with Major Lazer.
I did not know the band from before and I must say that the gig was quite enjoyable. We also found out that Diplo will throw a secret free set at the A38 boat starting from 11 pm. This is the time when Sziget is turning into Glastonbury. Although, I doubt that people from the festival would bother going to the city centre, especially when it was time to join the Kings of Leon gig. Anyway, bringing something to Hungarians, who simply cannot afford to spend so much money on tickets and related fun is a way forward. Little side note: the set at A38 was cancelled because of health reasons. I guess, being on the Island of Freedom can be detrimental to your health. Dust to blame? Anyway, it is a pity.
The Szitizens leaving the concert were so thrilled about it that long after the gig ended, you could hear people crying “Majooor” and others answering “Lazer”. Incredible festival spirit!
As we got addicted to MexKitchen food truck, we had to grab another quesadilla and burrito so that we are strong for the night to come.
Kings of Leon
We assumed position at the back of the main stage for the Kings of Leon gig. Our expectations were high given that this band is very popular and has been the headliner of the day. To our big surprise, the songs sounded all the same and we got actually quite bored after 7 of them. Which is longer than what we could withstand at Ellie Goulding gig, but still. If you have to spend 1.5 hours waiting for the one song that you know and want to enjoy, this seems to be a big time investments especially on such a big festival. Judging from the way people were partying around us and their yawning, I dare say, we were not the only ones having this feeling.
What also stroke me is the way the band was communicating with the crowd. They were barely speaking! And if they did, you could feel that it is pushed and not genuine. I believe people at the front were yelling and dancing like crazy, but the band seemed immune. Simply, one cannot say, this is an awesome gig with an intonation indicating that your pet has died. This does not turn anybody on.
Luckily, Kings of Leon knew what the crowd wants to hear and they served the Sex on Fire at the end (of course) and funnily enough, nobody wanted to hear more. Partly, because there is not much more to hear. Thanks to that gig, we befriended 2 Dutch girls, who were also puzzled and probably tired to enjoy the concert from in front of the stage.
MasterCard World Music Stage and Romengo
As not all our friends have money to spend the full week at the festival, we have different party companions every day of the Sziget festival. This time, we headed after the Kings of Leon to the MasterCard World Music Stage to meet with them. We ended up partying like crazy to Hungarian Gypsy band Romengo.
As many ensembles playing this type of music, including Romengo, the band members are actually all somehow related and it is kind of refreshing to see a family band. Just reminds me of Kelly Family 🙂 Anyway, the whole atmosphere of the World Music Stage is energizing and if you did not spend at least 1 concert at this stage, I dare say, you did not experience Sziget festival to the fullest.
This band had even a little 6 year old dancing traditional Gipsy dances with his mother, the lead singer, with the longest hair I have ever seen. The boy was also playing on drums and singing and you could see that it is a life experience for him. The rest of the family, all of various ages, have been playing on various instruments and singing and you could see that they are carried by the music too. A feeling that you sometimes totally miss on other stages.
After this concert ended, we went to check out the traditional Hungarian dances in Hungaricum. I find it really a nice idea to present the Hungarian culture to the festival visitors with all the glories, dances, sounds and tastes that it has. We danced a bit inside of the stage that looked like a big circular wooden hut and after decided to head north of the island to see how is the electronic music going on there.
We passed the Colosseum (too crowded and the music was not so appealing to us) and we headed to the Campfire stage. It used to be last year on the right side of the main stage, direction to the eastern side of the island. I dare say that was a better location for it as this was our second attempt to join the stage, but with all the electronic music being so loud, it was simply impossible to hear anything. Regardless of that, there have been quite some people sitting around a very small campfire and a fire brigade truck with 2 bored firemen that seemed to be rather wanting to be in the Colosseum than to listen to it from a distance.
So, maybe next year, find a better place for the stage as this is not so working out. Also, the area needs to be spacier and the fire felt a bit small. I had the feeling that last year the area, including the decorations and seats to sit and enjoy the fire were much bigger.
We decided to end the evening by the Sziget beach as we were already at that part of the island and our friends that had just a daily ticket were curious about it too. It was quite funny to see so many people with daily bracelets by the Sziget beach, probably this is the logical place to go and sit down to have some rest after the whole festival day. Also, there are not so many places to sit down and chillax, given there was a full house on that day – 90,000 people and that the festival has turned into a dust monster with no grass left.
We found even some little seashells on the beach, which I am thinking whether these are imported to give it a beach like feeling (most probably) or whether the Danube is bringing those. Anyway, we had a little rest and then accompanied our friends on the 1.5 km long walk to the exit of the festival.
I regret that I forgot to measure my steps on the Sziget festival. Last year, I had a pedometer and it was quite nice to see how I am doubling my normal daily number of steps every day. This year, we walked a lot too. If you want to avoid crowds, you just have to walk a lot.
I went to sleep with a sad feeling that this is the last night on the Island of Freedom. Because, although I am writing some improvement ideas, I am actually having an awesome festival!
And as usual, there are some more pictures from the day: