The weekend starts here – gigs, films, festivals & more
Shows, movies, concerts and cultural attractions – Budapest is always buzzing. Each week, we gather all of the important happenings taking place in our favourite city so you can plan ahead. Incorporating our regular movie guide, now updated weekly, here we showcase Budapest’s best events for the upcoming days. Get out and get involved!
What better way to blast your way into the weekend than with a 20-piece brass band all the way from California? Delving into Brazil, the Balkans and Bollywood, six trumpeters, five drummers, four trombone players, three saxophonists and two tuba players will give it full welly on the rooftop stage of the A38.
Warm-up Udvar is a month-long series of unplugged shows on Thursdays through August in the indoor hall of this engaged venue on Óbuda’s main square. Cult Szentendre act Ricsárdgír (‘Richard Gere’, ha ha) continue the noble tradition of underground music from this most artistic of communities close to Budapest.
Thursday’s highlight at the week-long Sziget Festival is this pop-rock combo from the posh side of Manchester. With fans hungry to hear fourth studio album Notes on a Conditional Form, due for release in the winter, the band play a number of random international dates – Dubai, Tokyo, Manila – before a tour of Australasia and America in the autumn. Also on the main stage today, look out for an appearance by celebrated conservationist Jane Goodall at 7pm and ex-Verve frontman Richard Ashcroft at 7.45pm – backstage could be interesting.
Full agenda here
All the way from Greece, olives, oils and soaps are laid out for sale at this one-off market at a studio halfway along Ráday utca. The event is the fruit of the labours of Honest Toil, a UK-Hungarian-Greek venture which produces extra-virgin, unfiltered olive oil from the tiny village of Kyparissia in Messinia, in the far south-west of the Peloponnese. The olives are hand-picked and pressed within 24 hours. The oil is then distributed by cargo-bike – or brought up to Budapest for markets such as this one.
Hungary’s most celebrated saxophonist Mihály Dresch performs with his quartet – cimbalom player, double bassist and drummer – to create a unique fusion of jazz, folk and something distinctly Central European. An experience not to be missed.
Virtuoso violinist Félix Lajkó livens up the Global Village at the Sziget Festival on Friday night with another edgy, engaged performance – his 2019 album created with Polish stringsmen Volosi earned rave reviews. Earlier in the evening, this showcase for world music also hosts Gypsy band Besh o droM at 8.15pm – but try not to miss the raucous garage thrash of tremendous Turkish trio the Ringo Jets, bringing the spirit of Iggy to the IBIS Presents Europe Stage at 8.30pm.
Full agenda here
Looking for all the world like an apothecary from the 1700s, the Flying Bird Tea House in District VII offers the perfect surroundings for you to find out everything you wanted to know about tea. Here, English-friendly expertise allows you to identify the various kinds by taste and smell, and understand the ancient art of tea-making.
Every Saturday in summer, the Lick The Click! DJ collective gets the crowd moving for Budapest’s best daytime party. Spin masters Isu, Crimson and Chrome make waves on the bobbing Danube.
These pesky Italians fuse alt-rock with a little Afrobeat, a soupçon of soul and a large helping of electronica to come up with some quite unique. See them on the IBIS Presents Europe Stage at Sziget, before compatriots Coma Cose follow with uplifting indie jangle. Main slot on the main stage for Saturday night has wisely been given over to Cincinnati’s finest, The National, a live act of global renown.
Full agenda here
In a concert attached to the Budapest Summer Festival, an annual open-air event staged on Margaret Island and here in the green space of Városmajor near Széll Kálmán tér in Buda, evergreen Hungarian rock band PUF give an acoustic show covering their 35-year career of making music.
Hats off to veteran DJ Palotai, who still has the chops to take the bow of the A38 Ship and keep it rocking all Sunday afternoon. Bringing in every kind of beat genre, this graduate from the Tilos school of music has been keeping it real for nearly three decades. Fun fact: his father was a referee at two World Cups.
6pm – : SUP Budapest Falling Stars tour
Setting off from the Római embankment up in Óbuda, the folks at SUP Budapest plan on making the most of a night when the sky will be filled with shooting stars with a communal paddle along the Danube. SUPpers make their way to Lupa island, where a campfire and barbecue await.
Sold out the first night on Friday, this is your second chance to hunt for falling stars while a symphony orchestra plays and wine flows. Held at the Buda Open-Theatre, up where light pollution is less hazardous, this gaze at the heavens comes with a scientific presentation in Hungarian – but which time the celestial pageant and chilled Chardonnay should have worked their magic. Take bus 21 from Széll Kálmán tér to Csillebérc, Gyermekvasút.
Daft Punk recently produced this crowd-pleasing Aussie indie act, their tunes seaside-tinged and soulful. Now based in Berlin after forming in Byron Bay, this electro-pop five-piece have lined up a bunch of shows from Oslo to Torino, presenting tunes from their eponymous debut album and sundry catchy singles. Earlier, on the same Mastercard Stage by A38, IAMDDB opens proceedings with Lusitanian-infused Mancunian rap at 5pm.
Full agenda here
If you’d like to see English-friendly films, mainly blockbusters, your best bet is always Cinema City, especially the ones at Allee or Aréna, sometimes at Campona and WestEnd. Budapest’s art-house film theatres mainly focus on artsy and indie films, while the Bem Cinema brings back the classics to the big screen, almost always in English.
This weekend’s English-friendly film selection:
- Casablanca – “Of all the gin joints…” Everyone’s favourite film, in timeless English audio with Hungarian subtitles at the Bem Cinema on Saturday. More details
- Mad Max: Fury Road – apocalyptic japes in original English audio and Hungarian subtitles at the Budapest Rooftop Cinema on Saturday. More details
Other films on view:
- Angry Birds 2 at CinemaCity – occasional screenings in English at Allee and Aréna
- Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw at CinemaCity – Jason Statham gets even
- Spider-Man: Far From Home at CinemaCity – Peter Parker does Europe
- The Lion King at CinemaCity – remake of the 1994 Disney smash
- Vita & Virginia at CinemaCity – writerly romance in inter-war London