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The weekend starts here – gigs, films, festivals & more

Shows, 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. Get out and get involved!

Thursday

5pm – 9pm:StylewalkeraroundDistrict V Revived after a couple of years’ grace, the popular Stylewalker event allows the public to become more familiar with Hungarian brands around the city centre, meet some of the designers and enjoy a little entertainment at the same time. Star guest is singer Odett, with other musicians appearing at MONO, Paloma and wonderLAB.

6pm – : Telekom Electronic Beats Festival at the Akvárium Klub

Running over three nights from Thursday through Saturday, this major DJ festival at Budapest’s prime city-centre nightspot, the Akvárium Klub, features key Berlin beatmaster duo Modeselektor, Dutch-Iranian singer Sevdaliza and Stuttgart rhythm king Danilo Plessow, the one-man Motor City Drum Ensemble. Three halls host this annual event and various types of ticket bundles are available.

8pm – 10.20pm:Keep FloydingatMüpa With the alternate title of 40 Years of The Wall, Keep Floyding celebrate both the milestone anniversary of this seminal album and their own 20 years of performing songs by the UK’s rock superstars. Using the latest video technology and multi-layered projections, KF honour the PF original and the tour it spawned.

8pm – 9.45pm:Voicingers Festivalat theFonó Club Conceived in Poland and brought over to Budapest to be staged at the city’s prime club for folk and ethnic music, the Fonó down in Buda, Voicingers is a series of concerts and workshops aimed at encouraging young people to express themselves through music. Among the performers are Manu Domergue, a Franco-Polish singer and mellophone player, whose Pebble in the Shoe also features a pianist from Slovakia, a double-bass player from Poland and a drummer from Hungary. Look out, too, for acclaimed Hungarian jazz singer Veronika Harcsa, due to appear on Saturday night.

Friday

11pm Vice City Party at the A38 Ship

Revisit the ’80s as you hit the dance floor at the A38 Ship, Budapest’s most iconic party venue moored on the Buda side near Petőfi Bridge.

1.30pm – :JudafestinDistrict VII From guided tours around the Great Synagogue to slam poetry and other cultural performances, family-friendly workshops, games and gastronomy, Judafest offers three days of authentic attractions in the heart of Budapest’s Jewish Quarter around Klauzál tér. Some, such as the walking tours, require registration and some are more English-friendly than others, but there’s enough going on to warrant the trek to Klauzál tér to take a look. There are also three exhibitions set up around the market hall there. The festival runs from Friday lunchtime to early evening, then again from Saturday night, and all day Sunday.

7pm – :Classic Tribute FestivalatDürer Kert Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Iron Maiden all play Budapest on the same night – or rather, their Hungarian interpreters, Led Zeppers, DC ’79 and Iron Maidnem, who have learned these bands’ tunes and moves, and have the chops to carry it off on stage. Hungary’s Judas Priest tribute band should be admired for having the gall to call themselves Judas Best, while Toto should be flattered that they have a Magyar counterpart called Hold The Line.

8pm – :MagnéticatTrafó In a co-production with the Pompidou in Paris, four jugglers of the French Jérôme Thomas company bend geometry and baffle the audience with elegant movements, long sticks and white balls. Juggling has never looked so exquisite – nor contemporary circus. The show is also being staged at the same time on Saturday night, but the Friday performance features a discussion with the artists afterwards.

8pm – 11pm:Codiac Liveat theBrody Studios Start the weekend with some heartfelt Americana, delivered by tattooed acoustic duo Codiac Live at the convivial Brody Studios. Order an evening meal and sink into a few tales of the downcast, later due for an airing on the band’s debut album, Love, Loss & the Bottle.

Saturday

All day:European Heritage Daysacross town

For this annual two-day event taking place on Saturday and Sunday,  buildings such as the Historical Archives of the Hungarian State Security and the National Archives are opened for the public to admire their architectural value as part of European Heritage Days. It’s not all imposing officialdom otherwise closed off to the outside world – you can also enjoy strolling around the Buda villa and landscaped gardens where legendary pianist Ernő Dohnányi lived before the war. Perhaps the most unusual landmark is the Kőbánya Water Reserve, a wonder of industrial architecture only open once a year.

2pm – :KAFF Day 2019at theUránia National Film Theatre 

Standing for the Kecskemét Animated Film Festival, KAFF is when Budapest’s venerable Uránia Film Theatre screens a whole day of recent Hungarian animated short films and features, starting at 2pm with the incomparable Milorad Krstić, whose Ruben Brandt, Collector has won great international acclaim. Dialogue for this is in Hungarian, but there’s not much dialogue, just 96 minutes of fast and furious action. Bookending the event at 8pm, The Breadwinner, a co-production between Ireland, Canada and Luxembourg, is being shown in English with Hungarian subtitles. Based in Kabul, the film tells the story of 11-year-old Parvana, who gives up her identity to provide for her family and try to save her father's life.

6pm – 8pm:Romeo + Julietat theBem cinema Soundtracked by the Butthole Surfers and Radiohead, this modern-day cinematic interpretation of the Shakespeare tragedy didn’t please the critics but recouped its production costs tenfold at the box office. An impossibly young Leonardo DiCaprio helped, wooing Claire Danes at a Verona Beach party, 16th-century Italy transported to New York State 400 years later. Screening in English with Hungarian subtitles.

9pm – 6am: Earthdanceat theDürer Kert 

What better reason to dance than a global peace party, at which dozens of DJs from psychedelic trance labels such as Future Music, Kamino Records and Forestdelic spin their magic for the greater good. Four locations, around the sprawling Dürer Kert venue, including the garden, will be hosting the event so you can dip in and out as you please.

Sunday

11am – 2pm:Notebooks from Recycled PaperatMassolit As part of the three-day Judafest event (see Friday), English-language bookstore Massolit on Nagy Diófa utca is hosting a notebook-making workshop on Sunday. The notebooks will be made entirely from recycled paper. Visitors may bring their own material or can use the paper provided. The event is free to attend and takes place in English.

5pm – :Cheeky at theMyBudapest Photo Project on Madách tér

To close this open exhibition on central Madách Imre tér, the Cheeky choir from Csíkszereda (Miercurea Ciuc) in Transylvania will be singing traditional folk songs from around the region. This is also your last chance to see this unique series of photos of Budapest as envisaged through the eyes of the city’s homeless. Participants received single-use cameras so they could share their experiences, and reveal the reality of their lives on the margins of society.

8pm – :Halper Experimentat theBudapest Jazz Club Featuring guest singer Franciska Törőcsik, five-piece combo the Halper Experiment provide their own jazzy take on the tunes of Jimi Hendrix, with a little sax and keyboard improv thrown in. Halper is guitarist László, ably supported by drummer Zsolt Kosztyu and bass player László Hajas.

8.30pm – : Marissa Nadler at the A38 Ship

Boston-based singer/songwriter Marissa Nadler visits Budapest to promote her latest releases, Droneflower and, created with John Cale of Velvets fame, Poison. For My Crimes from 2018 also garnered critical acclaim and healthy sales. Nadler straddles the border between indie folk and dream pop, her voice a distinctive conduit of sorrow and regret. She plays the A38 Ship, moored on the Buda bank near Petőfi Bridge.

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