With today’s government announcement that no events attracting more than 500 visitors can take place until 15 August, Sziget and other major music festivals such as VOLT and Balaton Sound have been cancelled. Summer's big-name concerts are almost sure to follow suit.

In his press briefing of 30 April, Gergely Gulyás, Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, announced new measures to combat the spread of coronavirus from 4 May. These stipulate the ban on events attracting more than 500 visitors should run until 15 August, the ongoing compulsory wearing of face masks in shops and on public transport, and the continuation of online teaching until the end of May. Open-air museums, however, will be allowed to operate.

The world-famous Sziget Festival was scheduled for August 5-11 this year, which put it squarely in the line of fire from the new directive. Festival organisers have asked people for patience while they work out a solution for refunds and the issue of using tickets valid for 2020 in 2021. The same management oversees Balaton Sound and VOLT, both major music festivals elsewhere in Hungary.

Beer and wine festivals will also have to be shelved or at least postponed, and large concert arenas such as Budapest Park, Barba Negra Track, Kobuci Kert, the Budapest Sportaréna and the Papp László Sportaréna will similarly be affected. The awaited appearances of Pearl Jam, System of a Down and others are likely to be put on ice.