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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!

Friday, 13 May

AQB Open House
From Friday evening onwards, Art Quarter Budapest is hosting its Open House weekend festival. Studios and workshops will be open to the public, and the centre will offer activities from visiting the cellar system to going out to the roof terrace, as well as many exhibitions, art pedagogy and creative classes, guided tours, music and dances. All takes place in an art complex in distant south Buda. Event details

Kid Francescoli
French electro-pop outfit Kid Francescoli started out with Mathieu Hocine, writing tunes about and for American Julia Minkin, whom he met in New York. Several people have joined since then, Sarah Rebecca, from French 79, Italian-Moroccan singer Nassee, as well as Alizée alias iOni. Four performers with fundamentally different styles will play at the Akvárium Klub on Friday, singing in English, French and Portuguese and showcasing their fifth albumLovers. Event details

Bladerunnaz presents MUNRROE.
A chance to party outside on the A38, this helping of UK drum and bass courtesy MUNRROE. kicks off a series of sunset Friday sessions by international mixmasters showcased on the Danube. Event details

Saturday, 14 May

Art Deco Budapest
Running until the end of August, the exhibition Art Deco Budapest – Posters, Lifestyle & the City (1925-1938) at the Hungarian National Gallery gives a comprehensive picture of the visual culture of the period between the wars in the form of furniture, clothing, films and urban spaces, with the focus on Hungarian poster art and modern metropolitan life. Most of the more than 250 works of art are very rarely put on display, or even seen by the public before. For a more detailed look, see our longer feature article here. Event details

FIRST Fifth Birthday Festival
One of the pioneers of the craft-beer revolution here in Budapest, FIRST celebrates its birthday on the second Saturday in May. For the past five years, their brews have constantly hit the mark, and ridden the trend for quality beer. To celebrate this, a family picnic is being organised at the tap room in Újpest, with live music and a hog roast, while the little ones can have fun on the bouncy castle and other creative activitiesEvent details

Steampunk Design Market
Steampunk is a blend of classic Victorian sci-fi and fantasy, combining the technology of the era with the elegance of the Victorian period. This style will be in focus at the Steampunk Design Market: on display will be gogglescorsets, accessories, lace, jewellery, all fantastic and practical stuff, and you can also meet the designers and creators. After a lecture on the costumes of the era, a fashion show and Goth-Rock-Metal belly dancers end the day. Anyone arriving in steampunk attire can take part in Dr Leslie Aromo’s photo session. Event details

Festival favourite Darren Foreman, better known as Beardyman, is a British multi-vocalist, musician and comedian from London renowned for his beatboxing skills and use of live looping. A hit at Glasto, Coachella and Fuji Rocks, Beardyman will be performing live at Trafó alongside guests Foli. Event details

Nick Cave/This Much I Know to Be True
An intimate portrait of the Australian singer and, as we find out here, lockdown ceramicist. We also see his remarkable musical collaboration with long-term Bad Seed Warren Ellis, though you may have to sit through no little noodling. Look out for a reliably combative Marianne Faithfull, worth the admission alone. Screened at the fabulous Uránia National Film Theatre in original English with Hungarian subtitles. Event details

Sunday, 15 May

Between Heaven and Hell - The Enigmatic World of Hieronymus Bosch  
With this careful selection of nearly 90 artefacts, including 11 hand-painted images, the Museum of Fine Arts seeks to present the eternal human themes that Hieronymus Bosch depicts in his works. The aim is to bring his world to life, to evoke the spiritual and visual culture of the late Middle Ages by presenting ideas about human existence, interpreting human life as an earthly pilgrimage, with all its crossroads, sinful mazes and sensual detours. In addition to his own paintings and drawings, distinctive pieces by his students, will also be on display. Event details

Annual event Budapest100 opens doors otherwise closed to the public, allowing visitors to stroll around private buildings of historical and architectural significance. Each year, a different area or theme is chosen – this weekend, it’s Buda Castle and surroundings. Experts are on hand to shed light on certain features, and for non-Hungarian speakers, Budapest100 shows a side of the city otherwise never seen by outsiders, one of ornate courtyards and gorgeous interiors. The heritage Castle District has also been the scene of many painstaking renovations in recent times. Free of charge. Event details

Explore the Gallery – From the Crypt to the Dome
Another in this welcome series of guided tours of the Hungarian National Gallery in English, this hour-long tour  allows visitors to see, among other things, the Habsburg Palatine Crypt and the beautiful view from the dome of the gallery building. Tickets are an additional 1,000 forints, on top of the standard admission fee. Online purchases here or buy on the day on a first-come-first-served basis. Event details 

Hania Rani
Award-winning Polish composer and pianist Hania Rani showcases her latest compositions to the A38 audience on Sunday evening. Breaking out from her native Gdańsk, the Discovery of the Year in Poland in 2019 has since been profiled by BBC Radio 4 and had her music used on several films, as well as a commercial for Louis Vuitton. In her shows, she digs deep into complex feelings and memories to create new musical landscapes and forms. Event details


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