Many might be drawn to what’s happening on the Main Stage but there’s plenty going on elsewhere around the Sziget Festival. Contemporary dance, street theatre, a big circus tent staging performances every day, puppet shows, from early afternoon until late into the night, there’s something for everyone at Sziget. We select a few highlights.

Festival information

It's Sziget week! For details of how to get to Budapest's best fest, see here. For the full line-up, see here, and for tickets, here.

Theatre & dance

If you’ve just enjoyed the last concert on the Main Stage and don’t fancy going home just yet, be sure to check out Sacude's Euforia show, brought to you by Big Street Theatre from Barcelona. The piece transports you to a special world where the movements of aerial acrobats are accompanied by electronic music and a light show. You can see it every day from 11.15pm.

The Theatre-and-Dance Field location is at the foot of the hill, where you can watch the puppeteers, dancers and acrobats on two outdoor stages. At 2pm every afternoon, you can join in the movement of Máté Mészáros’ choreography The Mechanics of Distance, where everyone can become a contemporary dancer for an hour. You also learn about human relationships and trust as you do so.

Insectotròpics – The Legend of Burning Man tells the story of the Tunisian who was the spark of the Arab Spring revolution, while the spectacular dance solo Papillon by Ángel Duran from Spain deals with the theme of escape and freedom. Sándor Márkus' interactive puppet installation starts every evening at 9pm, and you can also see performances that mix dance, circus and theatre, such as PLI by Viktor Černický.

Bread and circuses

Cirque du Sziget welcomes visitors with a 1,000-capacity tent and outdoor venues from the early afternoon. Performances by five companies take turns in the tent every day. Canada’s Barcode Circus Company explore the theme of memory and relationships through a variety of acrobatic metaphors in its Sweat & Ink show.

In Desiderata by French troupe Compagnie Cabas, you see six men flying or falling in the air, catching or hitting each other, dancing, reciting poetry and undressing themselves.

The Palestine Circus School bring their performance My Share from Ramallah, while the Imre Baross Artist Training students add a touch of colour with their own adaptation Midsummer Night’s Dreamers for Sziget. Both shows start at 2pm.

Jugglers and tightrope walkers can't be left out, such as the biggest star of acrobatic juggling, the Japanese Hishashi Watanabe, who is also a body researcher. He started juggling at the age of 20, and then developed his unique style combining elements of dance and circus, using an animal-like physicality. His show demonstrating evolution from the roots to the tips of the branches awaits every day at 9pm.

No Sziget is complete without walking street theatre, this year involving giant puppets made of metal and wood, minibuses, strange creatures, living sculptures and a huge Indian sacred cow. In The Hybrid, you can play with the idea of ​​what it would be like if plants could speak, a performance by Brazilian artist Robson Catalunha.

And for a genre-defying adventure, try the Automata Carrousel installation consisting of 11 scenes, where you can watch different stories on a slowly rotating roundabout or get on Germany's smallest Ferris wheel.