Even though we've bid adieu to summer festivals, there's no shortage of great popular music in autumn. If you're looking for special pop, jazz, soul, and indie rock treats, first-timers in Hungary, British alt-pop stars, up-and-coming bands from the Eastern Bloc, or the hottest local musicians, you must browse the programme of Liszt Fest.
The Liszt Fest International Cultural Festival kicked off on 7 October, bringing together the best of jazz, classical, and world music, dance, theatre, and literature for over two weeks. In our previous article, we featured some of the most exciting programmes, and now we're taking a closer look at the highlights of the popular music scene.
From pure neo-soul to groovy jazz
Hiatus Kaiyote is expected to be one of the most extravagant concerts of the festival. After a six-year hiatus, the almost uncategorisable band, which straddles the border between neo-soul and jazz-funk, released a new album last year, inspired by the life of their singer Nai Palm, who can move elemental forces on stage.
The comeback was so successful that it immediately earned them another Grammy nomination. They will play in Hungary for the first time on 16 October, on the Akvárium's stage.
French accordionist Vincent Peirani is also no stranger to coolness; he has jazzed up hits such as Marilyn Manson's This Is The New Shit, Nine Inch Nails' Copy of A, and Bishop Briggs' River, which was a hit on TikTok, on his latest album. His concert will be at the Opus Jazz Club on 21 October.
Our favourite Hungarian bands at the Margó
This year, the Margó Festival of Literature and Book Fair will be held at a new venue, the National Dance Theatre, where you can not only meet your favourite authors and poets, but also let your hair down in the evenings with literature-inspired concerts, once you're fed up with the queue for a book signing. After a year's break, Magashegyi Underground will return to the stage with renewed energy on 13 October. Bíborka Bocskor and her band have never been strangers to poetry, so it's no surprise that the main focus of this year's concert will be poetic covers: their album Titkos életem (My Secret Life) is based on poems by Krisztina Tóth.
Fran Palermo singer-songwriter Henri Gonzo's new project, Papírsárkányok (Kites), draws inspiration from contemporary Hungarian literature, and the result will be performed on 14 October. It's no secret that Platon Karataev was named after Leo Tolstoy character, so they're almost obliged to perform at Hungary's No. 1. literary festival.
Underground vibes in the Akvárium
Isolation Budapest brings together some of the most exciting performers from home and abroad. Entering the Akvárium Klub halls on 15 October, you'll meet the most exciting artists of our time for a day. Westerman is particularly worth paying attention to, with his debut album being praised by Elton John as even better than his own, but the band Black Country, New Road has also been acclaimed as the most exciting new band of 2021 by The Times.
Danish Efterklang, who gave the best concert of the year at the A38 ten years ago will perform in the Main Hall, along with THE GOA EXPRESS, who also played at Glastonbury this year, and Michelle Gurevich, whose ballads, both dark and intimate, are proving to be a hit.
Music from 12 countries and a professional conference
This year, the seventh Budapest Showcase Hub, or BUSH, which refers to itself as the club festival of the Eastern European region, will take place during the Liszt Fest. You'll be treated to real musical specialties and emerging bands: the event will bring together music from twelve countries, and the professional conference, which will once again be hosted by Fészek Artists' Club, will gather the best of the national and international scene.
The festival will feature performances by Ivan Dorn from Ukraine with his message of solidarity, Fran Vasilić from Croatia with her soft, chill pop tunes and Amelie Siba from the Czech Republic, who will be capturing her coming-of-age story in her diary-like songs.
The line-up will also include foreign acts such as Daniel Levi, Sofia Zadar, Monikaze, GranCanada, Jann, Zimbru, OIEE, and Lash & Grey. Among the local acts, we should highlight the MÖRK band, who will be performing at the Rumbach Street synagogue on 20 October, while Zoli Beck's daughter boebeck will be playing in Központ on 21 October.
For further information about the detailed programme and events of the Liszt Fest International Cultural Festival, visit this page.