Well, here we go! Last year the festival season was only picking up, but this year, it’s back in its old glory. So all we need now is good weather. With the summer officially kicking off, all the partying and fun is back in full throttle. If you wish, you can spend the whole summer going from festival to festival in and around Budapest: Sziget is no longer the only option to consider. Get your cowboy boots and flower crowns ready: here are the best festivals of the season.
Music, literature, dance and children’s programmes, gastronomy, and a craft fair await at the first festival of the summer, held in the replica of the Eger Castle near the Pilis Park Forest. Szeláví! is still a relatively new festival, celebrating its 3rd birthday this year, and will feature a full line-up of local artists on two concert stages, including Budapest Bár, Galaxisok, László Kollár-Klemencz, Jónás Vera Experiment, Aurevoir, and Carson Coma in acoustic and Platon Karataev in duo form.
This intimate and family-friendly festival, held annually in the Buda hills, has many advantages. The biggest one is that there is no cell phone coverage and no 4G, so feel free to leave your phone in your pocket and, you know, be in the moment. There are five venues at the festival, where acts – including some foreign ones – are mostly underground. This year, the French La Femme will be the main attraction, alongside local artists such as Beton.Hofi, Pogány Induló, Analog Balaton, Дeva, Henri Gonzo és a Papírsárkányok, Elefánt, and Bëlga.
For now, all we know is that there will be another Waldorfeszt this year. It will mark a jubilee, as it is held for the tenth time. The venue and the date have been confirmed, but the performers are yet to be announced, with more information to follow.
- Where: Kóspallag
- When: 8–9 July
- Tickets: There is no information on the price of single-day tickets yet, as the festival’s website is being updated, so it is worth checking it every few days for relevant information.
It is a new festival, organised only for the second time, bringing young musicians and fresh vibes to the party scene. Expect three days of concerts on four stages and a wow location: you will chill or dance on the banks of the Ráckevei-Danube. Duna-part Feszt focuses on traditional pop music, with Hungarian artists such as Azahriah, Tankcsapda, Valmar, ByeAlex és a Slepp, Carson Coma, and Bagossy Brothers Company. It is the perfect chance to get to know local musicians.
The greenest, most eco-conscious festival in Budapest and its surroundings covers the entire village of Bánk, with the picturesque lake at its centre. As well as music, you can enjoy theatre performances, games, and installations everywhere. This year’s performers include Platon Karataev, Csaknekedkislány, Freakin' Disco, Dé:Nash, Jazzbois, and Hundred Sins. No foreign acts are confirmed yet, but more announcements are expected.
Katlan is an electronic music festival and an underground one at that. It is held annually in a super stylish place, the Quarry of Tárnok. Although the list of performers is not finalised yet, the line-up includes some artists that are sure to get the crowds moving. Such as Kollektiv Turmstrasse and Andrey Pushkarev.
- Where: Tárnok
- When: 13–15 July
- Tickets: Three-day tickets are already available for HUF 24,000, see all the options here
Bass Paradise is another new festival, organised for the second time. Although it is hosted by a rock-heavy venue, it’s full-on electronic. So expect bass music, drum & bass, dubstep, and some grunting and dropping. Hungarian acts will also be featured, but the focus will be on foreign ones. The line-up will include Zomboy, Culture Shock, Dirtyphonics, Delta Heavy, and many more.
- Where: Barba Negra
- When: 20–22 July
- Tickets: Three-day tickets are currently priced at HUF 16,900 and will be available on-site or when they sell out for HUF 18,900. Single-day tickets are currently available for HUF 5,990, and when they sell out, the price will jump by a thousand, and they will cost HUF 7,990 on-site.
VéNégy Festival and Theatre Meeting
VéNégy (V4) is a small family festival with a theatrical pillar alongside music. It is in a picturesque setting on the banks of the Danube in Nagymaros. There are also foreign performers alongside local ones, though mostly lesser-known names. Performers include Dzsudló, Saya Noé, Robi Bérczesi and Frenk’s duo, OIEE, Halott Pénz, Aron Andras & The Black Circle Orchestra, the Dutch soul diva Sharon Kovacs with Hungarian roots, and the festival’s main act Kraak & Smaak, also from the Netherlands.
Harley-Davidson European 120th Anniversary Festival
The legendary motorcycle brand turns 120 years old this year. And to mark the occasion the company has decided to host a major festival in Hungary. The programme will feature a car and motorbike exhibition, test motorbike rides, stunt shows, extreme sports events, open-air cinema, H-D fashion show, circus, food truck shows, and various competitions (arm-wrestling, strongman competition, Junior Rock Guitar World Championship, beer pong). But the focus will be on music and, of course, motorbikes. Glenn Hughes will be playing Deep Purple with his band, and further acts will include Airbourne, Wolfmother, Danko Jones, The Darkness, and a wide range of local bands, from Anna and the Barbies to Edda.
Like Harley Davidson, the Sziget Festival is also a legend, albeit much younger than the motorcycle brand. It returned last year with great success, and they are ready to rock again. We’ve already compiled what’s new in a previous article, and for now, let’s just say that we’re looking forward to seeing Billie Eilish, Caroline Polachek, Sleaford Mods, and Viagra Boys, among others.