Partying by day is always feels a bit more fun, and Budapest has plenty of options for afternoon revelry under clear blue skies. Here we pick our favourite six party series for the summer season, staged at prominent spots in the city centre or on the Danube.
Six years down the line, Cinematiné still doesn’t hold frequent parties, not unless there’s a special reason, usually to showcase foreign DJ star. Of course, this does not detract from its value. Cinematine has become a known entity, just like its more regular counterparts. Including this upcoming event at RIO Budapest, Cinematiné has only held 21 parties in total, not so many over the course of six years. Modesty and quality are the key. The RIO bash starts at 2pm on 3 August and will feature a guest DJ from Holland, Eelke Klein, and Frenchman Rodriguez Jr. If you would like to carry on the fun afterwards, make tracks to the Track Terrace.
Next event: 3 August
The previous two Cruisin parties were held on boats moored on the Danube – this one will set sail. Launched in 2014, Cruisin is all about a daytime deck party driven by superior electronic dance music. Departure is 2pm and arrival is 10pm and the boat departs from the Valdemar és Nina Langlet rakpart on the Buda side between Liberty and Petőfi Bridge. Cruisin parties are not as regular as Sunburst or the Sunday Sessions, but a couple are planned for the summer. The next, on 27 July, will see DJ deity Carl Craig man the decks. It carries an admission fee, of course, but don’t forget that the Cruisin crew is also responsible for the Sziget Cruisin Boat Party, which will keep the dance ship rocking during the festival.
Next event: 27 July
LICK THE CLICK! SUNBURST
It’s now nine years since this Saturday afternoon party series started up on the upper terrace of the A38 Ship. Founded in 2005 by three DJ producers from a minimal and tech house background, the Lick The Click! collective then had a brighter idea in 2011 to adapt their club nights for party days in summer: Sunburst. We can say with conviction that this is the best daytime party in town – and it’s free! Whereas the first sessions took place between 2pm and 8pm, these days the timing falls between 4pm and 10pm, but little else has changed. If the mood is good, the DJs might just push the boat out further. Given the weather, you should be able to party at Sunburst in 30-degree heat for a good while longer.
Next event: 27 July
SUN & SODA
Launched last summer, this daytime series set itself the goal of bringing ‘a world of beaches and tropical parties’ to the terrace of the Akvárium Klub – which means to say in the very urban centre of Budapest. While this may appear tricky without certain accoutrements such as sea, the organisers do their best to create the perfect illusion with artificial grass, mini pools, deckchairs, colourful décor, plants and, last but not least, damn good music, presented in part by world-famous DJs. The monthly Sun & Soda has already been staged twice this year, courtesy of Sasha and Guy J-Henry Saiz, while Iceland’s GusGus arrives August. The party begins immediately after lunch at 1pm and goes on until ten in the evening. Things then move inside to the VOLT Lokál within the Akvárium complex.
Next event: 8 August
During summer, Sunday isn’t Sunday without the Sunday Sessions which, like Sunburst, take over the bow and terrace of the A38 Ship. It even keeps the same hours, 4pm and 10pm. The music, however, is slightly different, much more eclectic, as the DJ decks are manned by a true legend, Zsolt Palotai. It’s no exaggeration to say that all musical styles come into play. Of course, the sun is a vital factor, on Sundays we have the rest of the week behind us and the next one to look forward to, so Sunday Sessions are more like a lightly bobbing boat on the Danube than a rocking big party. Of course, dancing is allowed, if not encouraged.
Next event: 28 July
TRACK ON DECK
The latest hot daytime party in town is the Track on Deck series by the Varoom team and staged on the TRIP Boat moored by Batthyány tér. Just like the A38 boat events, these are free. The series, which starts at 5pm and closes at 10pm, has only one date left this year, 24 August, but organisers reckon that the one earlier in July was a great success and plan to have a busier agenda next year. That’s good news, as it’s quite an amazing experience to watch the Parliament building at sunset while indulging in party pleasures.
Next event: 24 August