City guide
The best music festivals in and around Budapest for 2019
Photo : Rockstar Photographers

The festival season is sneaking up on us, so you can start planning your rave-cation. Whether you’re looking for rock ’n’ roll headliners, techno bangers or boutique festival frolics, there is so much musical mayhem in and around the Hungarian capital that you’re sure to find something to your liking. Here’s your go-to guide to the best musical extravaganzas for the coming months of sun and fun. See you down the front!

It might still be early in the year, but some of Hungary’s biggest festivals have already announced their major headliners. Tickets are selling fast, so it’s soon time to choose where you’ll be partying this summer.

Kolorádó Festival VOLT Festival, Sopron Balaton Sound, Zamárdi EFOTT, Lake Velence Samsara Festival, Töreki Forest Sziget Festival STRAND Festival, Zamárdi B.MY.LAKE, Keszthely

Kolorádó Festival

Hidden away in a big forest, on the border of Budapest and mother nature, Kolorádó welcomes mellow merrymakers for five days of live music and fresh-air fun. During the day it is super chilled here with revellers discovering their artsy side, while after the sun goes down, everyone dances under the starry skies till dawn. This year, the biggest names are Americans Kurt Vile & The Violators and Yves Tumor, the UK’s Ben UfoCall Super and Broken English ClubDeena Abdelwahed from Tunisia, Umwelt from Lyon, Belgium’s Cocaine Piss and many more musical acts. More information and tickets are available on the Kolorádó Festival website.

 

 

When: 19-22 June

How to get there: Bus 63 from Hűvösvölgy to Nagykovácsi.

VOLT Festival, Sopron

The annual VOLT Festival has been one of Hungary’s greatest good-time gatherings for two decades now. Drawing world-famous musicians of diverse genres along with local acts, VOLT fills a forested campground in the hills above the western city of Sopron for four days. Main-stage performers for this year’s festival include Slipknot, Slash, Parov Stelar, Robin Schulz and LP. In addition, open-air pubs, one-off shows, outdoor yoga and other colourful attractions also draw crowds. More information and tickets are available on the VOLT Festival website.

When: 26-29 June

How to get there: Frequent trains run from Keleti station to Sopron, journey time 2hrs 30min. See more info here.

Balaton Sound, Zamárdi

For fans of electronica, the southern shore of Lake Balaton is the place to be in early July. Taking place on the grassy lakefront recreation area in Zamárdi, this sun-splashed celebration annually attracts herds of swimsuit-clad party people from all around the world. Every year an ever-increasing number of festivalgoers wade in the water, buzz around open-air bars and dance the days and nights away to pounding tunes, so secure your ticket soon. This summer’s headliners include Armin Van Buuren, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, J Baldvin, Future, G-Eazy, Tiesto, Marshmello, Paul Kalkbrenner, Rudimental, Don Diablo and many other crowd-pulling names. More information and tickets are available on the festival website.

When: 3-7 July

How to get there: Trains from Budapest Déli take 1hr 30min to Zamárdi. See more info here.

EFOTT, Lake Velence

Hungary’s biggest student party conquers Lake Velence again to provide lively daytime activities and cool concerts for an entire week – and all just 50 kilometres south-west of Budapest. The biggest names have not yet been announced, but several popular Hungarian bands are already secured. For more details, check out the EFOTT website

When: 9-15 July

How to get there: Trains leave Budapest Déli and Kelenföld for Velence, journey time 30min.

Samsara Festival, Töreki Forest

Samsara Festival is the realm of neo hippies: a psychedelic meet-up for fans of yoga, music, dance and nature, held in the privately owned Töreki forest near Siófok between 3-11 August. By day the festival features talks with yoga instructors, therapists, psychologists, doctors and healers, while at night you can party to psychedelic trance music. The festival features 150 yoga workshops, sessions and lectures, followed by over 140 music artists and DJs. More details and tickets are available on the festival website.

When: 3-11 August

How to get there: Although easiest by car, you can also take the train to Siófok from Budapest Déli or Kelenföld, journey time 1hr 20min. From Siófok station, buses (€4) run every 2-4hrs to the festival site, or a taxi costs €16 for up to four people. See the festival website for details.

Sziget Festival

The highlight of summer in Hungary is the Sziget Festival, a week-long jamboree that’s taking place this year between 7-13 August. This is one of the largest festivals in Europe. In 2019, fans can look forward to Ed Sheeran, the Foo Fighters, Florence and The Machine, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots, Kodaline, Son Lux, The 1975 and a plethora of Hungarian and international bands. In addition to cool concerts, all kinds of fun activities feature on this Island of Freedom.

When: 7-13 August

How to get there: Take the HÉV train from Batthyány tér or the Buda side of the Margaret Bridge to Filatorigát, then follow the crowds. Alternatively, boats leave from various points in the city centre.

STRAND Festival, Zamárdi

Music lovers can let loose at the STRAND Festival, where numerous international headliners take the stage, including Jason Derulo, Bastille, John Newman, Anne Marie and many more, alongside several local performers. Besides the music shows, revellers can challenge themselves with adventurous activities, chill out at the many lounging spots or enjoy the adjacent free beach. More details and tickets are on the website.

When: 20-24 August

How to get there: Trains from Budapest Déli take 1hr 30min to Zamárdi. See more info here.

B.MY.LAKE, Keszthely

Sweeping Lake Balaton views serve as the backdrop for nearly 100 DJs spinning epic electronica amid sprawling greenery at the B.my.lake festival in Keszthely. This late-summer extravaganza brings renowned music masters ashore, performing amid unique visual and sound effects. The line-up has yet to be finalised yet. More details and tickets are available on the festival website.

When: 22-25 August

How to get there: Trains leave regularly from Budapest Déli to Keszthely. See more info here.