Greetings my dear friends of the Internet – it’s me, Fiona (okay so you probably already knew that)
I haven’t been as active on here recently as I would have liked to be. This is my excuse: I was at a festival where it was just three days of immersing myself in music and when I got back I couldn’t find my usual rhythm again.
In fact, I wish I could say I’ve been productive since getting back but I really haven’t been at all. My new home has been my hammock that my mum bought for me (thanks mum <3) and I’ve just been a couch potato (or should I say hammock potato?) while sipping iced coffee. I promise to be back on track in the next few days though, I’ve missed reading all of your posts and interacting with you!
My laziness aside, I simply had to share my festival experience with all of you because it was some of the best money I have ever spent on a trip and I had the best time with one of my best friends! I created a Sziget playlist of all of the songs we heard (that I can remember at least) as a way for you to also get a taste of the music too! You can find it at the end of this post.
Thursday, DAY 1
We got up early and took the train to Budapest, stopping for some breakfast on the way. I mostly just listened to music and slept on the train ride there. When we arrived, we walked to our hotel, checked in and mostly just relaxed in our room before getting ready for the festival.
16:00 Departure from hotel
We made a quick stop at some monuments right outside of our hotel and took some photos. Budapest is honestly one of the most beautiful European cities I have ever been to.
The festival is on a small island in Budapest and we needed to figure out a way to get there – we ended up walking around the City for ages, trying to find various bus and tram stations and finally arrived on the Island at around half past 5, which meant it took our confused asses nearly 2 hours to get there! (without having paid for a single ticket – oops. Don’t worry, we bought a 3-day bus/tram/train ticket before we drove back to the hotel)
18:30 Unknown Mortal Orchestra
If you have been following my Monthly Music playlists for a while, you know that I freaking love Unknown Mortal Orchestra to death. They are one of my favourite bands, so getting to see them live was like a dream come true and a great way to kick off the festival. Their performance was so, so good and I had a blast dancing and singing (more like screaming) my ass off to their songs.
Apart from their most popular songs like “So Good At Being In Trouble”, “Necessary Evil” and “Multi-Love”, they also played a lot of songs of their newest album, Sex and Food – “Hunnybee“, “Everyone Acts Crazy Nowadays”, “Ministry of Alienation” and “Not In Love We’re Just High”.
This was one of the concerts I was so hyped for. I had previously missed the chance to see the Gorillaz in Austria, so being able to see them live at Sziget was beyond exciting. By the way, thank you Rayan for recommending I listen to their new album in my Monthly Music post of May, it prepared me a lot for singing along (and their new album is awesome) and just ensured that I had a great time.
The concert itself was freaking AMAZING, I mean woah, those guys really know what it takes to do a show people won’t forget too easily. What I liked about the whole experience was that I got to see the full spectrum of people who went to the festival; People both old and young, all dancing and singing along in the giant mass of a crowd, having an unforgettable time together. It was honestly such a surreal moment to be standing in the midst of a crowd who loved the Gorillaz as much as I did and I can say that without a doubt, this concert is one of the best I’ve ever been to.
Another thing about the concert was that it was 2 hours long – I repeat, 2 WHOLE HOURS! They played so many of their songs, from classics (“Feel Good Inc.”, “Clint Eastwood”, “DARE”,..) to songs from the last few years (“Melancholy Hill”, “Plastic Beach”, “Saturnz Barz”, “Andromeda”, “Carnival”,..) to their latest songs from their album The Now Now (“Humility”, “Souk Eye”, “Tranz”,..).
23:15 Wired Aerial Theatre: As The World Tipped
Aside from music, the Island of Freedom also offered different theatre and dance performances. One of those was the Wired Aerial Theatre, who performed on every day of the week. We didn’t get to see the whole show, as we were just coming from the Gorillaz concert and had missed the beginning but what they did was amazing. It’s hard to explain, so I’ll just leave it at that but for those of you interested, I’m sure Google or the Sziget website will give you some more insight into what exactly they do.
01:30 Alle Farben
Alle Farben is a German artist, who is very popular in Austria and Germany. I’m not his biggest fan, but still really wanted to go and check him out and really enjoyed the whole show. It was a great way to end day one and we left the island happy but ready for a good night’s sleep.
03:00 – 04:45 A recipe for disaster
Those plans quickly flew out of the window when we ended up lost in the middle of Budapest, both of our phones having died at the same time. We wandered around FOR AGES trying to find the right bus stop, M close to tears, me just mostly fed up. We gave up after roughly an hours search and took a taxi ride to our hotel. Needless to say, we were relieved when we finally arrived safely back in our room at around quarter to five and collapsed onto our beds. Three words: OUR FEET HURT.
Friday, DAY 2
We got up, had some breakfast while feeling absolutely exhausted, went back to our room and slept until 2 pm. It was the best nap ever. Feeling refreshed, we got ourselves ready and I braided M’s hair. We learned to put our hair up on the first day because it was roughly 30+°C everyday and standing in crowds + sweating your ass off = no fun.
17:45 The Kooks
The Kooks were amazing! Seeing them live in action brought back memories from my 16-year-old self, hanging out with friends and getting ready to go out clubbing for the first time.
19:30 Parov Stelar
Parov Stelar is Austrian, which pretty much meant that we owed it to our country to go and watch! This was one of the most lively and energetic concerts we saw, the crowd was massive all around us, even though we opted to sit on a patch of grass in the back and have some food. Everyone around us was dancing and having a good time, it was quite a scene to watch unfold and everyone’s happiness was contagious!
21:30 Lana Del Rey
This was the main reason I came to Sziget festival – as a Lana Del Rey fan since I was about 12, it’s always been my dream to see her perform live. We arrived at the stage super early to get a good view of the stage and I can say without a doubt that this was my favourite concert of the entire festival. It was everything I dreamed of and so much more.
Lana was super interactive with the crowd, even taking song requests and taking the time to talk to the fans in the first row, taking pictures with them and even accepting some of their gifts. My favourite memory is probably when we saw an old man in the first row, who wanted to have his CD’s signed by her. He just looked like an incredibly sweet guy and Lana was so attentive and kind to him. That’s probably the first time I got this overwhelming wave of emotions rushing over me – I just felt so incredibly lucky to be there, to see her, to be able to experience it all.
From that moment onwards, my eyes teared up a few times throughout the whole concert. It’s strange to think back on it now, about M and I standing in a crowd with some great energy, both of us (and others around us) trying to fight the tears. I’ve never had an experience like that at a concert and can honestly say that it was just so, so special.
23:45 Asaf Avidan
We decided stop by the Asaf Avidan concert last, as we just wanted to see if he was any good live. I guess it was okay, though I did expect more and was mildly disappointed when we left. He talked more than he actually sang, which just annoyed me after a certain amount of time. But I am still so impressed by his voice. It’s one of the most unique singing voices in the music industry right now and it showed when he performed – I’ve never heard anything like it before. We called it an early night, as we were still tired from the previous day and decided to stay longer on Saturday. I slept so well that night!
Saturday, DAY 3
18:00 The Loser Show
….was what the name promised; a loser show. There’s really no better way to describe it and we didn’t stay for long.
19:00 Flag Party
The flag party was the union of different countries and their people, it was a way to show where you’re from and celebrate that with others. Festival-goers had bought huge flags for this occasion, all of us standing patiently in a massive international crowd, waiting for the festivities to begin.
I didn’t have the best experience there, as a girl drunk out of her mind kept waving her flag into my face and slapping me with it ON PURPOSE – either that or she just didn’t care (which is probably more likely) And then, when I thought I had lost her in the crowd she was beside me again, jumping around with her flag annoying everyone (and I really mean every. single. person) around her. The cherry on top was that she even jumped on my foot to the end of the party. I felt like I was being stalked by a flag-waving demon.
An incredibly energetic show and crowd, I felt like all I was doing was jumping up and down with the crowd, screaming word after word. Bastille is one of those bands I don’t listen to actively, but rather in the car when they’re on the radio but damn, their concert made me want to listen to all of their songs.
21:30 Mumford & Sons
For Mumford and Sons we sat at the back of the crowd in some gras because we wanted a break from the huge crowds. We didn’t really see the stage from there but still got to hear the music and watch the show unfold on a big screen. Gradually people in our area stood up to dance; as did we and it was such a fun time! If you know some of their songs, you know that they are either very slow and romantic or very upbeat and lively.
This was the place we met some fellow Austrians! Previously we had only talked to English-speaking people, mostly from the UK or Australia, so actually hearing someone talking in German was surprising for both parties involved. I talked to both of the guys for a while before they went on to another concert. Zhu, the show we watched, was so much fun. I had never heard of the artist but just wanted to dance and it turned out to be like a giant club!
03:00 Foodies unite
It was around 3 am and we were feeling hungry. We had a drink (beer for me, Gin and Tonic for M), a bite to eat, sat under the stars for a bit before heading home. We got home at around 6 am and fell into bed.
Sunday, DAY 4
We woke up and nearly missed breakfast, stuffed some food into our systems, went upstairs to pack and checked out. This was the last day we had in Budapest, our train left in the evening. We decided to go on a little sightseeing trip to explore the city some more before we left. We took the bus to the chain bridge, which stretched across the Danube and walked over it to the other side of Budapest.
Then we just walked along the Danube for a bit, as a lot of sights are located right beide the waters. It was a very hot day with near to no share where we were, so we went the way back and stopped at a park across from our hotel and hung out there for a few hours, just talking, before heading back to the Hotel to get our suitcases and drive to the train station.
To sum up…
We saw that throughout the days we were there, as there were also speeches being held about the environment, politics and equality, the whole festival tried to lessen their waste and promote openness and inclusiveness. It was the unity of different nationalities, an explosion of love.
I made some pretty amazing memories on this trip, ones I will remember forever. Sziget, I am most definitely coming back! ❤