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"Europe's answer to Glastonbury" drew in a crowd of over half a million people to the the Danube river to celebrate its 26th anniversary
By Molly Long on 17 Aug 2018
Sziget Festival, located on Hungary’s Óbudai-sziget island, celebrated its 26th anniversary in 2018 with its biggest crowd to date, a mammoth 565,000 people across seven days. Coming in as Europe’s fifth largest festival and labelled as the continent’s answer to Glastonbury, this year’s Sziget welcomed over 1,000 performers over 60 different stages.
With organisers taking pride in the diversity of its event, this year’s lineup featured acts from multiple different genres, making its way from Stormzy to Seasick Steve and still finding time for an Abba tribute act along the way. Headline sets came from Kendrick Lamar, Artic Monkeys, Gorillaz, Lana Del Rey, Mumford & Sons and Kygo.
Sunday saw Albanian-British popstar Dua Lipa play her first ever headline set. The following day, Lipa took to Instagram to reflect on her performance at Sziget, saying: “My first ever major festival headline show. What an absolute dream. I don’t know how we got here so fast but I never wanna leave.”
“The DNA of the festival, openness, love and respect, could be found in every stage”
Alongside music, “Szitizens” were also treated to a number of cultural offerings. Over at the Cirque du Sziget and Magic Mirror stage, onlookers revelled in the performance of circus troupe FAMEfatale. Elsewhere, art installations and sculptures dotted the island’s landscape, promoting this year’s “Love Revolution” theme.
Like so many other festivals this season, Sziget’s 26th edition focused much of its attention on reducing its impact on the environment. With a reusable cup system put in place, eco-camping and recycling centres, organisers hoped to reduce rubbish on site, and in keeping with the trend seen at festivals worldwide, plastic straws were banned.
Reflecting on this year’s record-smashing success, CEO of Sziget Tamás Kádár says: “We are so proud to have seen 565,000 people from all over the world join us here in the heart of Budapest.
“An international celebration of the arts, artists from over 63 different countries came to perform over 1000 programmes in seven days.
“The DNA of the festival, openness, love and respect, could be found in every stage, performance and Szitizen, and we will continue to lead the way with our love revolution.”
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