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Sziget 2020 cancelled as Hungary extends events ban

Sziget, Balaton Sound, Volt Festival and more have been cancelled after Hungary joined its neighbours in prohibiting large-scale summer events

By IQ on 30 Apr 2020

Music will return to Hungary's Island of Freedom next summer, says Sziget

Music will return to Budapest's Island of Freedom next summer, says Sziget

Sziget, one of Europe’s largest and popular music festivals, will not take place in 2020, promoters have announced, as Hungary extends its ban on large-scale events until mid-August.

In a press conference this morning (30 April), Gergely Gulyás, Hungarian head of the prime minister’s office, announced that while some restrictions will be eased beginning the week of 4 May, events larger than 500 people are off limits until 15 August to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Both Sziget, the seven-day, 90,000-capacity Budapest event, and its sister festival, Balaton Sound on Lake Balaton, are affected by ban, with both festivals postponed until 2021, says Superstruct-backed organiser Sziget Cultural Management.

“Sziget has always been special because of the atmosphere that you, our Szitizens, create, and we are devastated that we won’t be able to see you on the Island of Freedom [in Budapest] this summer,” reads a statement announcing Sziget’s cancellation.

“Sharing an unforgettable week with you is what keeps us going throughout the year, and while our whole team has been working very hard on preparing for the festival your Sziget adventure will now have to wait until 2021.

“We are devastated that we won’t be able to see you on the Island of Freedom this summer”

“As hard as it is, we believe that this decision best serves the safety of all of you and everyone working at our festival.”

Sziget 2020, scheduled for 5–11 August, would have featured performances from Calvin Harris, Dua Lipa, Kings of Leon, the Strokes, Asap Rocky, Major Lazy, Stormzy and more.

Hungary is the latest European country to have put the brakes on large music festivals this summer, following the Netherlands, where large events are banned until 1 September; Switzerland, Ireland, GermanyBelgium and Denmark, where a ban is in place until 31 August; and Luxembourg and Finland, which have prohibited mass gatherings until 31 July. France, meanwhile, has given mid-July as the earliest date when events could go ahead, while Austria has identified the end of June.

Among the other Hungarian festivals set to cancel are Colorado Festival (Nagykovácsi), Fishing on Orfű (Orfű) and Volt Festival (Sopron) in June, and Rock Marathon (Dunaújváros), Campus Festival (Debrecen), Bánkitó Festival (Bánk), Valley of Arts (Kapolcs), FEZEN (Székesfehérvár) and EFOTT (Lake Velence) in July, reports Hungary Today.


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