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Publication

Market Report: Hungary

The annual guide to the global live entertainment ticketing business
Click the interactive map below to explore the top 40 global markets

Inflation is high and the forint is weak against the Euro – which, like Poland and the Czech Republic, the country has never adopted, despite joining the union in 2004 – making Hungary an appealing destination for international festival-seekers, albeit with implications for events paying international fees.

 

PRIMARY TICKETING

The leading ticketing brand in Hungary is Interticket’s Jjegy.hu, which offers around 35,000 events annually. In a city that represents a regional hub for blockchain technology, Interticket is a co-founder of the Blockchain Competence Center and a leading developer of smart city applications.

Ticketpro operates the Funcode.hu brand and handles local Live Nation events, among other things. Other players include regional operator Ticketportal, Jegymester, Tixa, and Eventim’s TEX (formerly Ticket Express) which operates as Eventim.hu.

“Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, the entertainment business and ticketing are facing an exciting time”

“Now that the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, the entertainment business and ticketing are facing an exciting time – and large festivals are once again happening this year,” says TEX managing director, Gyula Kovácska.

Budapest’s Sziget Cultural Management, home of the flagship festival which that is 70%-owned by Superstruct, operates its own ticketing platform and has helped to pioneer cashless payment systems in Hungary. Fellow Hungarian festivals Telekom VOLT Festival and Balaton Sound are within the same group.

 

DISTRIBUTION OF SALES

In Hungary, the most popular options by far are mobile and online.

 

VALUE OF MARKET

There are no published estimates of the value of the Hungarian live business.

 

SECONDARY TICKETING

Hungary doesn’t have sufficient unsatisfied demand to spawn a thriving secondary sector. Sziget recommends TicketSwap for those with unwanted tickets.

 

INTERNATIONAL / DOMESTIC SPLITS & GENRES

Hungarian music doesn’t typically travel all that far, but there is plenty of it, and some Hungarian bands – homegrown rappers Halott Pénz, pop-rockers Bagossy Brothers Company, hard-rockers Mobilmánia, and pianist Balázs Havasi – operate at arena-level on home turf, particularly when there are no passing international superstars to fill the reliably busy Papp László Budapest Sportaréna.

Hungary draws an international crowd, too.

Hungary draws an international crowd, too. At Sziget, which returned in 2022 for the first time since 2019, CEO Tamás Kádár says the breakdown between domestic and international visitors was roughly 50/50. “I don’t have the final numbers in front of me but, based on pre-sales, Netherlands, the UK, Ireland, Germany, France, and Italy were the biggest countries, with the Hungarians, of course,” he told IQ.

Held from 10-15 August in Budapest, the latest edition of the 80,000-cap Sziget festival boasted a star-studded bill headlined by Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, Justin Bieber, Kings of Leon, and Tame Impala. Organisers say a combined 450,000 people attended across the six days of the event.

 

CULTURAL ANALYSIS

In December 2021, Budapest took delivery of a new 20,000-capacity multi-purpose arena, the MVM Dome, in the capital’s Népliget area. Built for handball, but with obvious broader potential, the venue has a cube-shaped 216-square- metre LED scoreboard and an 800-square-metre LED video wall on its façade.

 

TAXES & CHARGES

Hungary maintains the highest standard rate of VAT in Europe at 27%, though better deals are available to promoters under the right circumstances. Open-air festivals over a certain size pay at a rate of 18%. Promoters below a certain turnover can also claim exemption.

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