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Hungarian festival triumphs over adversity

Hungary’s Paloznaki Jazzpiknik pulled in close to 25,000 fans across three days for its 11th edition despite unpredictable weather threatening to shut down the festival.

Held near Lake Balaton from 3-5 August, the sold-out event featured the likes of Nik West, Rick Astley, Dirty Loops, Thievery Corporation, Incognito and Level 42. More than 40 acts performed over four stages.

But having prepared for the worst weather in the festival’s 12-year history, co-owner and director Orsolya Valde tells IQ it was a minor miracle it emerged unscathed this year.

“Although it looked like we might have to cancel two days out of three, we were able to hold it as planned, without any danger and with an unbelievably happy audience,” says Valde. “It was quite touching to see how the audience and the performers welcomed each other with great enthusiasm despite the changeable weather conditions, and closed this year’s Piknik with unforgettable concert experiences.”

“The weather forecast was so bad that it looked like the festival would have to stop at 7pm”

With turbulent conditions forecast for the festival’s second day, organisers brought forward the programme by 90 minutes, starting with Swedish pop-funk-jazz fusion trio Dirty Loops, followed by American electronic duo Thievery Corporation. However, the weather turned out better than expected and the remainder of the festival was able to proceed as planned.

“The weather forecast was so bad that it looked like the festival would have to stop at 7pm because of the supercells coming straight towards the festival,” notes Valde. “But the supercell – which caused huge damage throughout Europe, including Hungary – miraculously avoided the venue.”

The organisers have announced that Paloznak Jazzpiknik will return from 1-3 August 2024, with line-up and tickets details to be announced this winter.

Acts to have played the festival in previous years include The Jacksons, Jamie Cullum, Soul II Soul, Kool & the Gang and Jazzanova.


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