Telekom Volt Festival

Volt draws almost 100,000 Hungarian and international guests each year to Sopron. The west Hungarian location attracts many music fans from Germany and Austria, the latter in particular because of the proximity to the border and Vienna being only a one-hour drive. Budapest is about two and a half hours by car and a number of trains depart every day from the capital to Sopron.

What makes the event especially attractive is its idyllic location in the middle of a green forest. There are more than 100 performances on six stages during the five days, with lounges, bars, cafés and restaurants awaiting visitors.

In comparison to other Hungarian festivals, Volt strikes a bit of a harder tone: this year’s biggest headliner is definitely Depeche Mode, but British heavy-metal seniors Iron Maiden and America’s Limp Bizkit will also make an appearance. Other genres such as electronica, hip hop, indie and punk are represented.

Of course, there will be domestic performers too, with Ákos, Tankcsapda, Halott Pénz, Belga and Margaret Island taking the main stage. As usual, the Petőfi Rádió stage will almost exclusively feature Hungarian bands, and these are worth checking out for international guests.

Finding accommodation in Sopron should be no problem: outdoor lovers can camp in a tent onsite for an extra charge. If you prefer a solid bed and four walls, Sopron and the area has plenty of hotels and hostels, though it is still best to book well in advance.

Sopron is one of the oldest Hungarian towns and has a historic city centre well worth seeing. History remembers Sopron as the most loyal Hungarian town because after World War I it decided in a referendum against joining Austria and chose to remain part of Hungary.

Still, the town south-west of Neusiedler Lake remains as a bridge between the two countries. It was here that the Pan-European Picnic took place in 1989, which is regarded as the event leading to the end of the Iron Curtain, and the historical location is another place to visit.

Telekom Volt Festival
26-30 June
Lővér Camping (Pócsi hill), Sopron
Tickets: EUR 45 with various passes and packages including accommodation available
See www.volt.hu/en


Balaton Sound

Balaton Sound describes itself as a non-stop summer beach party. This year’s five-day festival at Zamárdi, Lake Balaton, is the twelfth and it promises the most prestigious names of the electronic and hip hop scene.

The Chainsmokers, David Guetta, Martin Garrix, Axwell and Ingrosso, Alesso, Rita Ora and Martin Solveig are among the dozens who will appear between 4-8 July.

This year a new stage will be added to Balaton Sound’s venue. The Clubs On the Beach project will be a new favourite for house and techno lovers. Five Internationally renowned nightclubs/brands will arrive in Zamárdi to occupy the waterfront with their residents for an entire day. Watergate (Berlin), Rex (Paris), Fuse (Brussels), Pacha (Ibiza), and Defected (London) have all accepted invitations and each will be taking control of the waterfront COTB stage with their crews for a day.

Nearby camping and caravans are available, plus the usual hotels and guest houses.

Balaton Sound
4-8 July
Zamárdi
Tickets: EUR 62 with various passes and packages including accommodation available
See www.balatonsound.com


Sziget Festival

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One of the world’s biggest and most celebrated music and art festivals, enjoyed by and likened to Glastonbury by its founder Michael Eavis makes its return for 2018 with huge global stars. Between 8-15 August, Sziget will play host to some of the most renowned names in music today across more than 50 stages.

Set in the heart of Budapest on Óbuda Island, Sziget is a community built festival and known as the “Island of Freedom”. Sziget is dedicated to embracing diversity and has launched “Love Revolution”, using the power of the community to celebrate and bring love, acceptance, tolerance and freedom to the heart of Budapest and beyond.

Kendrick Lamar, the multi-Grammy-winning American sensation, known for his soaring ambition and lyrical talent, will headline Sziget Festival. Also headlining will be Norwegian DJ and producer Kygo who has been selling out stadiums since rising to fame four years ago with his unique electronic sound that captured a generation. Completing the headline bill and bringing with them a whole host of sing-along hits will be undisputed kings of folk-rock Mumford & Sons.

Among the first acts announced for Sziget 2018 is “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” Liam Gallagher, hot off the back of his praised debut solo album. Alongside him are London rockers and best mates Wolf Alice and Slaves, who will be bringing their unparalleled energy to the Hungarian stage. American rock band, Goo Dolls, who have sold over 12 million albums worldwide, will be performing alongside kings of nostalgia The Kooks, indie masters Bastille and electro alt-pop geniuses Everything.

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There will also be a spectacular array of electronic acts performing at this year’s festival. Chart toppers Clean Bandit will be gracing the stage with their classically inspired electropop, as will Danish singer, songwriter and electropop producer MØ, the mind behind the magnificent 2015 summer collaboration with Major Lazer “Lean On”. Also performing will be electronic music legends Little Dragon. From Gottenburg, their iconic blend of alter-native R&B, soul and synthpop promises to mystify Szitizens.

Celebrated and awarded for its line-up, Sziget took home the award for best “Line-Up of the Year” at the European Festival Awards 2017 for the second year running. Sziget stood out among 10 of the best festivals including Glastonbury, Roskilde and Lollapalooza in the category compiled by experts and voted for by the public.

Sziget Festival
8-15 August
Budapest, Hajógyári-sziget
Tickets: EUR 75 with various passes and packages including accommodation available
See www.szigetfestival.com


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