Photo: Flickr

Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Kings of Leon for return of Sziget Festival

Sheffield quartet Arctic Monkeys, English singer-songwriter and model Dua Lipa and Nashville brothers The Kings of Leon are the biggest names announced so far for the return of Budapest’s Sziget Festival from its two-year, coronavirus-enforced hiatus next August 10-15.

The popular festival on the River Danube’s Óbuda Island – the so-called “Island of Freedom” – aims to come back in spectacular style with a stellar line-up and all the beloved happenings that attract the youth of Europe. Joining the three headliners will be Lewis Capaldi, Stromae, Bastille, Alan Walker, Caribou, Jungle, Woodkid, FKJ, Jon Hopkins, Sigrid, slowthai, Ronnie Flex & The Fam and another 27 acts that have been named so far, with the promise of “and many more to come… “.

Sziget (“island”) likes to be the full-on festival that never sleeps, with bands and artists coming and going across some 60 stages. More than just its headliners, it presents a cultural program of world music, cabaret, comedy, speakers, screenings, workshops, installations, art performances, wellness activities including yoga and sports, chilling at the beach and so. It’s all about embracing diversity as a part of its “Love Revolution” and an escape from everyday life.

Arctic Monkeys are an English indie rock band, hailed as one of the first bands to use social media to gain mainstream attention, and gained attention with their first single “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”. In 2001, both Alex Turner and Jamie Cook received guitars for Christmas and proceeded to teach themselves how to play. They formed the band with school friends Andy Nicholson, Matt Helders and Glyn Jones, however Jones left soon after.

The quartet performed their first gig at The Grapes pub in Sheffield. As they began to manufacture demo CDs, their fan base set up a MySpace account – without notifying the band. A photographer from Sheffield, Mark Bull, filmed one performance and aired their “Fake Tales of San Francisco” on his own website.

In May 2005 the Artic Monkeys released their debut EP, “Five Minutes with Arctic Monkeys”, and the release led to them appearing at the Reading Festival on one of the smaller stages and signing to Domino Records in June 2005. They have released six albums, the latest being “Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino” in 2018, and drummer Matt Helders revealed recently that a new one is “pretty much” finished and likely to arrive next summer, meaning Sziget “Szitizens “ will be some of the first to hear it played live.
Dua Lipa comes from a family of Kosovan academics, parted in the 1990s by war with Serbia, and she was born in north-west London in 1995. She was the most streamed female artist on Spotify one year and was the first woman to be nominated for five Brit awards, in 2018, winning two as Best Female Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act. She won again in 2019 for British Single of the Year with “One Kiss” (with Calvin Harris) and twice in 2021 for British Female Solo Artist and British Album of the Year for “Future Nostalgia”. The same album won for Best Pop Vocal Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

Dua Lipa’s COVID-delayed 2022 UK and European tour will open in Manchester next April 15. She has announced Service95, a new self-curated online hub compiling “words, stories, cultural recommendations” and more.

Taking its name from Lipa’s year of birth, the platform is set to launch in early 2022. It will share the work of “a plethora of global voices that I love” – both established and emerging – from within the worlds of fashion, beauty, the arts, politics and global issues. She hopes Service95 will “bring to light things that are quite under the radar”, adding: “I just find a really huge joy in telling people things that I’ve found, and I want to share that.”

Kings Of Leon formed in Nashville, Tennessee, 1999 and comprises brothers Caleb (guitar), Nathan (drums) and Jared (bass) Followill and first cousin Matthew Followill (guitar). Their latest album is “When You See Yourself”. They too will be playing rescheduled gigs that had previously been announced but delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. More shows were cancelled recently when the brothers’ mother died.

Matthew Followill’s staus is unclear, as he announced in mid-year that he will be taking time away from the band following the birth of his and wife Johanna’s baby. Followill didn’t appear on the band’s recent leg of US dates, with touring member Timothy Deaux filling his place, and former touring member Chris Coleman returning to cover Deaux’s role.

See for tickets and accommodation options.

Leave a Reply