A diary… written night after night, with the favor of the moon and the screams of life
“The Sziget festival is illegal, immoral, blasphemous, irresponsible, polluting, deafening, toxic and sickening…. But I would not miss it for the world.”
A little history on the Festival: Founded all the way back in 1993, the Sziget Festival was originally the venture of a few passionate musicians who lamented the lack of music camps after the fall of Communism. Growing quickly in scope and size by 1996 the festival was attracting over 200,000 visitors to see huge international acts such as The Prodigy, the Levellers and Sonic Youth. Today Óbudai Island, where the festival is held (Sziget Festival simply means ‘Island Festival’ in Hungarian), hosts nearly 400,000 guests every year for a week in August as over a thousand artists perform at over thirty different stages, tents and arenas. Headliners in the past have included world superstars such as Basement Jaxx, Radiohead, Muse, Chemical Brothers, Faithless, The Cure, NIN, Massive Attack and David Bowie, whilst the support acts are often internationally renowned pioneers of their field.
Day Zero : Where’s my tent?
After a long travel from Rome to Budapest, I have survived a big storm in the middle of the Italian\Holland camp. Lotsa of screams, curses and a bunch of tents destroyed. By the way the night was amazing, wonderful nightly parties, with many people having fun and dancing all night on Óbuda Island.
Day 1 : After the storm….Musical Guest: PRINCE!
Sunny Day. Breakfast in America (not the Supertramp record!!!) with bacon and eggs. Today is the beginning of teh festival, the start, the opening of all cerimonies. Today is Prince’s Day. One of the best pop\rock music icon on earth kicked ass the main stage with an amazing first live of the Sziget Festival: ¾ hours of songs, dance, a tribute of Michael Jackson, purple and gold confetti and a sudden party with 10/20 fans on the stage. The best opening that anyone could expect.
Day 2: 1, 2, 3, …… : A lot of bands
Thank God! Near the camp there was a little, nice italian stand (very good Italian pasta) called “Mambo Italiano” where you could also eat sweets, croissants, drink good coffee and where I could begin, in the RIGHT WAY, a FULL & BUSY DAY. Lotsa of bands from the main stage to the rock\metal stage. The Irish Flogging Molly started with their San Patrick’s party. Then Rise Against, Interpol, Hurts and Within Temptation have run wild the mud crowd with flying beers and parties everywhere….. but in the evening there were the best performances of the day: Pulp and Motorhead, opposite kind of music but same explosive live.
Day 3: The Electronics day
Quick breakfast @ the Mambo Italiano and I was ready to run for another full day of concerts. Today La Roux (not so bad), Crystal Castles (great and short live for me because there were too many people in a closed and full arena), Good Charlotte (Welcome back guys!), Helloween and Kasabian on the stage. In the evening there was only one name: The Chemical Brothers. One of the best electronic band in history have put a psychedelic and fluorescent show with a bunch of videos all playing in slow motion, together with games of color and butterflies. They succeeded in transforming the dark night into a bright day.
Day 4: Blood, Scars and Fights
Blood, scars and fight… why? Because today Skunk Anansie, Deftones and The Prodigy have brought 3 live shows where you had to fight in order to survive. Skin, the Skunk Anansie’s black queen with a dark and feathered dress aske, better, ORDERED the crow to kneel so she could literally walked on people; the Deftones with a new Chino Moreno kicked ass on the metal stage. I was there, in front of them. People went surfing over my head many many times, over and over again, and I got pushed a lot, especially when Chino jumped into the crowd. After the show, I run – well, actually I limped – to see PRODIGY where… I saw one of the most violent show ever: a sea of humans where every single person fought and pushed @ each other just to breathe. Ps: I have discovered a new great Hungarian modern rock/metal band: Depresszió.
Day 5 : Reconnaissance
Today I decided to take a break for my mental and physical sanity in order to discover the secrets of the Óbuda’s Island. In the morning you can witness several things/happenings: yoga’s lessons, drunk people sleeping on the field, hundreds of them, like dead soldiers after an epic battle; strange buildings, giant chess sets and sofas, food display from all over the world. Back on Festival mode, I attended Kaiser Chiefs (funny guys) and the headliner: 30 Seconds to Mars. I was so curious to see them, so I did…. I can say that Jared Leto is a great show man, he knows very well his public and he knows how 2 incite the crowd..one thing I did not like… sorry, he does not know how to sing. Great show to see but not to listen to.
Day 6 : Party and destruction
The last day. Where the Gogol Bordello (one of the best performance of the festival), the National and the White Lies (as headliner…. Why?) closed down the event, while everybody decided that it was time for them to get a “trophy” of the festival: anything they could get their hands on. At the end, people dance all night long, every bar or shop played a dj set or disco music, followed by hundreds of cosplayers, disguised as nightly animals came out in full for a “Rio’s carnival” theme.
Day 7 : Goodbye
Wake up at 6 am. Departure at 7 am. A few words from my heart…
“Goodbye Óbuda. Goodbye Sziget Festival. Welcome back reality. Welcome Back civilitation. Goodbye anarchy”.
By MARTINA VITELLI our friend @RS Italy