Sziget Cultural On A Roll

Hungarian festival specialist Sziget Cultural Management is really on a roll, with Balaton Sound breaking its attendance record a week after its Volt Festival sold out.

Photo: Courtesy Balaton Sound

This year’s Balaton Sound, now being described as “the biggest beach party of central Europe,” drew 127,000 visitors over four days, comfortably beating the last two record-breaking years of 2011 (101,500) and 2012 (108,000).

A week earlier, Volt, which is near the Austrian border at Sopron, sold out its 27,500 capacity.

The attraction of being on the shores of Lake Balaton, central Europe’s largest inland waterway and as near as a land-locked Hungary gets to having a seaside, is no doubt one of the main reasons that around 40 percent of the crowd came from abroad.

Norbert Lobenwein, who runs Balaton Sound with Zoltán Fülöp, said the festival could have sold another 10,000 tickets after the four-day passes had sold out.

However, the festival is likely to remain at its current size. “We do not plan to make changes to the size of the event.

Seven years ago we positioned this event as a premium festival and we’ve lived up to that ever since,” Lobenwein explained. “In order to keep this going it is also important not to raise capacity and rather put our efforts into further raising the quality of services,” he said.

Balaton Sound was named best medium-sized festival at this year’s European Festival Awards.

The acts keeping Sziget Cultural Management happy July 11-14 included The ProdigySteve AokiAviciiWu-Tang Clan, and Armin Van Buuren.