Sziget Opens Up Fridge

Before even taking over the running of the Budapest event, Hungary’s Sziget Cultural Management is also taking Fridge – its new winter sports festival – across the Austrian border to Vienna.

Photo: AP Photo / MTI, Balasz Mohai
A girl enjoys the Luminary tent at Sziget festival in Budapest Aug. 8. 

The two loosely twinned events are the second major expansion the Hungarian firm has carried out since it bought back its festival business from media giant Econet at the end of last year.

Last month Sziget managing director Gabor Takacs told Pollstar his organization is looking to set up a new island festival in neighbouring Ukraine. It would be on an island in the River Dnieper.

“We need to find an investor during the next two months, to make it happen next year,” Takacs explained. Although its Volt and Balaton Sound fests did well, he said 2013 “wasn’t that brilliant financially,” although the company did well enough to pay back the part of the Sziget buyback loan that fell due Sept. 18.

Fridge had been running in Hungary for two years before missing 2012.

Sziget Cultural took over the running of the 2013 event.

The Budapest event takes place at Hungexpo, an exhibition and trade fair. It’s been doing about 20,000 per day.

This year it will include Snow Show, where travel agents and retailers will be offering winter travel packages in Hungary and abroad and whatever sports goods and clothing enthusiasts may need for the season.

The Budapest Fridge runs Nov. 21-24, while the Vienna show is Nov. 22-23.