Gerendai Sorry For Local Talent

Sziget Festival founder Károly Gerendai says he’s sorry for Hungarian acts because it’s so difficult for them to get attention beyond their own borders. 

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

Although Sziget supports the Central Eastern European Talent Exchange Program, and its CEETEP representative Fruzsina Szep was involved in setting it up, Gerendai reckons there’s not much the festival can do to “change these circumstances.”

“The reason is surely not the lack of domestic talent, as there are many great acts in the country,” Gerendai said.  “On the other hand the Hungarian music market is very small, which makes it hard to set up a firm industrial basis for a rock band and find the right resources to start an international career.”

Gerendai says he sees it as “an important mission of Sziget” to support talented Hungarian bands to “get into the international music vibe.”

Each year Sziget also picks a song by a Hungarian act to be its festival anthem.

He says that the messages of the songs are also important as they should fit the values and message of Sziget.

This year Sziget’s anthem will be “Together” by Ivan & The Parazol. The group won an MTV EMA Music Award in 2013 as Best Hungarian Act.

Last year’s anthem was Punnany Massif’s “Freedom Song.”

This year’s Sziget Festival Aug. 11-18 has The Prodigy, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Skrillex, Queens Of The Stone Age, Placebo, and Lily Allen.