Sziget Heading For Hat-Trick

Sziget Cultural Management is heading for a hat-trick of summer sellouts if the original festival in Budapest can also hit capacity Aug. 11-18.

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

So far its Volt Festival, which was on the Austrian border at Sopron July 2-6, recorded its highest-ever visitor turnout with 120,000.

A week later, Balaton Sound also broke its ticket-selling record by attracting 145,000 people July 9-13.

The reason given for the vast improvement on the 127,000 at last year’s Balaton Sound was a sharp upswing in the number of foreign visitors.

Balaton Sound benefits from being on the shores of Lake Balaton, one of Hungary’s best tourist magnets and the nearest the landlocked country has to a seaside.

“Almost half of our guests were foreigners and some of the days were sold out weeks before the festival,” said event co-organiser Norbert Lobenwein.

Lobenwein thought the success of Volt, where he’s also co-organiser, was the extra day added to accommodate the touring plans of headliner Arctic Monkeys.

“This year we broke last year’s records,” he said, pointing out Volt’s growing faster than at any time its 22-year history. This year it averaged 24,000 per day, way up on the 17,000 per day it was doing five years ago.

The chances of Sziget Festival completing the hat-trick would appear to be good as the festival press office is reporting that “passes are selling with record speed.”

Apart from Arctic Monkeys, the Volt lineup had Steve AokiNeroNetskyMorcheebaMGMTThirty Seconds to Mars, and Volbeat.

Balaton Sound had David GuettaArmin Van BuurenAzealia BanksWiz KhalifaRudimentalDisclosure, and Rita Ora.

This year’s Sziget Aug. 11-18 has The ProdigyQueens Of The Stone AgePlaceboKlaxonsBastilleMacklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Skrillex.