- 13 Aug 2013 9:04 AM
In 2013 Sziget Festival officially became the Island of Freedom, emphasizing the concept behind the 20 year-old event. Besides great musical and non-musical programs, the visual experience provided by the festival also got a greater role. New venues and programs were introduced and many of the services were improved to make this truly international festival-holiday an unforgettable experience.
The main goal of the organizing team is to make sure the event stays unique and presents exciting new ideas each year. The current European festival scene is a bit oversized, there are many great events offering similar musical programs, so the Sziget crew truly believes that the key of development is to make sure the festival stays as far away as possible from ‘uniformity’.
‘The feedbacks of fans, artists and music industry professionals present at the festival have all assured us that it was a good decision to develop the visual experience and the colorful programs of the festival’ – said Károly Gerendai, main organizer and founder of the festival.
Sziget also initiated a conference during the event, hosting 25 festival promoters and representatives of many booking agencies. The main aim of the conference was to start a conversation between bookers and festivals, as the artist fees are rapidly increasing and better cooperation is evidently needed. The participants have all agreed that this year’s Sziget was very unique, mainly thanks to the new features and venues, the colorful programs and the quality of services. ‘The visuals of course are not everything, it is important to bring the biggest stars as well. Unfortunately this year we could not bring many of the artists, who we planned, but of course we’re trying our best once again next year’ – added the main organizer of the festival.
In 2013 Sziget presented a total of 54 program venues in an area of 76 hectares. The festival site was built up by a total of 7500 workers in a period of 3 weeks. Sziget has never been so bright, helped by more than 30 kilometers of special street lighting and also 20 hectares of forest equipped with Christmas-style lights. Szitizens haven been served by a medical service of 400 specialists, 1200 security guards and several hundred policemen from Hungary and also other countries. The Sziget crew has also prepared the area for the record heat, so the spaces in front of bigger venues like the Main Stage or the World Music Party Main stage were equipped with special steam cooler systems, while there were also many steam gates all around the festival site. The head of security said that there was no bigger problem during the one week, Sziget was very peaceful, like it is usually.
The biggest building on the island was the A38 tent with an area of 5000 square meters, which is almost double the size of the same venue from last year. The organizing crew was also emphasizing the fact that Szitizens should experience the beautiful buildings, spas, ruin pubs and other touristic attractions of Budapest, so the Citypass season ticket was once again a bellowed tool to explore the surroundings of the festival.
After last year’s success of more than 5 million viewers, many of the Sziget concerts have been once again broadcasted live on the internet, this time with the help of OTP bank and the technology of Ustream.
Sziget Festival 2013 was probably the most international festival of Europe, hosting fans from a total of 69 countries and performers from 52 countries this year. The most far away and exotic places of origin include Australia, Argentina, Aruba, Bahrain, Ethiopia, Gambia, India, Kenya, Mali, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Uruguay or Venezuela.
The excellent weather made Sziget Beach, the new venue of Sziget, very popular where thousands of Szitizens chilled every day. Many have enjoyed the performance of Cirque du Sziget, an iconic program of the event and tens of thousands of visitors took part in the special parties organized every day in front of the Main Stage, like the Color Party. Miracles and celebrations have accompanied Sziget from the very first day: on Day 0, Hungarian alternative rock band, Quimby, has turned the event to some kind of a wonderland and on the last day a spectacular End Show with laser effects, fireworks and pyrotechnical attractions marked the end of the main stage program
The Island of Freedom closed its borders on Monday, the cleaning up has already started and will approximately take one week. Afterwards the works continue with gardening and re-habilitating the area to make sure the venue can return to its role as a nice public park for the rest of the year.
Source: Sziget Festival