- 18 Aug 2014 3:00 AM
Sziget Festival in 2014 took place between 11 and 18 August, one week later compared to last year and attracted more visitors than ever. Karoly Gerendai, main organizer of the event added: “Booking a strong international line-up has been quite a challenge in the last few years, but we also aimed to make Sziget an extraordinary visual experience and to further improve our services. This year’s Sziget was definitely more appealing than ever before and we got great feedback both from the fans and the professionals. If they are happy, we are happy, so again we would like to thank everybody for coming!” – said the main organizer.
The Island of Freedom
Sziget started back in 1993 as a vision of some friends, dreaming about a great festival. No market analysis or professional studies were made before the concept was created and the festival was developed organically. This special attitude made sure that it stayed unique, which also became a clear selling point and made it possible to keep Sziget alive for such a long time.
The Island of Freedom concept is a way to emphasize the main messages and the uniqueness of the event. A temporary republic was created with its own rules and values, own society, own passport, on a physically separated location of a green island, surrounded by a great metropolis.
The 2014 Sziget Festival achieved a new milestone: festival passes were sold out already before the event started, while the total number of visitors also broke past records with 415 000 fans attending the seven days. The best attended day was Thursday, with a total of 85 000 Szitizens partying on the huge island (this meant full house on that day). The 2014 event welcomed fans from 87 countries and artists from 41 countries.
Sziget 2014 celebrated some important anniversaries: Woodstock was held 45 years ago, the Berlin Wall was abolished 25 years ago and the Rubik Cube was invented 40 years ago by Hungarian inventor Ernő Rubik. Many thematic programs were organized, including the Rubik Sziget venue, a mini adventure center. The newly introduced Europe Stage had a special focus on the Berlin music scene, while several other program features also paid tribute to the fall of the Wall. The Woodstock feeling was evoked by the Campfire venue, where Szitizens could experience the freedom and unity of the hippy culture of the late 60s.
Developed infrastructure and services
Besides the ever-present will to make the festival an artistic experience with special decorations, sculptures and other installations surrounding Szitizens at all corners of the island, Sziget also put a lot of effort into developing the usual event services, like toilets, showers, catering, etc. The ‘upgrade’ and VIP campsites have been more popular than ever this year, while the festival also introduced new onsite accommodations, new parking solutions, festival cell phones, insurance packages and even the ‘Green Festival Bag’ campaign that urged visitors to help keeping the island as clean as possible.
Live stream and smart phone app
Sziget 2014 had 3 stages broadcasted on 2 separate online channels for a full 7 days. A total of 61 bands were in the live stream program and several million viewers joined the party online. The Sziget app was also a very popular feature this year, providing user-friendly services, like different program views, personal schedule, interactive map, artist discovery page with music player, etc. The app downloads doubled since last year, the total figure in 2014 is around 65 000 downloads.
Not only Szitizens had a great time at Sziget, but the performers also had the opportunity to taste a bit of Hungary. They could try pálinka, practice their Hungarian and figure out how to play traditional Hungarian instruments. This is how Skrillex met the zither and The Klaxons tried some drinks. Check out the Sziget backstage snippets and we will reveal the full stories in a bit!
Afterparty at lake Balaton
The organizers tried to build upon the festival-holiday concept and make sure fans stay as long as possible in Hungary, so B.my.Lake festival became the official afterparty of the 2014 event. The 3-day electronic music festival hosts over 130 DJs and takes place right on the beach of the biggest lake of Central Europe, Lake Balaton, between 18-21 August in 2014.
Sziget organizers have already revealed the date of Sziget 2015. Szitizens from all over the world can enjoy the one week of fun between 10-17 August next year.
More information about Sziget: www.szigetfestival.com