Festival Guide: Budapest’s Sziget Festival – New Stages and New Places

  • 8 Aug 2023 3:31 PM
Festival Guide: Budapest’s Sziget Festival – New Stages and New Places
After our recent presentation of changes and improvements to the Main Stage and the biggest venues at the Sziget Festival starting on 10 August, we now look at what’s happening elsewhere around the site on Óbuda Island.

Festival Guide: Main Music Venues at Sziget

Main Stage at Sziget Welcomes the Love Revolution

Europe Stage

The Europe Stage will be in a new location, but with unchanged enthusiasm and acts the organisers believe could be on the bigger stages in a year or two.

The main aim to showcase bands who are not yet established, but are new and of good quality. This year, the Europe Stage will be in a larger field, as experience has shown that previous demand merited the move. 

Key artists include rappers Asa Masa from Finland, Mezzosangue from Italy and Latvian Shishi, who missed last year’s show due to illness. You can also see UK indie trio Amber Run, on the verge of releasing their third album.

Successful young Italian metal band Stain The Canvas have been to Budapest several times before, but this is their first time at Sziget and they are eager to perform their joint song with American band Call Me Karizma, performing on the same day as part of their European festival tour.

There will also be Estonian electronic indie popper NOËP, Spanish act Queralt Lahoz, Belgium’s increasingly successful The Haunted Youth, Irish pub rockers The Mary Wallopers and English pop singer Adam French, while the programme closes on the final night with homegrown Sziámi And Friends.

dropYard powered by BOLT

Sziget’s new venue, dropYard, which made its debut last year to great acclaim, represents urban style at the festival. It features some of the most exciting artists from break, hip hop and rap from almost every corner of the world.

As last year, dance and movement will dominate the programme in the morning and early afternoon, before ever more exciting acts take the spotlight after dark.

As break makes its debut at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, the organisers have made sure to showcase the genre at dropYard.

The morning starts with BREAK YOGA, followed by workshops, performances and dance duels. Cypher Town having launched a qualification process, the most talented dancers can demonstrate their skills to the Sziget audience. International and domestic DJs then provide the musical backdrop to the daytime dance parties.

Workshops offer a variety of themes, allowing Szitizens to learn the basics of up to six different styles, featuring footwork, powermove and toprock.

Once again, the dance-off provides everyone with a platform, allowing you to submit your entry and compete with the invited performers. The ALL STARS battle, with the biggest names competing against each other, again takes place late afternoon on Saturday.

The concert programme features a selection of many performers yet to make waves in Hungary. Nightly DJ sets match the musical style of the stage, complemented by new initiatives such as a new craze from the Netherlands, memetechno.

Acts include Ukraine’s Sziget returnee Alyona Alyona, who has since toured the world with success. Bizzey is currently the No.1 rapper in the Netherlands, and will also be performing a DJ set under the name LEYO immediately after his live show.

From the UK come Ayrtn and Proph, who will soon be releasing a new album. France will be represented by 47TER and Josman, performing on the same day. From the Far East, the spotlight falls on the crazy show of Korea’s Balming Tiger, Japan’s Kazuo & Taha and China’s Alice Longyu Gao.

Global Village

Once again, the Global Village takes you on a voyage around the world of music, presenting a variety of unique rhythms, languages and instruments, and musical styles ranging from traditional soundscapes to electronica.

Daytime workshops allow people to play, make music and dance, starting with a salsa lesson by the Budapest-based Stéfania Allstars, followed by Trinidadian calypso music by Kobo Town from Canada, Band Son Rompe Pera cumbia punks from Mexico and Hungary’s own Bohemian Betyars, who play folk-ska-punk favourites.

From Odessa, there’s Kommuna Lux, alongside Canadian-based Ukrainian project Balaklava Blues, while the up-and-coming progressive folk band Gangar represent Norway, and Slovakia’s Varkocs explore ethno-punk drumming.

The Parisian Gypsy singer Marcela, German multiculturalists Lakvar and French-Greek Deli Teli’s musical cocktail of ‘60s rock 'n' roll and traditional Greek tsifteteli rhythms celebrate diversity. The Langan Band from England have a new pan-European album inspired by Celtic and Gypsy styles.

Ti’Kaniki from the island of Réunion also appear, and you can go wild at crazy Estonian duo Puuluup or pogo with Greek ethno ska-rock artist Koza Mostra. The joyous Belgian brass band Orchestre International du Vetex will keep everyone moving. Vinicio Capossela is a long-time festival favourite in Italy.

Artistic collaborations include France’s Alright Mela performing with Pakistani Qawwali singer Shahzad Santoo Khan, and the American-French-Lebanese-Armenian collective Al-Qasar, who return to their roots to play Arabic fusion.

From the Middle East comes the new Israeli Balkan-Klezmer band Pulkes, who grew up on the sounds of Hungar’s Besh o droM, as well as the Anna RF with their eastern electro-ethnic reggae tunes.

Hungary’s reggae act Manaky and ethno-dark-rock band MORDÁI also appear. From Africa, roots duo Madalitso Band take you to Malawi, dancers Bamba Wassoulou Groove evoke the hot nights of Bamako, and Mali diva Djely Tapa should surprise many with her charismatic performance. Senegal’s Lass, touted as the new Youssou N'Dour, and BCUC from South Africa, complete a strong African contingent.

Away from music, India’s Circus Raj bring a breathtaking performance of acrobats, musicians, tightrope walkers and a fakir to wow the crowd. The Congo Massa giant puppets of French company Archibald Caramantran will be inviting everyone to dance, accompanied by a giraffe, a zebra and two beautiful birds.

Tribute Stage presented by AMC

The Tribute Stage returns in its usual form this year, with two performances of evergreen numbers every night from 11pm.

This year’s favourites include Nirvana by Dani Lugosi & Vilkó Takács, ACid/DC (ACDC tribute), Blue Cold Jalapenos (Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute), Foo Lighters (Foo Fighters tribute), Italian Eurosmith (Aerosmith tribute), Dutch band Bald As Love (Jimi Hendrix tribute), Small Things (Blink 182 tribute), as well as Peter Andorai & The Graceband (Elvis tribute), Don't Stop The Queen (Queen tribute), MJ HiStory (Michael Jackson tribute) from the Netherlands and the hugely successful ABBA Tribute Show.

On Saturday, in keeping with tradition, the next generation of musicians will be represented by the home-grown Street Sixteen.

Stereo Stage

The Stereo Stage – the former Retro Stage – is being revamped this year, with a new name, a new venue, a bigger dance floor and a wider range of events. In the afternoons, K-POP and other dance workshops will teach the basics of salsa, Brazilian samba, funky, body-dancing, boogie-woogie and bachata. On Saturday, German singer Bellini will be reviving the Latin pop hits of the ‘90s with Samba de Janeiro.

Music Box

This year, from 2.30 pm to 7.30 pm, the Music Box stage will be located inside the ArtZone, and will welcome singer-songwriters such as Charlie Cunningham from the UK and Jófríður Ákadóttir aka JFDR, co-composer of the score to award-winning Icelandic film Backyard Village.

The Hungarian line-up includes Cz K. Sebő, Boebeck, Kolibri, Bence Vavra, O’Sullivan and Henri Gonzo, as well as the rarely seen acoustic line-up of Margaret Island. Soma Nóvé, who has played with many bands, will be performing an unusual acoustic concert with a selection of his favourite folk songs.

Other performers include Laci Sallai, Zoli Juhász and a winner of the Kikeltető talent contest.

The stage will also feature an international line-up, including Mychelle from the UK, Blair Dave, Jack Botts from Australia and his compatriots The Dreggs, Joe Bel from France, Promsonya from Ukraine, Amistat from Germany, Andrei Irimia from Romania and Jorge Luis Pacheco from Cuba.

Sziget Beach by Tanqeray – Everness Chill Garden

After last year’s successful collaboration, Tanqueray will be the gin partner of the Sziget Festival again this year, with an exclusive brand venue, Sziget Beach by Tanqueray.

In 2023, festivalgoers can look forward to a beach bar and a host of surprise events at the northern tip of Sziget. A new addition will be the alcohol-free Tanqueray 0.0%, so drivers won't have to go without their G&T. Also on tap is Tanqueray Rangpur Lime, a fresh citrus character gin with notes of juicy tangerine, ginger and bay leaf.

This year’s Everness Chill Garden venue will be a space for consciousness, recharging and enjoying community. The Evernessia stage will host presentations and round-table discussions on awareness, sustainability and self-development during the day, and in the evening live international and Hungarian acts match the mood.

These include Curawaka from Brazil, Cosmyte and David Lesage from France and Organica Elemental from Switzerland. Afterwards, domestic chill DJs play until dawn, such as Dynamic Illusion, Quantum Progress and El Poncho, and Pangani from Austria.


The LightStage will feature concerts by emerging and established musicians during the day and a variety of DJ sets in the evening. The venue is a comfortable, shaded place to relax and get set for the evening.

This year's acts include Nick Welsh, aka King Hammond, the iconic British ska figure who won a Grammy Award with Lee Scratch Perry; the eclectic jazz and hip-hop sextet Studio Murena from Italy; and the young Madrid pop star África Adalia.

Italian sensations Extraliscio, who combine traditional lisco dance music from Romagna with punk and electronica, take you back to the Riviera of the past.

Sziget Festival

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