We’re off to Budapest Island Festival with Lorde and Macklemore

Sziget Festival is Europe’s biggest music-cultural event, Held in mid-August on the lush island of ObudaOn the Danube as it passes through Budapest. ‘El Asombrario’ traveled to the Hungarian capital this summer, hand in hand with Ibis Music, to give an account of it all. A version led by none other than Imagine Dragons, David Guetta, Billie Eilish, Lorde, Macklemore and Mumford & Sons. and visit some of the most important places in the historic city. New delivery will be on Thursday.

13 august

The “Festival de la Isla” brings together nearly half a million people, mostly Europeans, spread across dozens of stages, where they enjoy more than 500 artistic proposals from around the world, including musical performances, performances and circus acts. Can If we add to this complementary activities such as Ferris wheels, bungee jumping from cranes, tattoo stalls, hairdressing salons, talks (post-capitalism, refugees, climate change), workshops (from painting to yoga) and dozens of holidays with lights. or eager decoration for selfies Personalised, covering the event in its entirety becomes a difficult and overwhelming task.

Before dispersing in place, the group of Polish, Austrian, Portuguese and Spanish journalists were welcomed by CEO Tamas Kadar, who has been with the organization since the festival’s inauguration in 1993, when it emerged as a student initiative. The lack of holiday proposals after the fall of the communist regime, and that gives us a brief summary of the history of the festival, and of this edition in particular. If in its first volumes it chose historical names such as Blood, Sweat & Tears, Eric Burdon, Jethro Tull or Ten Years After, Sziget soon decided on the prevailing sounds of each moment, so that in its 29 volumes it went Hai’s crossing the pickiest of grunge, noise, hip-hop, trip-hop, electronics etc… Kadar, above all, highlighted Prince’s performance in 2011; The Minnesota man was contracted for 90 minutes, but, as soon as he felt comfortable, he played two and a half hours, and the organization had no choice but to accept the discrepancy and enjoy the talent.

Matthias Church, whose origins date back to the time of the first Hungarian king. Photo: Newlink Group.

American rapper Macklemore at the Sziget Festival 2023.

walking around the venue, while the festivities began three days ago and everyone was already in the festive spirit (brightened faces, organizations Between extravagance, exuberance or practicality), the first section is spent taking charge of the vastness of the site and understanding the essential map of where everything is. First of all, it is striking that there are no specific camping areas away from the city center, here everyone can camp wherever they want, as long as they don’t stand in front of the scenery, so secondary roads are strewn with tent campaigns. Another notable detail is the arrangement and composition of the PAs, which are directed specifically at the stage they cover, thereby efficiently avoiding uncomfortable sound combinations between some venues and others.

Focusing on the performance, on the main stage we enjoy the warm and evocative voice of the British singer-songwriter who is also a poet. Arlo Park, which blends acoustic introspection with low-intensity trip-hop, time-punched guitar explosions, a contrast that bodes well for the full repertoire they feature on their celebrated debut, collapsed in the sunsuch as his recent and less surprising my soft machine, The heat and sweat several degrees higher than the rest of the stages in the large pavilion of the Freedom Stage, French M83, Under the direction of the very private Anthony Gonzalez, they present their ninth studio album Imagination And they gave free rein to the attacking electronics from the analog instruments, creating a deeply expansive atmosphere that featured the hard work of their saxophonist Joe Berry. After that, and due to a bad interpretation of the map, we got lost in the performance of the Ibis Europa Stage (at that time, the brand that sponsored this stage and took responsibility for our stay). Queralt Lahoj, Artists from Santa Coloma who are the new sensation of musical symbiosis between flamenco and urban. From what the Catalan told a fellow journalist the next day, it was revealed that she was a bit surprised by the public’s attitude, a somewhat cooler reaction than she usually got in Mediterranean lands.

Back on the main stage, the most international representative of the London folk scene, Mumford & Sons, They offered a somewhat less emotional show than Mad Cool a few weeks earlier, but, since they had a lot of tables and perhaps a higher audience rating, they completed a set that they had been doing for five years. are presented throughout. Since his last studio delivery, Delta, He left the best-known songs from his first three albums, which catapulted him to stardom, for last. wolf, snake eyes, wake my soul And I will wait. And, if it wasn’t in front of thousands of people, it might as well have been a seasoned folk-rock band performing at a medium-sized venue in town. We ended the day with the final Sea Day Chest, enthralling ourselves with an invitation to Franco-Senegalese Las Massé dance on the Global Village stage, with a festive and infectious Afropop that represented the debut of their only album. to date, Bumay.

Fishermen’s Bastion in Budapest. Photo: Newlink Group.

Mumford & Sons performing at the Sziget Festival.

14 august

Budapest is a city of less than two million inhabitants that has scattered the main tourist attractions, located on both sides of the Danube, in Buda and Pest. Which to some extent avoids seeing large crowds of visitors while walking around the city. Taking advantage of the free hours of the day and the situation Ibis from Castle HillAccommodation characterized by a pleasant pop-art decor and a fondness for music (one of its directors is also an active DJ; there are guitars ready for guests to play in one corner; cymbals music in the cafeteria) The stay is enlivened with the program), we headed to the Buda Castle Quarter, just a ten-minute walk from the hotel.

We cross Kristinváros Park and climb endless stairs to the bottom of the hill where the Hospital de la Roca museum is located, an old anti-aircraft shelter-hospital during World War II, as Hungary found itself on the German side Deployed in and often this happened. Bombed by the Allies. Already on top of the hill, places full of history abound, in a neighborhood that has been destroyed and rebuilt through the ups and downs of the Ottoman Empire, the Habsburg saga, the Nazi regime, the Communist regime and the Centuries’ War Has gone. The Hungarians themselves at different times always sought their long-awaited independence. The architecture, despite its amazing beauty, accumulates a mixture of styles with which history overlaps its medieval origins and late-Gothic with Baroque and Neoclassical …

Beyond the picturesque, for example the wooden gazebo where Empress Sissi liked to stay, or the bronze statue of the wise man have completely deteriorated, except for the testicles of the horse on which he rides, which has been rubbed off by Hungarian students. Shines like new because of tradition. To give them success in their exams, here stands the beautiful Church of Matthias, which originated in the year 1000 during the time of the first Hungarian king Stephen, and which has been transformed into a mosque, a kitchen for the Turks. Its origins go back to the time of the Nazis, stables for the Soviet Union and eventually as a place of worship for Catholics.

After declining a visit to the palace because it is under construction, we spent some time enjoying spectacular views of the Danube and Pest background from the Fisherman’s Bastion, a scene complete with stairs and walkways from the beginning of the last century. and whose neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque style in its seven towers pays homage to the seven original Magyar tribes that settled in the river basin in 896.

Queralt Lahoz at the Festival. Photo: Patrick Munich.

Festive wear at the Sziget Festival.

Back at the festival, we focus on two great performances of the day, lorde and Macklemore. The New Zealander embarks on two years of world touring with her third album solar energy, She defends the stage practically alone, as the band’s intonations loom in the background. And the truth is, she pretty much delivers herself, with a rock-star attitude and more awe-inspiring dance moves than choreographed, she moves confidently across the giant floor, sings and jumps and dances her way to the top. Charismatic reviews electronic pop, takes back her jewelry repertoire, royals, team, best place, louvre And supercut, Presenting an unpublished topic as well, silver Moon, And saying goodbye with a very sweet feeling green light in which there was another person with him headliners of the day, Caroline Polachek.

For his part, American rapper macklemore offered a celebratory hip-hop concert that invited the public to dance, rumble, and participate (even bringing out two spontaneous guys to dance in a mock cockfight) and his presentation built on the success he had with his previous projects Macklemore and Ryan Lewis; It is not in vain that it began thrift shop and ended Can’t stop us The first two singles with which the late duo rose to fame were over a decade ago.

There was still time to see the Australians on the Freedom Stage Emile and the sniffers who, with a few albums, have become the punk sensation of the moment and have gone back old school In the style of Safety Pin, with basic rhythms and edgy guitars that freshened up the 77’s scene. Up front, Amy Taylor, who mocks him by spitting, bouncing on the floor, cursing, and generally maintaining an irreverent punk attitude. However, for the tired, the traveling funfair’s small stage, which barely convened about twenty people in front of a local Hungarian folk band barka, The music is composed of teachers and a dance guide who provides the necessary moves to dance in a group until the shatabdi rhythm of the host country ends.

Thursday 24th, Next Chapter: Sziget Fest. Budapest (II), featuring Billie Eilish and a walk through the city’s former Jewish ghetto, among other interesting and surprising things.

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