Before you start reading about the complete Sziget festival experience,
have a look at my experience here:
Here is what I did on the first five days:
Day 1: Settling in, Smuggling watermelons and new people.
Sziget itself is just a music festival, but it’s not. For me It never was just about the music, It’s about the people, the culture, the activities. It goes beyond its recreational purpose and creates his own world. I think that Sziget and Camp Unknown it’s about that utopian week that help us disconnect from real life in a way that make us appreciate it even more. – Pablo Vazquez Britos
I packed light and left from Ghent in a hurry at 2.53 am to reach the station in time to catch the bus to Brussels Charleroi. I got to sleep for a good hour on the shuttle bus. Reaching the airport, I was told that the Wizz Air counters don’t open till 6. Hearing this, I put my bag on one of the benches and slept for another 2 hours. I got up just in time to check in. Inside the airport, I got a pizza and hot chocolate from ‘Paul’, which was alright. I was super excited, but also sleepy. I have been to Sziget the year before and I kind of knew what to expect. At the Baggage area, I met Sophie from Hungary who was helping me get my luggage and waited with me till I met Emma whom I was supposed to meet from a camping Whatsapp group. I met Emma and Rocio, they were from Australia and Argentina which was already making this quite international. We bought a Vodafone sim card and left for the festival in a cab.
The Sun was baking down, but we stuck together and got our tickets. We were going to meet a bunch of strangers at ‘Camp Unknown’, which is a camp organised by a group of awesome guys to bring strangers together at festivals. We found the camp after a bit of struggle, got some food and met more new people. I got to meet some of my old friends from the previous year which was fun catching up and seeing how things have changed since the last time I travelled alone. Tomas another camper, gave us this idea to go to the supermarket closeby and smuggle some watermelons and vodka into the festival. It was quite epic as we smuggled two huge watermelons along with two big bottles of vodka. I was not a big fan in the start, but I must confess that it was exciting.
Parth from the ‘Camp Unknown’ whatsapp group made sure that he bought me a tent from Auchan (It’s really cheap there). As the day went by, we were meeting more and more new people. I went to the city to meet a friend whom I know for 5 years. We went to Instant (A really cool ruin pub) where we had a drink and joined the other guys from the camp. I had a bit of a quarrel with one of our campers (Happens, Haha!) We had to wait for a long time for the tram to get to the camp, because we were kind of lost in the middle of nowhere in the city. We finally made it, but as soon I came back, I got a coffee with Parth for the love of late night coffees. I had to take my phone to the locker area to charge my phone, which was a annoying walk. I stopped by our common area at the camp to talk with the guys for a bit and chill. After a while with the tiredness was kicking in, I made my way into the tent for a nice sound sleep, this was the first time I have ever slept inside a tent (Crazy, huh?). I was looking forward to see what the Sziget festival experience was going to be like!
An Eye for an eye and the whole world is blind – Sziget makes you wise
Day 2: Sending a friend to Belgium, Reunion and Acts
I woke up at 10.30 in the morning feeling that I had a good night’s sleep. After talking with a few campers I made my way to the toilets, It was surprising that they had mechanized toilets and an actual flush. I hate those compost loos! One a side note, they also had chargers, so you could put your phone to charge and keep brushing 😀
One my way back, Lars and Andreas (Friends from last year) were kind enough to put my shirt for laundry along with theirs. I heard someone say that ”Stealing a bike and riding around is the best way to explore the city” (They have some bike stands in the city if you are not into stealing!)
I wanted to find the showers now, while I was at my tent getting my clothes I heard a guy speaking really loud with Emma. I got out to get introduced to Fabian who was there with Drew (We ended up becoming really close friends). While queuing for the showers, I met a Palestinian – British guy living in London, we got to talk about Life in London, Dubai and India. After about 15 minutes, I found a vacant shower which was clean and had warm water too.
I had to visit Tereza (A friend from Ghent) in the city so I asked if anyone wanted to join me to the city. Emma and Drew joined me till the entrance, where Drew left for the supermarket and I left for the Deak station with Emma. I was waiting for Tereza but my phone could not make calls and hers could not use the Internet. There was a bit of confusion with me running up and down, I finally found her at the platform looking at me with both anger and happiness (I was late as usual!) Nevertheless, we were happy to see each other after months. I am bad with directions and time management. With Tereza around, it reminded me that I have not changed at all. We decided to have a beer at Szimpla kert, which is one of the famous Ruin pubs in Budapest. While searching for the pub, I realised that I could actually read a map (Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be that way :P). As we entered the pub, I was reminded about my previous year in this beautiful city and it’s rustic ruin pubs. Emma was talking about the heat in Budapest and how the big difference from Australia is affecting her. She told us that she would not be able to do this for another 7 days. I did not take her seriously until she started checking flights to other parts of Europe.
What I like the most about Sziget is the fact that every time someone asks “why?” about something, you can always answer “why not?” and it works just fine. And yes, it’s like entering a whole different world for one week, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not real. – Marta Tuttattaccata
She was seriously checking her phone for flights to London and other places in Europe. I thought of Belgium, where I live now, where the weather was pleasant at this time. I asked Emma ”Why not Belgium?”
I could see that she was already looking up the weather and I knew that she was serious. Ruin pubs have scribblings everywhere, which makes it a living museum. We ended up writing on the walls as well and enjoyed the cold pint. After a while, we left Szimpla to visit another ruin pub called the Instant with some weird art and again you could write whatever you want on the walls here (This should be therapy!). Emma had made up her mind, she found tickets to Belgium as well. I told her about the good times I had at Ghent and highly recommended it. I gave her keys to my room and my bike and she was going to leave for the airport that night itself. I realised that this was a bit crazy only much later that day when she sent me a picture from my room, Haha! Emma left for the festival in a cab, while I decided to stay with Tereza for a while before she leaves to Czech Republic.
We grabbed a small hungarian pizza as we headed towards the river. We got some coffee from a supermarket and started walking towards the water on the map. We just walked right into the Parliament without intending to, It was beautiful. We took some selfies, pictures and videos with the parade and relaxed on one of the benches. Finally, around 7 pm we decided to say goodbye as I dropped her by the station. I got back to the festival, met the guys at the Camp, went for Robbie Williams concert, it was fun. It was time for Emma to leave, we told our goodbyes and headed off to the Jack Daniels tent, we danced there for a bit. It was a funny day because quite a lot of guys came up to me asking for weed, I assume it was because of my ever-growing Beard (Who knew!). At around 4 in the morning, I went to sleep.
Day 3: Chilling with Iced teas and Coffee
I have to say that it’s a week of experiencing so many different aspects of life (people, music, art, culture) without the daily worry or stress. – Andreea Bejan
I woke up at 11.15 am and sat under the camp tent to write a bit, I had to check on a few friends. It was the same routine again, had to get my charged phone and find a shower. Basic needs, sigh. It feels much better today, I was thinking that I might fall sick. Met more people, went to the beach, it was super chilled out with free Yoga, massages, Shisha and Chai. I decided to do some yoga, it was quiet and relaxing.
We chilled for a bit and headed off to the beach where we met Diego’s friends who were making beads. I got a Mate Ice tea, which was refreshing. I heard about a foam party somewhere on island and that it is supposed to be awesome. We headed off to the foam place, it looked crazy from outside. Drew, Lorenz (Hector) and Fabian were already there. We had to sign a paper and get inside the foam tub, It was super happening with some nice dance music playing in the back. It was also slippery and so much fun, It was actually better than the kind of shower I had for the past two days and you could get your clothes cleaned there with all the foam around (Haha!). I passed by a coffee place on the way back, I got my eyes on the Iced coffee there, but we kept going back to the camp. I had asked this Canadian guy (Found his name to be Dan) if he wanted to get a coffee with me the day before, and I remember him saying that he would come
with me for coffee when I ask him the next time. He was right there, so I asked, and voila! He remembered, he got up despite having a conversation with two pretty ladies, we went hunting for this crazy cold coffee and I don’t know, It was like a craving. We got it like a treasure, But it sure did taste awesome, just that I sipped it in like 30 seconds, haha. I saw Asaf Avidan and his band on the way, I remembered that my friend likes him, so I took a pic for her
and kept moving on. We came back to the camp and met Debora, I had to pick up another friend from the entrance in some time. The Bubble party was going on that day, there was a countdown and every one blows bubbles, which was kind of alright. I went to pick up my friend, but she was upset because the guards threw her palinka while she tried to enter the festival. We took some time to get to the concert of Florence and the machine, before that we were on the A38 stage trying to get a beer for 20 minutes where Sarah Sue was playing. We were all at Florence and the machine’s concert, Drew and Lorenz were with me, I got to see the show from Lorenz’s shoulder at some point. Later we went to see Jungle for a while, came back to the camp and left for Infected mushrooms, I was getting tired by now,
guess all the sleep I lost was catching up on me. We went back after about 40 minutes and got a coffee again. My friend who lives in Budapest had to leave, so I went to drop her by the entrance and when I came back I met Teja, we talked for a bit and ate a sweet bun. It was time to sleep after a long night, One thing that annoyed me was that over ten guys asked me for drugs and weed, which did not happen last year, probably because of my beard. Anyways, I slept well that night.
Day 4: Games, Circus and Acts
Sziget is where the world stood still, detached from real life, seperated by an immense free feeling. There isn’t a place in the world I’ve experienced a more true-er feeling, in touch with yourself and your inner most desires. A place where you can meet like-minded people, where you (mostly) aren’t judged by who you are or what your background is. A week of love, drugs, music, people. – Shannon Denise Steur
I woke up at 10.30 am and sat down to write the journal, I immediately went to the lockers to get my smart phone which was charged, I met Teja, Pablo told me that he might have given Teja a screw which I needed for my Gopro, so we went to the lockers, but we could not find it. I was back now, Again time for a Shower and brushing my teeth, it was getting more and more difficult to bring myself to do this as it was starting to get really hot outside. I settled going to a shower closely with only cold water facilities, it was always much better after the shower. I came back to have a burger and orange juice with Drew, Lorentz, Parth and Fabian. I copied the videos into my laptop in the charging room and it was boiling the room, the guy who works there noticed me and switched on an indoor fan for me (people are nice!). It was time to go to the Island and explore it a bit more, we went to the Labyrinth first, they open at 2pm and usually have huge queues, but we went early, it was still quite a wait. They give you a sign and you are supposed to get your questions in your head answered by completing tasks that are assigned to you, it can be a bit intimidating.
It was fun nevertheless and makes some sense logically, I had more questions than answers by the end of it. After the labyrinth we headed off to the circus, which had some international acts, My friend Abhi from Gent was going to be at the festival around that time, I had to go pick him up. I left the others to go find him, it was a bit of confusion and finally I found him and showed him the camping place. We went to the supermarket to get some food and came back to the festival to watch Alt- J and CRO, both of them were incredible. We just chilled for the rest of the day with awesome conversations. I took an allergy tablet and went to sleep quite early.
Day 5: Chai, Coffee and Campfires
Sziget is everything you want it to be and that is what makes it unique. it can be about music, people, art, sports, farniente yet the main attraction is the willing of sziticens for sharing their happiness for a whole week and more – Diego Alvarez Fraioli Billot
The same routine again, woke up, charged my phone, brushed my teeth, went for a shower. Decided to go to the foam place again, this time I met two other guys who wanted to go with me, I got a burger on the way and headed off to the foam party, this time I used my Gopro to take some footage (You can see them on the after movie). We met the others from the camp who were heading off to chill at the beach, We joined them. It was a relaxing day, we found a pillow for each of us, I got a chai and Juice for myself. As me and Abhi were sharing a charger, I had to meet him late in the afternoon to get open the locker as I had the keys.
I recorded a lot of videos, passed by The Tin Tings, Foals and watched Ellie goulding towards the end of the night. You might have noticed that I am writing less as the days move on, yes, it’s getting a bit too tiring and difficult to breathe. After a while we went to Telekom to have a crazy party and I decided to go back to the camp with Fabian, because we were tired. We decided to meet the others at the Campfire at around 2am, I talked with people about the Campfire idea and the two Danish girls (Anna and Elisa) were interested to go there, we got a bit lost, but we found the place, it was peaceful and cozy, but i could not find Drew and the others. We headed back to the camp and I was off to sleep. On the 14th, My friend Noemi from Budapest came to the festival for one day, we got to see Avicci, which was pretty awesome.
Are Danish people from Denmark? -Random Camper
I did not write much for the remaining three days, But I would like to write down about things that are stuck in my head from the festival in general.
Why the Sziget festival experience will remain with me forever?
I met four awesome guys, Drew, Parth, Fabian and Lorenz from US, UK, Australia (not sure still haha) and US (Mexican) respectively. We were so funny together that I got an idea to start a show together. We are looking forward to making a funny show soon (It’s going to be super hilarious or not). Every time we heard something funny, we want it to be part of our show, we also found a Director in Chris. All the need now is a place and time, haha!
Being asked for drugs
We are looking for the actual festival experience, Could you help us?
Another thing that I can think of is that, I was constantly asked for drugs, probably because of my beard. One particular day there were about 13 guys who asked me for drugs and weed, i was quite annoyed, the next day I just got my brush to leave to the toilets and I was just talking with the guys at the camp, and I saw a couple of guys coming up to me and say this “We are looking for the complete festival experience”, I had to say “Sorry, not here”. Now that I think of it, The beard has a different meaning everywhere.
One of the days, when Lorenz came back to his tent, he found out that all this belongings were thrown around and he could not sleep for a whole day because his clothes were all wet. It looked like someone had or tried to have sex in his tent and just left everything in a mess(they did not steal anything). He had to go to the coffee shop all day and sit below this tree near the charging place and did not get any sleep, that was very sad indeed.
Chicken at Sziget
We found two guys walking around Sziget with a Chicken, Yes! A Chicken! After coming back to Belgium, I found out that, they are two hitchhikers travelling around with the chicken.
Drew almost lost his eyes
Drew, one of my friends at the festival, was having an eye infection during the festival and wanted an eye drop to get his eye cleared up. One of our fellow campers and friend from Korea offered Drew his eye drop(written in Korean) but by then his eye was al right. He took this eye drop with him to the US, where he had a small eye irritation and used it to only find out that his condition got worse, after translation he found out that it was sodium aluminate. He still his eyes now, luckily.
Being Differently abled is not easy and deserves respect
It’s already Friday -Disappointed friend
I was at the Ability park, where you are pushed to live life as a differently abled, it’s intentions are to make you realize how lucky you are and understand that nothing is impossible. While I was at the ability park, playing football with my friends half blind, we could see only a tiny part of what was going on, while both teams were trying to get to the ball, Pablo bumped into me, and actually got his eye swollen in the process. He hurt his eye real bad. Anyways, You should be grateful for what you are.
” I thought you were Bisexual”
I had a friend called Laurent from last year at Sziget, he had told me that he mostly can’t make it to the festival this year. One day, I texted Laurent again asking if he really was not going to make it, he said he will make it, I was super excited and I told him that it will be great to see him again. Little did I know that I messaged the wrong Laurent (who also came to Sziget last year), and also he heard me say some stupid joke (Sorry for my adult jokes) which probably implied that I am interested in both guys and girls (Apparently I said this right when we were crossing the LGBT section of the festival). All this got a bit funny and crazy when a friend comes up to me and says this “I know that you are straight, But this guy believes that you are Bisexual”. I talked with Laurent and we laughed it off. It was funny.
Met a friend from the hostel I stayed in last year
Sziget is a conglomerate of optimism – Drew Fridley
I met Safak, last year at the goat hostel in Budapest, I used to enjoy talking with him during the times I used the computer at the hostel for transferring pictures. I heard someone calling out for me, there he was, I asked him to pose for a picture with me, we talked for a while and continued on our own ways.
They say when you die… Your life flashes before your eyes… So when I’m smiling, you know it’s Sziget! I’ve been to other festivals, but Sziget is different… It’s a week of global entropy. You will eat, drink, suffer, love, throw up, with so many people you know nothing about except that if not for Sziget, you would never have met them. Add chaos… And what was impossible is possible… Now we just need to figure out what to do with the other 51 weeks a year!- 민수 어
The end show of Martin garrix was also something that I can’t forget, because I had to leave for the airport right after the show and I got everything packed (I left my trousers back), Just when the fireworks went up, rain started pouring in, it started getting very heavy now, people started panicking with mic announcements of evacuation, it looked like a big mess. We ran to our tents, I just got my backpack and got my friend’s sleeping bag, ready to leave. My friend who lives in Budapest lent me the Sleeping bag, I went with Fabian and Parth to drop her at the entrance. We got back and now we had to find the others to say goodbye, I had another coffee and decided to meet Lorenz, Drew and Deborah at the Telekom charging station. Lorenz has not slept yet and I said goodbye to them and hugged them all and started leaving for the airport. The whole place was pouring and it was super messy everywhere, I found a cab outside and finally reached the airport where I had another 4 hours for my boarding. I have always seen people in airports sleeping on the floors, I never thought I would ever do it. I was so tired and exhausted, but also excited to breathe normal air that I just put my backpack and covered my face with my hat and started sleeping until the airport got crowded and woke me up.
What do you think about the Sziget festival experience? Let me know below.