Thursday, August 16, 2007


Alas, Hungary's largest gathering of musicians, artists and French hippies has come to an end. The Sziget Festival was eight days of muddy hedonism with some of the world's greatest rock bands showing up. The Killers, Madness, Nine Inch Nails, the Chemical Brothers and Manu Chao all played the main stage with at least 40,000 people corralled into the center of the festival.

Many of the smaller acts along the outer banks of Obudai Island in the middle of the Danube were enjoyable as well -- not to mention more accessible. Gogol Bordello and Mau Mau proved that in order to rock a side tent at any festival these days, you MUST incorporate an accordion player into the band.

Sziget becomes a temporary community as backpackers descend on Budapest in droves. There is shopping, great food, dance parties that never stop, and an international crowd that camps around the island. The festival also gives artists a chance to exhibit their interactive wares.

A New York-Hungarian collaboration called Flux Factory merged Budapest and New York in one trippy installation.

And near the medusa tent there was a plethora of soul-seeking and labyrinthine projects...

Sziget was such a massive event that you would think that would finally put an end to the festival season. Whew! It's finally over. Or is it?...

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