I’m sure you’ve all heard of Coachella, OutsideLands, Lollapalooza, etc… you know those weekend long music festivals? Well, have you ever heard of a music festival that goes on for ONE WHOLE WEEK?? Yup! It actually exists and it happens every year in Budapest, Hungary. It’s called the Sziget Festival and not only is it a 7-day festival, but every day it starts at 10am and ends at 5am! What the heck? Europeans sure know how to party!!
I hadn’t heard about it until I was talking to my friend Thai while I was touring around Croatia. He asked me where else I would be going during my Europe trip and I mentioned Budapest. To my surprise, he said that he was going as well and that’s when he mentioned the Sziget Festival! Thai and I have gone to SXSW in Austin, Texas, together two years in a row so I would definitely consider him to be a music festival buddy. Too bad him and his best friend Habib were going to the festival a day before Andrew (my BF at the time) and I arrive in Budapest so we wouldn’t catch them there, but at least we were going to be able to hang out and grab dinner before they left Budapest. So Andrew and I talked about it and although we didn’t have tickets for the day Kygo was headlining (we really wanted to see him), we were still going to go and try to buy tickets from scalpers.
The morning we awoke from our stay at the Continental Hotel in Budapest, Andrew and I wanted to use the amenities of our hotel so we decided to use the sauna to sweat out the alcohol we drank from the night before and take a dip in the rooftop pool since it was such a lovely day. As we were in the pool, Andrew saw a girl tanning with a Sziget Festival bracelet on so he decided to ask her about it. (Mind you, Andrew is super friendly and likes to talk to everyone, pretty much like me. LOL) Her name was Jessica, she was on holiday from London, and she expressed to us how much fun she was having. We told her our plans of how we were going to try to buy tickets at the event even though they were sold out and she told us we still have a good chance because there were a bunch of people trying to sell tickets in the front every single day she had gone. Yayy! We were feeling super positive that we would get tickets and then invited her to come along with us if she wanted to since her friends would be meeting her there. We then exchanged numbers and left the pool to go get ready. (Jessica also had a connection to buy weed at the festival so that was a major plus!! ;))
Andrew and I agreed that we didn’t want to go to the festival too early since we had ALL night to enjoy it so we decided to grab brunch near our hotel. We stumbled upon a cute little all-day breakfast spot just steps from our hotel and boy was that a blessing! London Coffee Society… MMMmmm mmmMMMmm!!! That was my best meal in Europe thus far and I had already been in Amsterdam and Croatia before that! Of course Andrew and I decided to get two different plates so that we could share.
I ordered the Salmon Beetroot which consisted of smoked salmon, avocado, roasted beetroot puree with garlic on sourdough toast and seeds and he got The Hangover which was scrambled eggs, cheddar, chorizo in tortilla, baked beans and hot tomato dip with nachos. OMGoodnesss!! It was like heaven in my mouth! The avocado and beet root puree on my toast with salmon and the little surprise bursts of pomegranate.. DROOOLS! And then the cheesiness on the eggs for The Hangover… TO DIE FOR! I also had a big glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. Always a must for breakfast! We both were so satisfied with our meal, we decided to go back to the hotel to rest a little bit before we took on the day.
3pm hit and Jessica’s text message woke us up from our little nap. She decided that she wanted to come along with us to the festival! Yay! So we all met in the lobby downstairs, grabbed a taxi, and were on our merry way. We got dropped off at a side entrance and there were no scalpers to be found. Aww man! Fail! We had to wave down a second taxi to get dropped off at the main entrance instead. We told Jessica that she should go in since she already had her wristband but she insisted that she wanted to help us get in, so she decided to stay. What a sweetheart she was! 🙂
We finally get to the main entrance and there were only a few scalpers selling tickets. Jessica informed us that on the other days she went, there were plenty of people selling but maybe since Kygo was performing that evening that that’s why everyone wanted to go. We walked around and people were selling tickets for double the price. Andrew and I didn’t want to spend too much so we decided to wait around for a few more scalpers. It was crazy to see the hustle and grind these people had to put in just to make a dollar. It made me feel so grateful I didn’t have to do that to make a living.
Most people were just selling one ticket here and one ticket there. Then we met this group of 6 guys who told us not to buy the tickets from anyone because they had gotten scammed 500 euros! What the heck? Damn thats a lot of money! They said that when they went to exchange the paper ticket for a wristband, the worker told them that it had already been used so maybe these scalpers were just making photo copies of their tickets. Oh boy… we felt so discouraged after that, but we realized that if we found a ticket, we would make the seller go with us to exchange it and then only after finding out that the ticket is real/legit would we give them the money. After about 2-3 hours of still trying to find two tickets, I don’t know how it even came up but we were like wait a minute, we could just buy the one ticket that they were offering, exchange it for the wristband, and do the method of just passing it back. So I would put on the bracelet very loosely and go in first with Jessica. Once I was in, I would remove the bracelet and Jessica could walk out with it and then pass it to Andrew who would then go in! Genius!!! Hey, I know we’re scamming the system but we were desperate and it TOTALLY WORKED! WOO HOOO! 3 hours later we all got in and it was perfect! Jessica was such a doll to help us with the whole process. Without her it wouldn’t have happened so, Thank you Jessica, you’re the best!!! <3
We finally got in and were ecstatic! All that work was totally worth it! It was my first time having to do something like that so having that experience in itself was cool but it’s something I never want to have to go through again. So hectic! Hahah All in all, WE MADE IT, and that’s all that matters!
Once inside, the first thing we did was we met up with Jessica’s friends. Luckily they had a meeting spot in front of the main stage and it was just perfect because it wasn’t too cramped and it was really easy to find them. We caught the last bit of M0’s performance and I was really happy about that because I really wanted to see her!
After that, Andrew and I wanted to wander off and check out the rest of the festival since we had never been before so we told Jessica that we would meet her up later on. She informed us that she would most likely be in the same spot most of the time so that was perfect.
Sziget Festival was ginormous! There were so many stages with a plethora of unique and eclectic acts. We didn’t know where to start but we just started walking. We stumbled upon a reggae stage and of course I wanted to stay. We got to see an amazing African dance group that I really enjoyed! Their energy was soo much fun!
Andrew and I continued exploring and when the sun went down, we decided to meet up with Jessica to hopefully find her connect for weed. It took some time but she was finally able to get a hold of her guy via snapchat so we met up with him. It was this kid who had a backpack full of goodies. Hmm… I wonder how he got that in there with the strict security, but it doesn’t really matter, we found some weed so I was a happy camper! The only thing was that none of us knew how to roll a joint. As we were sitting there, I saw this guy who looked like he was on a pretty good one. I thought to myself, “He HAS to know how to roll a joint,” so I asked him. Yuup! I was right! But instead of just asking him to roll one for us, I asked him to teach me because I thought that would be a handy skill to have either way. He was a wonderful teacher! (I now can roll my own joints, really good looking ones too if you ask me! Haha) His name was Renzo and he was from Holland. Such a nice guy, he ended up sharing his hash with us as well! After that, everything was heightened and extra wonderful again! hehe 😉 We saw Kygo, danced our hearts out, then ended the night walking to the beach that they had in the festival. They set it up with a bunch of couches and huge lawn chairs with pillows… it was amazing!
Around 3am we all agreed that we were satisfied with exploring the Sziget Festival! It was filled with lots of fun music, very artful performances, and just good vibes all around. I was really glad that Andrew and I decided to go. I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in Budapest! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Until next time, my friends!!