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Sziget Festival begins Wednesday

The Sziget Festival, the biggest music event in Hungaryʼs calendar and one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe, kicks off for the 27th time on Wednesday August 7, and runs until Tuesday, August 13.

This yearʼs Sziget Festival lineup promises over 1,000 shows at 60 different venues over seven full days. While music is the main focus, the festival - as always - also features many performances of circus, dance, theater, and comedy, and spaces for art.

Headliners on the main stage include Ed Sheeran (August 7), Franz Ferdinand (August 8), The National (August 10), Post Malone (August 11), Florence + The Machine (August 12), Twenty One Pilots and Foo Fighters (August 13).

Once again this year, Szigetʼs theme is its “Love Revolution” campaign, with a focus on the importance of sustainability, human rights, condemning war and armament, and speaking out against discrimination based on skin color, religion, or sexual orientation.

From little acorns...

The first festival took place on the site on Óbudai-sziget in 1993, originally dubbed Diáksziget (Student Island) and featuring only Hungarian bands. The second event in 1994 was subtitled “Eurowoodstock,” and featured a retro lineup including original Woodstock performers Jefferson Airplane, Ten Years After, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The adoption of the moniker Pepsi Sziget in 1996 brought with it greater clout thanks to the eponymous sponsor, reflected in the addition of acts such as Iggy Pop, Slash and The Prodigy, and 1997 upped the ante with David Bowie, Motörhead, and Faith No More.

The event adopted its current name Sziget from 2002, and lineups have expanded increasingly over the years, following closely trends in music internationally, and with the ever-increasing participation of festivalgoers from abroad. Prince famously performed on the eve of the festival proper in 2011.

Last yearʼs festival drew an estimated record 565,000 visitors over its week-long duration.