Thank you for viewing this blog. My overall intention is to provide people with first hand accounts of my festival experiences and in doing so give you advise and direction on planning your own tips/holidays.
The idea of traveling all the way across Europe to Hungary for a music festival is a large task. My first impressions where, "Why not stay local". I live in Belfast, Ireland so the availability of festivals across the Irish sea in Britain are many.
People in Belfast are used to the annual trip to Oxegen festival down in the south of the Island but wasn't held in 2012 due to the site being overused like the Glastonbury site.
My first alternative was Pukkelpop but wasn't sure it would be the same after the accident in 2011. Many of my friends got on board with the Sziget idea and I soon followed suit.
Everyone will obviously research where they are going of too before booking flights/tickets etc. I found a worrying lack of information from previous Sziget goers. All i had to go on was the standard information provided by the two Sziget websites available and sparse forum posts. All the obvious questions i wanted answering like, "What type of people attend", "Is there sufficient security", "Will i be stabbed/raped/murdered for my hat", couldn't be answered with the information provided.
So i basically booked onto the trip blind of detail with the attitude of "just go with it". Flights and ticket came to around £250 which wasn't bad. I brought a medium sized hiking bag packed with a tent and sleeping bag with all the other obvious items.
You don't need to haul an entire camping setup with you. Just outside the island there is a superstore which has everything at very reasonable prices. I honestly would advise just waiting and buying your tent etc over there. A member of my group did which left room in his case for a beer bong haha.
The superstore itself is a 15 minute walk down a straight road, so its impossible to get lost. Midday security won't let you enter via the front door so just go round to the left side of the building where there is an unguarded door. If you bring any backpacks you are asked to store them in a locker just outside the main store which are free of charge. Just make sure you remember the pin you chose for the lock.
As i said the store has everything, you can buy yourself a TV if you fancy it.
Food and drink on the island range from large pizza slices to McDonalds. I did find myself eating a lot of McDonalds because, well it is McDonalds. Honestly the drinks from there taste like the were made from toilet water and the chips are most of the time cold/under cooked. I recommend making trips to the supermarket and picking up bread, cheese and ham along with other nice food. Fruit juices are also a good choice.
Alcohol on the island comes in a few forms. The local beer is fine, but not one person could pour a pint to save their lives so you end up with half pints every time. The beer also comes in cans, although slightly more expensive its a much better drink. Cocktail bars are everywhere aswell, not my cup of tea to be fair and are pretty expensive.
One night we came across this sort of barrel hut which was selling this soda/wine.
Frocas is a Hungarian drink which contains wine, fruit juice and soda water. The entire group fell in love immediately. They are a must try, they come in a decent sized bottle and are very refreshing but at the same time will get you plastered. If thinking about buying drink at the superstore and bringing it in be very careful. Security on the gate search your bags extensively and anything else you have. We did get drink in but it was well hid.
I do experiment with drugs on the odd occasion. Drug dealers stick out like a sore thumb, they aren't very subtile. Weed comes in grams, about €15-20 a gram. Not a very good price but it is a good smoke. Ecstasy isn't good at all, my friend took about 4 pills on one of the nights and was absolutely fine. Again i suppose it all depends on who you buy it off.
The island itself is huge and very beautiful. We arrived at night. We got the bus with no problems just outside the airport terminal and brought us a 5 minute walk away from the main gate. As we had arrived on the -1 day we had to buy a separate ticket to get in that night. We were all very tired from the traveling and keen to get our camp set up. We walked up one of the main roads with no idea where we were going. The place was really busy and all the stalls were open already. We found a good spot beside the Illuminarium (see Sziget map). Got set up and as Irish as you want went straight on the drink. We first went and got our cards full with credit. The pay card system is very convenient, which allows you to reduce the possibility of being mugged. You can also pin protect your card if you lose or get it stole via a free text message.
We then got pissed and explored most of the available open clubs/bars.
The next morning/afternoon was awful. At least the hottest weather i have every witnessed, 40C. as you could imagine the hangover was serious. Trying to sleep during the next day is next to impossible. Your tent becomes a greenhouse and you will be sweating until at least 7pm. So i advise not to go in hard on your first night if you are not yet used to hot temperatures. The main stage is particularly warm, it does have water spraying down on you but its like someone is spitting water through a straw at you
Our group was about 15 strong and we attracted a lot of attention from festival goers with our beer bongs and Irish ways. I honestly cannot remember one person who i met throughout the trip that i didn't like. Everyone was so nice and friendly. I am used to having to deal with mud covered dickheads at Oxegen and i expected more of the same but was pleasantly surprised that i didn't. if you don't like Dutch people, shit one its full of them but equally full of Italians and Germans all of whom are dead on. There were also a surprising amount of Americans also (who annoy me the most).
The showers are a God send. During the day you will want a shower to cool yourself down and rightly so. In the morning they are usually empty but around midday the lines are big enough. Don't let this put you of, the lines move very quickly and you will be in and out in no time. The island itself has hard ground which is good for walking on and kicking a football on but will break your back when slept on. I done it a few times and woke up fucked haha. The place is very very dusty which kicks up everywhere you go. You will wake up with your nose stuffed with dirt. You will obviously see pictures of the beach on the island, you are not allowed on this and swimming in the river is forbidden. You wouldn't want to anyway its disgusting.
Personally i didn't have a problem with getting lost because my group was big and even if i went of somewhere by myself i seemed to bump into someone. Im sure a smaller group would have more trouble. Mobile phone charges aren't that much so keep yours charged at the charging station. The arena is huge and you could get lost very quick.
There is not much else i can say. I won't talk about the actual experience, i will leave that end upto you.
Anything else you would like to know as away.