The Island of Freedom Sziget Fesztival Official

Nowadays, there are more and more festivals throughout Europe. Let’s admit, these kinds of events, offer one of the best places, where people from all around Europe can gather and enjoy the spirit of easiness together.

One of the biggest European music festivals is Sziget Festival, or in other words, "Island Festival", which is annually held in Budapest, on the Island of Óbuda. It started in 1993, and this year already celebrated its 21th edition. Although it is held in Hungary, it cannot be considered a pure "Hungarian" festival. The multicultural side of the event can easily be noted in the wide use of English, instead of the local language.

From among the thousands of visitors, the majority are coming from the European Union countries, but some real enthusiasts even travel here from overseas. What could be more wonderful than a mixture of different nationalities partying together in peace and fun, making new friendships throughout Europe with the common aim to enjoy themselves? The event well-deserves the name it was given, the "Island of Freedom".

The programs

Although the line-up of this year was criticized by several people, still many came here to see their favourites. The main attractions, among many others have been the Blur, Franz Ferdinand and Nick Cave. But, in the previous years, bands as Korn also showed up here, and the visitor has plenty programs to choose from during his/her stay. Personally, I was never ever bored with Sziget. Sometimes you cannot even decide from among the varieties of colourful programs which one you should visit.

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Despite mainly being a music festival, Sziget Festival, is not all about music. The NGO sector has a great opportunity to present themselves and to offer interesting games and gifts for the public, which is a good way of promoting and advertising the organization, and, in more lucky cases, to find cooperators for projects.

The European Meeting Point, which can be seen as a small "EU" within the NGO Island – and well, bit separated from it, is an initiative supported by the European Commission to collect and introduce different organizations (e.g.: EVS, AEGEE, initiatives such as Fraternité 2020), which are specialized in and dealing with European issues, with focus on the Youth. With the help of the European Meeting Point and with the NGO Island, more festival lovers are able to get familiar with what the EU does, and what it means to be a European. This year, for the first time, OneEurope also could be there, although yet only in one person, in cooperation with the Youth Consultation Cycle Hungary. Hopefully, next year more of our members will meet you there!

I personally believe that today festivals are part of our youth culture and are a place of tolerance and unity, regardless of race, language, sex, religion or other kind of distinction. They should also serve as community-building places, on which we should base our European values. In this context, considering all the wonderful people from different countries, all the warm and friendly environment, the great music, and the location of the festival in Central Europe, the whole experience could be named "The European Meeting Point".  

Finally, my message for Sziget can’t be else, but: THANK YOU AGAIN! 

Edited by:
Ana Postolache
Photo Credits:
Sziget Fesztival Official