SZIGET FESTIVAL 2006
09/08/2006 - 16/08/2006
When the music is over
The familiar mood of ecstatic cheer on 160 acres, 66 venues, 30.000 squaremeters
of camping site and 3.500 squaremeters of stage area, 500 domestic and 250
foreign performers from 44 countries. This is the evaluation of Sziget 2006
in terms of figures. The closing day of the fourteenth Sziget-festival was
full-house thus outdoing last year’s all time high of 385.000 visitors.
Sziget 2006 boasted the most various programme-schedule of its entire history.
The colourful feast included street and dance theatres, ballet-dancing, acrobats
and puppetry as well in addition to the customary presence of bands and DJs.
Out of all foreign countries it was Great-Britain that gave the most performers,
that is 42 altogether. Unfortunately, the performances of two of the originally
scheduled 44 performers had to be called off because of the terrorist attempts
in London, so we had to miss Gomez and Coldcut. We did, however, enjoy the
gigs of Placebo, Franz Ferdinand, Prodigy, Robert Plant and Radiohead who
actually took an extra jet to manage to come and play Sziget. The US "dispatched"
24 groups including Iggy And The Stooges, The Scissor Sisters, Sick Of It
All and Living Colour, to name but a few. 26 German and 24 French performers
represented their homecountries. Mali was represented by Toumani Diabaté,
the King of Khora. Columbians Leonor Dely and Tumba y Quema Colombian Music
Drums performed at Afro-Latin Stage. We even had guests from India: Angika
Dance Company and Jayanthi Subramaniam. Three Japanese companies performed
at MTV Theatre And Dance Acts Tent, we had a guest from Perou let alone the
Venesuelan artists at Cöxpon Ambient Tent or the Cuban dance-artists
in Magic Mirror.
The Brief History of Sziget Week
Days 0-1. - More than 70 percent of the camping-weekly holders had set up
their tents on day zero. Glen Matlock's "Pretty Vacant" was the
kick-off for the Main Stage programme at Sziget 2006 while the first day-show
was topped by the performance of Franz Ferdinand. Robert Plant ravished his
audience at World Music Stage while Cradle Of Filth rampaged at Hammerworld
Stage. Sziget started off scone-hot: 45.000 people gathered together. Opening
day saw Sziget Kulturális Szervezoiroda and Álom Sziget 2004
Real Estate Ltd. sign a cooperation statement in which the company guarantees
to enable a smooth festival procedure regardless of the huge investment taking
place on the southern part of the island. The document also declares that
both of the contracting parties intend to make Hajógyári-sziget
a cultural centre of the third district of Budapest. Károly Gerendai,
who signed the declaration on the part of Sziget Office, stated that the investment
seems favourable for Sziget in several respects: the renovation of the pedestrian
(K) bridge had long been wished for while the hotels to-be-built will offer
quality accomodation for performing artists.
Day 2. - On the second day a real festive mood dominated Sziget. Jovanotti
entertained a crowd of 25.000 at Main Stage while Goran Bregovic has had some
12.000 people dancing in front of pannon World Music. Altogether, 46-000 visitors
enjoyed the "Sziget feeling" on the second day of the festival.
Day 3. - 50.000 visitors enjoyed one or other of the 200 programmes on Friday.
Nearly 30.000 people gathered to see the exciting, funny sexy and groovy performance
of Scissor Sisters in front of 14-metre high and 84 squaremetre large Main
Day 4. - Author of "Rebeka, my Puppy", "Tiny Stream"
and other blissfully classical pieces Benedek Uhrin, a.k.a. "The Master"
has lost his way in the cultural jungle of Sziget. The 80 years old star could
not find his stage unlike the crowd of fifty-thousand who knew exactly where
Radiohead's concert is at. Everyone else were having a good time, too. On
the fourth day 63.000 people visited Sziget festival. Radiohead's two-hours
long concert surely won them a place among the very best in Sziget history.
A few minutes past 7 PM organizers of CowParadeBudapest succeeded in completing
the world's largest mosaic that displays a cow, with the help of 1700 volunteers.
The feat celebrated the 102nd birthday of Hungarian senior-painter Tamás
Day 5. - Sziget attracted 55.000 visitors ont he last day of the week. Beside
the main musical acts the audience were keen on other cultural events as well.
The weekend's big sensation was the German Theater Titanic who performed at
the Big Street Theatres venue.
Day 6. - "We're glad to be here!" - shouted out to the crowds Beatsteaks'
frontman launching the sixth day with his strong German accent. A total of
61.000 guests had the pleasure of spending their time on Sziget on Monday.
Placebo's Main Stage gig was a full house show with 50.000 viewers while it
was impossible to approach Hammerworld venue when The Exploited played. Three
times more fans were stuck outside the doors than those who raved in the tent.
Romani Tent was bunched while Parno Graszt were playing. The pride of village
Paszab surely attracted far more people than the number of inhabitants in
the band’s countryside home.
Day 7. - The closing day still had several grand feats in store: Iggy And
The Stooges and Prodigy on Main Stage, Gogol Bordello on WAN2 Stage and the
habitual closing gig by Sziámi at Bahia Stage. You also had the option
of observing sheep due to Canadian street artists' crew Corpus whose unique
live-installation was displayed mixing reality and fiction with pastoral scenes
before a typically urban scenery.
State Secretary of Municipality Department István Újhelyi expressed
his appreciation of Sziget stressing its importance in the field of tourism.
As he said, Sziget is one of the flagships of tourism in Hungary since visitors
spend six billion HUF per year which produce a tax income of one billion for
the state annually. The statesman also made it clear that he visited the event
with the intention of taking his hat off to the organizers of Sziget.
Sziget proves to be a perfect field for research. As the 9 years long survey
of Higher Education Research Institute shows the most important novelty is
that a generational change has been completed int he past few years the result
of which is a new young middle-class that stand all demands in Europe. The
lingual separation between foreign and domestic youth seems to have perfectly
Selective waste disposal
As for the attitude of Sziget-dwellers they seem to be more environmentally
aware and orderly year by year: this year 2500 kg of aluminium-waste was collected
as opposed to last year's 1500 kg. Beside this eight tons of plastic-waste
had been handed in to be recycled. It is also satisfactory to note that ninety
percent of the selected waste had been disposed into the right tanks due to
the newly initiated containers.
Security and health
According to the statement of the third district chief constable Sziget has
not become more "criminal" the least bit as compared to recent years.
Altogether sanitary conditions were similar to last year's, there were no
really serious medical problems. The number of drug-related problems positively
decreased, while there were more injured ankles, presumably as a result of
the poor ground conditions caused by the high water-level.
Bits and pieces
Even Wedding Tent veterans were surprised by the following case. A young couple
married according to the Sziget ceremony but the young man was not content
with the Sziget kind of marriage so he knelt down before his Beloved and popped
the question, this time seriously, producing a real wedding-ring.
The image of Sziget on a 60 sq. Meter photograph.
HP's montage is the largest and most spectacular visual summary of Sziget
ever. The image including more than 4000 photos display the highlights of
Sziget 2006. The extraordinary exhibition includes photos printed at HP’s
during the week exclusively and make up the word "Sziget" as a symbol
of communal feeling.
It took 15 days for 6000 people to build up Sziget over 160 acres. The total
ground-space of campsites was approx. 30.000 sq. metres. The largest tent
was Party Arena with its 2700 sq. metres while the attachment took four trucks
to bring to the spot. Although Hammerworld was somewhat smaller (a "humble"
2500 sqm) it needed five trucks. The organizers covered tentfloors and routes
in a coating to prevent dust pollution. The main routes were covered in plastic
that was transported by eleven trucks whereas the tents received 24.000 sqm
of wooden-coating. Containers were transported by 120 trucks 125 of which
were water and boiler containers, 155 were office, storage, dressing room
and other functions. Twenty trucks carried fences and barricades, further
four brought cables and fuseboxes. Eighty people built the 3500 sqm of stage
area throughout seven days and utilizing four trolleys. The biggest Main Stage
was 84sqm large, 14 m high with a load-bearing capacity of twenty tons and
weighing eighty tons. Main Stage lights weighed four tons with 400.000W performance
including 80 Very lights. The sound quality was also greatly enhanced. Main
Stage received the most up-to-date digital mixing desks with 250 kW sound-performance,
Meyer Sound set and Line Array soundsystem. Meyer Sound also provided quality
sound for the minor stages.
As for the toilets, a new sewage disposal technique has been initiated with
the help of which the number of hygienic container-toilets increased. This
techniqe does not require drainage system only a central container which is
continually emptied. All in all 1329 toilets were available for visitors,
let alone 16 mobile pissoirs and handwash-sets. Ten more containers were set
up as baths and showers as compared to last year. Public lighting was also
The dismantling of Main Stage began right after Prodigy's concert. The entire
dismantling and cleaning process will take approx. ten days.
Report written by:
média koordinátor - Media Coordinator
Sziget Kulturális Szervezoiroda - Sziget Cultural Management
Budapest, 1117 Orlay utca 5-7.Hungary
Mob:+36 20 460 3007 - Tel.: +36 1 372 0671 - Fax: +36 1 372 0685
For more information visit: www.szigetfestival.com
Official Sziget site: www.sziget.hu/festival_english/press