Hungarian summers are packed to the brim with festivals, and new ones keep appearing on the scene. But once they become popular, they tend to attract bigger and bigger crowds, losing their initially friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Here are some less known festivals awaiting you this year if you prefer manageable crowds, as collected by nlcafe.hu.
One of the youngest festivals which is organised for the third time this year, Kolorádó is all about the alternative and indie scene, about an hour away from Budapest, in the woods near Nagykovácsi. The most renowned international artist of the line-up is Kelela, but the indie-garage pop of Hinds and the surfpop of Wavves will surely prove memorable too. And if you want to get acquainted with the Hungarian underground scene, this festival was made for you, with indie favourites like Csaknekedkislány, Fran Palermo and Middlemist Red as well as more fringe brands like Ricsárdgír or Deep Glaze.
Day tickets: 3000/7500 Ft.
Passes: 12,000-15,000 Ft.
Four days of theatrical performances from seven countries in a hippie-punk atmosphere combined with garden museums, an observatory, marketplace, workshops, film screenings, and quality Czech beer and Hungarian wine in the scenic town of Zsámbék easily accessible by coaches from Budapest.
Day ticket: 3000 Ft.
Pass: 10,000 Ft.
An exciting initiative that is organised for the first time this year which promises avantgarde jazz, experimental electronica, tribal techno, musical and dance workshops, performances, theatre, contemporary Hungarian short films, farmer’s markets and new visions of art in a beautiful valley in Zala county. Only for those who are open to seeing something completely new in the making.
Passes: 52-100 USD.
A festival at a pretty little lake in Bánk whose chill atmosphere is miraculously still present despite the rise in its popularity in recent years, hence their self-proclaimed name “the biggest small festival”. But it is worth going before it truly explodes as Bánk remains one of the prime examples of combining civil causes, social awareness and cultural events with great independent music.
Day tickets: 7500/11,000 Ft.
Passes: 17,500-25,000 Ft.
A free festival at Lake Balaton with world music that can serve as a quieter counterpoint to the techno craze of Balaton Sound – not to mention: it is free!
If you’re looking for something more reserved and classical, Salföld, near the northern shore of Lake Balaton with its folk music, traditional dance, and string quartet performances is for you.
Day ticket: 1500/1800 Ft.
Passes: 2900-3900 Ft.
Another free event organised in the pretty old town of Veszprém, the seat of the county of the same name in Western Hungary. A truly participatory festival where performers compete for the price of the “best street musician”, and festivalgoers can vote for their favourites on the Festival’s app. But a bunch of international artists are playing, too.
SZIN, which stands for Szegedi Ifjúsági Napok, or Szeged Youth Days, has been providing that last late summer entertainment for young people in the university city for 50 years now! Definitely a bigger event catering more to mainstream Hungarian pop/rock taste, with iconic Hungarian bands like Punnany Massif, 30Y, and Quimby.
Day ticket: 6950/8950 Ft
Passes: 15 950-25 550 Ft.
Featured image: facebook.com/bankitofeszt