The coronavirus might still be breaking records of daily infections and deaths, but Hungary seems to be ready to restart its festival season this summer. One of the biggest and most popular festivals, Balaton Sound, has just booked its place in Zamárdi for the end of June.
In just 4 short months from now, Sziget Kultúrális Menedzsmentiroda Kft. would organise its popular festival in Zamárdi – at least they have already made sure to book the venue. According to the information of 24.hu, the company offered a new contract to the little village at Lake Balaton that attracted a record number of visitors at its last edition in 2019 (awesome pictures to make you want to participate this year are available HERE).
On Thursday, the mayor of Zamárdi called for a meeting to give their permission for the
organisation of two festivals in the village this summer – under strict pandemic conditions, of course.
Balaton Sound is planned to take place between the end of June and the first week of July, while Strand Fesztivál organised by Volt Kft. received permission for August. However, the accepted agreement also gives the possibility for the two companies to postpone their respective festivals to 2022 in the case the actual situation of the pandemic will impede their organisation. On Friday, the municipality sent out the conditions of the contract accepted by the delegates of the village to the organising companies.
Gyula Csákovics, mayor of Zamárdi, said to 24.hu that
they have not accepted the complete proposal drawing up a festival plan for the next 5 years, as Zamárdi has the objective to “show their way out” from the village.
This means that the festival Be My Lake will not happen in Zamárdi either. The aim is to make use of the venue of the previous festivals for other purposes in the long run, such as creating a parking area.
“This one-year-long contract is a kind of bonus for the events that were cancelled last year; it gives time for the organisers to find a new venue for their festivals,” explained the mayor.
Tamás Kádár, managing director of Sziget Zrt., told 24.hu that they did get in touch with Zamárdi in order to secure the venues. He said that for now, the plan is to wait until March to make the final decision concerning the fate of this year’s events, for which they offered this one-year contract with the option to move the events to the next year. Kádár also added that based on the latest governmental announcements, they do not see a high chance for any event with a vaccine passport over the course of this summer.
On the other hand, festivals in Zamárdi are not really welcome anymore by the locals either. During the municipal elections in 2019, the issue of mass events became one of the most crucial points in the campaign. Already before his re-election, Csákovics was on the side of giving less space to festivals, and he even said that the rental fees of these events must be increased. In relation to the topic, he commented that they will be much higher compared to the rental fees included in the last contract valid for 5 years, the one that expired in 2019. However, due to the pandemic, in the end, they did not implement the previously announced tenfold increase.