Music festival, theatrical plays, civil organizations in one place? This is Hungarian Bánkitó Festival!
Where will we and our societies be in 10 years’ time? How can we take matters into our hands in forming our future to be more inclusive as a society? At their 10th birthday, Hungarian Bánkitó 2028 (yes, 2028!) Festival brought together programs that engaged to find answers to questions similar to these. Find out how this fits into a festival.
What is Bánk?
Bánkitó has been organised for the 10th time but has become widely known and popular since 2015. From a gathering of Budapest youngsters at the Lake of Bánk, Hungary, it has grown out to be a festival that is interesting for more and more groups of people: youth both from the countryside and Budapest, families with children or just people who are interested in culture and music.
The concept in itself is straightforward: come together and spend valuable time while having fun, learning unconsciously about our society and culture, all of this by the lakeside at Bánk.
This festival represents something different in concept compared to other Hungarian successful festivals, such as the VOLT Festival at the beginning of July.
A (not only) musical festival
Not unexpectedly, one of the main pillars of the festival remains music even though many other optional programs are offered. The festival attempts to provide something different from other small and even more significant festivals’ line-up:
„Progressive, contemporary and constantly renewable” – This is what organisers claim Bánkitó’s musical line-up is about.
The organisers try not to favour lovers of any specific music genre so that everyone can find what they are looking for. Foreign performers included Acid Arab (FR), Shigeto (US), Suuns (California) and Iceage (DK). With regards to Hungarians, Bánkitó is a stage for both not widely known and already recognised and favourite performers to present themselves.
Lovers of Hungarian music could enjoy old favourites, such as Hiperkarma; new bands like Bohemian Betyars; singer-songwriters like Szabó Benedek és a Galaxisok; and hip bands, just as Fran Palermo.
Naturally – as is the case with other festivals – those who wanted to party more even after the concerts had the chance to do so at various magnificent locations from smaller to bigger, all in the woods.
Social responsibility at a festival?!
The organisers consider Bánkitó not only as a music festival but also a platform for social projects, NGOs and civil organisations. This year, the central theme behind cultural programs was modernisation and how modernisation affects society and modern arts.
Where will we be in 10 years? This was the central question of the festival this year. Civil organisations such as NANE and Bagázs were also present.
Programs were organised in topics such as mental illnesses, social responsibility, sustainable fashion and design, regional workshops and talks.
Who are we, where are we – theatre at Bánkitó
There are Hungarian festivals specialised for theatre, and there are festivals that include them in their program, such as Bánkitó. Due to the high popularity of theatrical plays last year, organisers introduced a pre-registration ticket system for the theatrical programs: those interested had to „buy” tickets (free of charge) in advance for the plays.
This shows exactly how well-liked and welcome theatre is at Bánkitó. Some of the most interesting plays, to name but a few:
- Interdisciplinary sound performance built on the connection between music, space and body,
- Interactive play by the Symptoms Lab from Corvinus University of Budapest about the future of enterprises,
- Political ideologies’ roots in national thinking – a post-fact documentary play,
- A modern Antigoné reflecting the ways our lives are connected with ancient Romans’ lives,
- Gender and feminism through improvisation, lining up traditional portrays of men and women.
Come and try next year
Although the Hungarian festival scene has become more competitive, Bánkitó is a festival that is in no tourist guides, and that is right so.
Following the success of Bánkitó each year, we can only recommend that you participate next year – it is unbelievably calming and exciting at the same time to experience the closeness of nature, have cultural and social programs together with great concerts in the evening.
Featured image: www.bankitofesztival.hu