After a gruelling 24-hour bus journey, we’re finally safe and sound in Budapest ahead of this year’s Sziget Festival. Read on for our recap of the first day of this year’s mind-blowing festival, direct from the Hungarian capital
Summer? Sunshine. Sunshine? Festivals. Here at melty, there’s nothing we like more than grabbing our boots, fishing out last year’s grimy tent and gathering the team for a few days in nature’s bosom, and this year’s no different. After BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend back in May, where we saw the likes of Taylor Swift, Clean Bandit and Foo Fighters set fire to the stage, as well as the first-ever Common People down in Southampton (organised by those clever people over at Bestival), we thought we’d take a couple of weeks off, but were we really likely to turn down Sziget 2015? Uh, no. Since its launch in 1993, Sziget has grown from a live event focusing mainly on traditional Hungarian music to one of the biggest festivals in Europe, with more than 350,000 revellers expected to attend this year. Including, naturally, three of melty’s most intrepid journalists. Seven days of intense heat and incredible music, all on an island in the middle of the River Danube? Count us in.
After a gruelling 24-hour bus journey - no, we never take the easy option - we finally arrived at the festival around 10am, in searing 30-degree heat. Never in our lives have we struggled so much as when we hauled our suitcases, tents, and plastic bags filled with various Austrian snacks out of the bus's underbelly. Finding a place among the thousands of other festival-goers was also rather challenging. Finally, our pair of fortresses successfully mounted, we ran towards the shower (which was, horrifyingly, about ten degrees hotter than the temperature outside) before heading across to the Main Stage. This year's festival opened with the traditional Balloon Party (see above), which set the scene beautifully for the week to come, putting a smile on every face in the crowd. Shortly afterwards, the man we were all waiting for finally took to the stage, filling our 90s-babies hearts with immeasurable joy. Ladies and gentlemen, Robbie Williams!
The singer certainly knew his crowd, with all the classics making an appearance: "Millennium", "Supreme", "She's The One", and of course, "Rock DJ". (No tiger-print briefs this time, ladies. Unfortunately.) What's more, it turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks, with Williams launching into an impromptu cover of Lorde's "Royals" before sampling Jay-Z's "99 Problems". Sziget's eclectic lineup is one of the main reasons for its popularity, with this year's lineup including festival favorites Florence + The Machine, British solo artist Marina & The Diamonds (renowned for her impressive visual performances), nu-metal veterans Limp Bizkit, the immensely talented UK DJ Jaguar Skills and French spoken-word collective Fauve. Ravenous after an intensive first day, we headed to Sunshine Boulevard, AKA the Land of Dreams, where hordes of starving ticketholders form (more or less) orderly queues in front of food trucks from at least thirty different countries. Pizza, falafel, goulash, gyros: we want it al, and we want it now. After going 24 hours without any sleep, however, we were almost glad to fall into bed around 3am. Special thanks go out to our neighbours in the tent next door for their early-morning serenade. Stay tuned for our coverage of Day 2, with Florence + The Machine headlining the main stage at 9:30pm.