In August, the Hungarian city of Budapest will be transformed into a mammoth musical wonderland for the annual Sziget Festival. The annual event, considered by many to be Europe’s biggest, takes place on the Óbudai-sziget island in the heart of Budapest and spans seven whole days. It may be the biggest festival that Eastern Europe has to offer, but it’s also one attended by many people across the whole continent. We’ve taken a detailed look at the line-up so far and outlined six key recommendations for Sziget Festival 2016.
Pyro? Check. Confetti? Check. Space-y rock hits? Check. It’s unlikely that you’ll ever find a headliner as big as Muse playing Sziget in the near future, so take this chance before it’s too late. Following the release of Drones last year, Matt Bellamy and co. have selected August 2016 as a month in which they visit some of Europe’s most attractive late summer festivals. The band may not be bringing their stunning 360 stage show to Hungary this year, however you’re always guaranteed a show which conforms to some sort of gargantuan spectacle. Sziget has always welcomed Muse with open arms, meaning that their set in Budapest this year will be much like the warm welcome they’ve always deserved.
AURORA is one of 2016’s biggest success stories, having just put out debut album All My Demons Greeting Me As a Friend to critical acclaim. The 19-year old Norwegian vocalist, full name Aurora Aksnes, has already made a massive impact at a young age with her delicately powerful vocals and encapsulating live show. Blending a mixture of subtle electro and pop-noir, Aksnes is a pop star of the future with the whole world at her feet. 2016 is set to be the year in which she rises from the underground, so make sure that you catch her emotional show at Sziget before she grows too big for her own boots.
BRING ME THE HORIZON
One band who don’t need to worry about becoming too big are Sheffield rockers Bring Me the Horizon, a band whose transformation has been so drastic that they might as well have been two separate bands operating under one name. Frontman Oli Sykes has ditched the screams for clean vocals, with his band disposing of the 0000-breakdowns and replacing them with radio-friendly rock riffs and bouncy electronics. 2015 album That’s the Spirit was the first proper foot in the door for their mainstream rebirth, one which will now see them hit Europe’s biggest festivals as opposed to the metal weekenders and underground bars of past glory.
Australian metalcore heroes Parkway Drive are currently riding the wave of success which 2015’s Ire send them on, taking in a handful of European festivals this coming August. They’ve just rounded up a massive tour of the continent, and are now ready to take Budapest by storm with a set that’s sure to be filled with pyro, c02 and plenty of rib-crushing breakdowns. Winston McCall and co. may have made a subtle foray into the world of classic rock and 80s hair metal, but the message that they stand for is still as bold and important as ever. Come August, Sziget will be a battleground which Parkway Drive will reign victorious over.
Who doesn’t love a good ol’ pop-punk reunion? Following an extended period of health issues for frontman Deryck Whibley, Sum 41 are back to their best and are currently gearing up to release a brand new studio album. New drummer Frank Zummo is the latest addition to the band, with former guitarist Dave ‘Brownsound’ Baksh having also returned to the fold. The first part of Sum 41’s long summer features an extended stint on the Vans Warped Tour, before August sees them return to Europe for a brief festival jaunt which features a set in Budapest. If nostalgia-laden pop-punk with a hardcore edge is your thing, then Sum 41’s set at Sziget is the place to be this coming August.
Binary indie kids The Neighbourhood tend to go unnoticed when it comes to appearing at festivals, something which is most likely down to their nonchalant nature of operations. However, that doesn’t mean that their live set will be any less exciting; rather, The Neighbourhood may well be one of the surprises of the summer. New album Wiped Out! is a black & white mixture of washed out indie pop and RnB, featuring the likes of Prey’s stadium-sized indie and R.I.P. 2 My Youth’s soulful undertones. They’ve spent the last few years building a strong following, and it’ll definitely show if you arrive too late to their Sziget set and end up having to stand miles away from the action. If you need your monthly dose of Cali vibes, then don’t miss The Neighbourhood’s set.
Sziget Festival takes place from 10-17 August in Budapest, Hungary. For more details, click here.