Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Stromae… A look back at the Sziget festival

The 28th edition of the Sziget Festival ended on August 15th. For this 28th edition, more than 450,000 visitors came to Budapest for a resumption full of surprises. A look back at the highlights of the musical event.

After two years of absence due to the pandemic, the Sziget festival signed its return this summer for its 28e editing. From Wednesday August 10 to Monday August 15, 2022, more than 450,000 visitors from all over the world have been counted in Budapest, proof that the most important European musical event still seduces its audience. In the heart of the Hungarian capital, more than 500 artists performed on the 52 stages. Many big names – including the Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Stromae and Justin Bieber to name but a few – were present in this bucolic setting. Beyond a promising programme, the event was also placed under the sign of a reinforced socio-political will.

« “Sziget” means “island” in Hungarian and it is today the island of freedomexplains Tamás Kádár, the director of Sziget. This was the goal when we created the festival, in 1993, to defend freedom in Hungary which has suffered greatly from communism. Our philosophy has not changed in 29 years. We have become the Woodstock of Europe, the island of peaceful coexistence. This year, defending the values ​​of our Ukrainian neighbors is our goal. We share them with festival-goers of more than 100 nationalities. » Thought like a city within the city, the musical event then metamorphoses into the space of all possibilities, where the occupants do not let go of anything in the face of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

Knowing how to reinvent oneself despite otherness

The 2022 edition opened with Dua Lipa’s performance on the main stage. Like her, Calvin Harris or Stromae offered shows that delighted the 10,000 or so festival-goers gathered. Most of the French-speaking artists – rare on the Main Stage – including Rilès, FKJ and Myd, electrified the Freedom Stage. In addition to music, dance and circadian arts were also featured. The Palestinian circus school, the Japanese juggler and contortionist Hisashi Watanabe or even the tightrope walker Celeste Zalloechevaria in turn gave short enchanting shows. Finally, the Arctic Monkeys closed the festival with a concert-event.

But the most successful performance of the Sziget was certainly that of Stromae, whose scenography was imagined by Laurent and Larry Bourgeois, members of the French group Les Twins. On the main stage, the musicians wore the clothes of first communicants while a video finished animating the background. The Belgian artist played for his part, as usual, with androgyneity and oscillated between disparate states of mind. Before intoning “La Vie en rose” with enthusiasm, he appeared tired and depressed, seated in a large armchair. A virile low voice then strayed virtuously into the high notes and was accompanied by more feminine gestures. His costume, a pastel jacket, finally blended in with the decor, and admirably crystallized the ambition of the Hungarian festival: knowing how to reinvent itself and never stop adapting despite otherness.

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Arctic Monkeys, Dua Lipa, Stromae… A look back at the Sziget festival

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