Today is the last day at Sziget, the crowd has significantly weakened on the path in front of the tent and we don’t have as many visitors today. It has been expected, Sunday is the day for many people to go home and start the usual working week tomorrow. We will not finish today though, tomorrow morning the tent will have to be taken down, and our stuff needs to be delivered back to the Embassy. It is sad but on the other hand a relief, it has been a hard week and this evening is going to be a hard day’s night.:) Faith No More is playing, they still have lots of fans in Hungary. The tent is so quiet that we even had time to set the tv, to watch the Moto GP!
It is fun to see how happy people are when we tell them that they can take the stress balls, and other small gifts for free, without doing anything for it.
Today is the day of the big sale, we try to get rid of everything that’s left, so far with success.
Two girls have just walked in, one of them had her passport stolen last night. I just can’t understand why some people come to Sziget, probably pay for the ticket, just to make other people’s lives miserable. That could be a great objective for the Sziget organisors to stop theft at Sziget. :(
Our Sziget team is tired, especially Terez who has been there every day so far, but they’re still standing, enthusiastic and ready to help British visitors to the Embassy tent. Saturday was definitely UK Day on the Main Stage, with The Subways, Editors, Klaxons, Manic Street Preachers and Placebo, one after the other.
For those of you staying on in the wonderful city of Budapest after the Festival:
- Remember to go on keeping your passport, money and travel tickets safe - there are people around who would like to relieve you of them.
- Don’t believe anyone who tells you that the Hungarian police are relaxed about drugs - they are not. Penalties for drug use are strict, and strictly enforced. We can’t get you out of prison.
- If it looks to good to be true, it probably is - be wary of bars recommended by taxi drivers and strangers. Always ask to see the price list before you order food or drink.
- Avoid hailing taxis in the street - some drivers will over-charge visitors. Get a recommendation for a reliable dial-a-cab company from your guidebook. All of them have English-speaking operators.
I won’t be at Sziget for Day 5 tomorrow - I’m patron of an U16 Football Tournament at which two British teams (Sheffield United Academy and Caversham AFC) are playing and I’ll be cheering them on to victory at the Vasus Sports Club ground. Who knows - some of those young players may be competitors at World Cup 2018, which will hopefully be in England.
For those of you at Day 5, enjoy! (Especially Maximo Park on the Main Stage.) And see you next year at Sziget!
I think that by now half of Sziget people are running around with Union Jack tattoos on! It has been quite successful so far, with lots of interesting people visiting us. One of my colleagues is playing cso-cso, table football with some guys, and a yound bloke is so desperate to have afternoon tea with us that he has been sitting here for nearly three-quarter of an hour now, reading a magazine, instead of having fun with friends. Tea time is at four o’clock, we have the finest selection of English tea to serve. Everyone is happy to complete today’s quiz, although some people seem surprised that it is in English…
All in all, it is a good day, and it is getting noisier as time goes on, a concert started nearby half an hour ago. A huge lorry arrived with beer kegs, time to go….
Hello Everyone! It is my second day at Sziget, but the first one in the British Embassy’s marquee. It is impressive, I can tell, even though I have to admit I haven’t much to do with it. I have never started Szigeting so early in the past 15 years. I have to start with my experiences on zero day. I just dopped in here, decided to come at the very last minute and suddenly found myself backstage, chatting with the most famous singers of Hungary! I can tell, I was enjoying myself. I have a tendency to show off and I love chatting up celebs, so I had a great time. Suddenly I was asked by Trenton, the main organisor of ZARE (Music Against Racism) if I could go to the main stage with them and interpret a few thoughts before the concert starts. I repeat: main stage!! Nagyszínpad! So I was there, being surrounded by the musicians, technicians, someone shoved a microfone in my hands and all I could see was the crowd in front of us. I wasn’t nervous at all, although my courage was helped by a few sips of beer as well. In the very last second, just before going on stage I was told that time was too short to translate, I just had to say a few words to introduce the cause, and the musicians. Then it all happened so quickly, I was talking to the microphone (the one in my hand didn’t work, this clearly showed how important my performance was) so I had to pick another one, and I could tell the audience was not interested in me, but still, I was there! It was all over quickly and we had ouf after party beer shortly. I went to a shop yesterday and found a T-shirt, which is really seems to have been made for me, it says at the front: Born to be a STAR! :))
Today is different, I am working, although it is early yet, not too many people came so far. This is how I have time to write. We have quizzes, tea, table football, everything you could ask for from a British tent. Let’s hope lots of people are coming later, and time will fly, and I can go to the concerts today. Before that I might just go and do a few rounds on the green bicycle….
As you can see from my colleagues’ blogs, Friday was a wet morning at Sziget. But things improved in the afternoon and the weekend forecast is for sun. It will be hot, hot, hot - so if you’re visiting use sun screen and drink lots of water.
Visiting the temporary police post for a press conference with the foreign police in the morning was a reassuring reminder of how much hard work the Hungarians put into ensuring that the site is as crime-free as possible (and there has never been a serious violent crime here in 17 years). CCTV covers quite a lot of the site these days. Some 125 crimes had been reported since the start of this year’s festival and of those only about 7 or 8 involved UK citizens. Cutting slits in tents and lifting valuables (even with the owners asleep inside) is a favourite trick. It really does sound as if most British visitors are taking all the right precautions.
Media coverage of what we are doing here has been excellent this week - almost universally positive - and interest in “Music Against Racism” (ZARE) continues (I did a 15 minute interview on the subject on radio earlier). Copious informal feedback from Embassy contacts congratulating us is encouraging. There is an impressive number of ZARE tee-shirts, badges and wrist bands around the site.
I didn’t stay for the music today - Primal Scream and Prodigy are more my children’s taste than mine. But it’s evidence that there is something for everyone here - no less than 13 stages running simultaneously for most of the day, including the Main Stage (on which every single band is British tomorrow afternoon and evening!).
Still day 3
As usual, in our experience, a shower or two fails to dampen the festival spirit so everyone continues to enjoy the diverse nature of the event. This morning the local press descended on the police post and we were able to pass on our thanks for the help we have received from our Hungarian colleagues. During the first 3 days we should report on the good behaviour of the Brits. It’s good to see each day that the number of British victims of crime is very low - only seven to date.
But remember to look after your valuables but most importantly look after yourself and your friends. Come and say hello if you see us on patrol and continue to have a great festival.
It’s a little muddy around the the tent this morning, as it’s rained most of the morning. But the puddle in front of the tent hasn’t put people off from playing table football, and visiting us. Our French visitors seemed to be well impressed with our UK flags - the fact that they’re upsidedown doesn’t seem to be a problem for them! The quiz is going well, although no-one has yet been able to get all the questions correct - the cricket questions are seem to be the most difficult - even for those of us that know the answers! Levente from the Climate Office has been busy carrying out Carbon Footprint Measurring for our visitors, and Terez has been running a side-line in tattooing the Union Jack on mens’ chests!