The Island of Freedom – with Balaton wines

Have you heard about the Island of Freedom? In Hungarian we call it Sziget (which means island, of course), and it’s the father, the ancestor of all festivals in the country. It’s our Woodstock, our Glastonbury, a festival attended by parents with nostalgy, by youngsters with curiosity and by tourists with fascination. This year it it will take place on 9–16 August, and a contract has been signed: there is a new winery partner of the festival, Kristinus Wine Estate from South-Balaton.

Wines that have already proved their merit

Kristinus is a state of art winery, which has created a special wine brand for the festivals.
Sziget Fehér (Island White) was awarded gold medal at the regional Balatonboglár wine contest, and a silver medal at the National Wine Contest.

  • Sziget Rosé (Island Rosé) was warded silver medal at the regional Balatonboglár wine contest along with
  • Sziget Vörös (Island Red) won a silver as well.

The agreement between the organizer of Sziget Festival and Kristinus Wine Estate does not include only the August festival of Budapest, but all the other huge events organized by Sziget Ltd. this year and next year, for example two August festivals at lake Balaton, B.MyLake (23–26 August) and Strand (23–26 August).
Florian Zaruba, estate manager of Kristinus commented the agreement: „We are delighted to serve the visitors of music festivals with great quality wines from Balaton. For us the most important element of the terroir is the wine grower, who produces noble wines for Hungarian people – who are and have always been good at partying…” He added, that their mission is to give unforgettable „Balaton moments” with their wines regardless of location, and he claimed that adding soda water to the wine (so to make ’fröccs’, the Hungarian equivalent of ’spritz’) is not a crime. On the contrary: some bubbles can help open aromas of their wines!

Florian Zaruba
Florian Zaruba

Some of the Sziget line-up this year

Pink (USA), Billy Talent (CAN), Kasabian (UK), Clean Bandit (UK), White Lies (UK), George Ezra (UK), Two Door Cinema Club (UK), Kensington (NL), The Vaccines (UK), The Strypes (IRL), Bad Religion (USA), Gusgus (ISL), Paul Van Dyk (D) and many others.

Full line up: szigetfestival.com

More about Sziget Festival (from Wikipedia)

The Sziget Festival (Sziget, pronounced [ˈsiɡɛt] ( listen), is the Hungarian for “Island”) is one of the largest music and cultural festivals in Europe. It is held every August in northern Budapest, Hungary, on Óbudai-sziget (“Old Buda Island”), a leafy 108-hectare (266-acre) island on the Danube. More than 1,000 performances take place each year.

The week-long festival has grown from a relatively low-profile student event in 1993 to become one of the prominent European rock festivals, with about half of all visitors coming from outside Hungary, especially from Western Europe. It also has a dedicated “party train” service (with resident DJs) that transports festivalgoers from all over Europe. The second event (1994), labeled Eurowoodstock, was headlined by performers from the original Woodstock festival. By 1997 total attendance surpassed the 250,000 mark, reaching an all-time peak in 2016 with 496,000 visitors from 95 countries (the daily capacity having been raised to 90,000). It is now being increasingly labeled as a European alternative to the Burning Man festival due to its unique features (“an electronically amplified, warped amusement park that has nothing to do with reality”).

In 2011, Sziget was ranked one of the 5 best festivals in Europe by The Independent. The festival is a two-time winner at the European Festivals Awards in the category Best Major European Festival in early 2012 and 2015.

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