The intelligent face of Hungary

The Devil’s Cauldron Festival, Villány wine region

Biased press, scandals around the election, corruption – these are the most common words in international news about Hungary. In spite of all rumours and existing troubles, citizens are thirsty for living in a normal, democratic world, and if they cannot find normal values around them, they create a world where things are on their right place. Devil’s Cauldron Festival (’Ördögkatlan’) is a few days together full of cultural programs set in vineyards and cellar villages, and if you ever experience the atmosphere of this event, you will want to come back every year. No complaining about queuing, no exceeded prices, no quarreling, just peaceful, friendly being together and enjoying human creativity.

Basic information

The festival begins on 31 July and ends on 4 August. A „pan-art festival”, which has been organized for the 11th time now. You can drive to Villány on M6 motorway from Budapest or take an InterCity train, both will take around 3 hours. The programmes take place in village houses, football fields, everywhere in five villages: Nagyharsány, Kisharsány, Palkonya, Villánykövesd, Beremend. You can enjoy the festival buzz without a ticket, the temporary art exhibitions in cellars, stables, bus stations are free of charge. For the concerts, theatre performances you need to buy a ticket. Daily ticket ont he venue costs 4900 HUF, while a festival pass for the whole period costs 16.000 HUF. You can pay by card as well.

Vylyan Terrace – enjoy being

Vylyan Vineyard and Winery has been a venue of the festival since the very beginning. The grassy terrace spotted by artistic barrels decorated by contemporary artists is a place that captures you, and whatever schedule you have, you will forget it. Listen to the musicians ont he tiny stage, sit in a hanging chair, taste something from the grill, drink a „fröccs” (spritz, wine with sparkling water) made of Vylyan rosé wine, and you will understand what we are talking about. On Thursday evening (2nd August) Wombo Orchestra will play, a crazy French band of numerous members and instruments, a regular guest of the festival. Wombo musicians come home to Vylyan terrace.

Csík band in Teleki garden

Teleki is a brand of Csányi Winery commemorating the famous viticulturist Zsigmond Teleki. They have sponsored this location for the second time, and put a lot of effort in creating a place that attracts visitors to linger on. If you arrive with kids, Teleki garden is a must in the mornings, and one of the highlights is the concert of Csík band on Wednesday (1 August) evening. The band plays original folk music mostly from Transylvania, and what makes them special is that they perform well known songs of contemporary musicians of other genres, in their style. This year Gábor Presser will be the special guest of the band.

A personal recommendation: Hangember

This time let me give you a personal hint: if you can, listen to Hangember band on 31 July in Nagyharsány centre, on the so called „trench bank stage”. The trench is a real trench by the side of the road, and the stage is meant to give opportunity to young talents. Hangember is a band with original voice and energic music merging elements of folk, rock and jazz. The lyrics is written by them, poetic masterpieces created by the teenage members of the band. Though you won’t understand the text, you will surely feel the energy and enjoy the music of them.

Symphonic orchestra on the hill side

Stars on the clear sky, darkness around us, and clear, magic voices from the stage: the hillside in Beremend village is a unique setting for concerts, and every year the symphonic concert is one of the peaks of the event. This year Haydn masterpiece The Creation will be performed by Hungarian Studio Orchestra, featuring several guests.

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