Since 1993 the Sziget festival is a symbol of diverse entertainment, an unforgettable cultural excursion. Today Sziget is also a strong cultural brand gaining an admirable position on the international festival market. This year our favourite festival offers an Iron Maiden concert on day zero on the 12th of August and the customary variety of 60 locations with 200 daily programs from the 13th to the 18th.
Sziget festival, the prominent cultural event of the region opens it’s gates for the 16th time this year between the 13th and 18th of August. Contrarily to the previous occasions this year the festival will be five days, with continuous events all day and night, extended with day minus one and day zero. On day zero Sziget will be a station in the intercontinental tour of Iron Maiden. The merciless headbanging is preceded by Lauren Harris and her band. http://harrywanders.wordpress.com/2008/08/09/sziget-festival-2008-hungary/
Sziget really is not just a festival but numerous festivals in one. We can find international stars as well as world music peculiarities, delicacies of new music genres, electronic music parties, unique theatre and dance performances, circus, community collages, museums and numerous other cultural programs which don’t associate with an average festival but are part of the Sziget experience and this it what makes this festival one of a kind.
This year’s program – although not 100 % complete but most of the details are clear – is available on the website of the festival (http://www.szigetfestival.com). Let us emphasize some important points:
The management promised shorter but stronger program this year and so it is. The program of the Main Stage has outdone any previous lineups so much that in this year’s line of artist there are several performers who play as headliners in numerous other festivals but on Sziget they only have space in earlier time stretches. This year the headliners are The Kooks, Jamiroquai, Sex Pistols, R.E.M and The Killers. In an earlier time stretch Kaiser Chiefs is also staging, they are one of the wittiest, catchiest and definitely one of the most successful bands of the previous year’s British guitar music. We also welcome Serj Tankian the front man of one of the most wanted rock bands of the world, the eclectic System Of A Down. Alanis Morissette, a Hungarian descendant on her mother’s side and one of the most popular and most successful divas in the past decade will stage in an even earlier time of the day. The singer of Moloko, the Irish origin Róisín Murphy also performs in the same time stretch. One of the most influential intercontinental pop superstar of the past years, the Babyshambles is coming too. Flogging Molly will also perform on Main Stage, they are fundamental among bands that revitalized Irish folk music on punk-rock basis. We proudly present Pendulum Live on 2008 Sziget Mainstage, their drum and bass-rock-electronica label has circled the globe from the USA to Shanghai.
Die Ärzte, the undisputedly most popular German punk-rock band is back again, and we also salute one of Europe’s best-known skateboard punk band, Millencolin. We also hail to Mademoiselle K, a gifted singer with exceptional vocal cords from France with her major hit first album Ça Me vexe (This Turns Me On). Anti-Flag from Pittsburgh will continue to carry the flag of radical views planted by Exploited or Circle Jerks on Sziget this year, just like they did since the nineties. The artist from Rotterdam with Caribbean ancestors, Ziggi is also a quest this year. The Wombats trendiest of current British indie-guitar pop scene and Presidents Of The United States Of America (many have heard about them as PUSA) from Seattle, masters of power pop are both guests of the festival and don’t miss MGMT, the hottest act from New York City. The Hungarian lineup this year will be Pannonia Allstars Ska Orchestra, aka PASO, Kispál és a Borz and Tankcsapda. And one more: the ultra rock agency, the URH.
iWiW WORLD MUSIC STAGE
This location is characterized by local delicacies and the biggest names from abroad.
Galicia in Northern Spain is the home of bagpipers and also home for the whimsical bold diva, Mercedes Peón, who will pamper us with her music this year. Leningrad appeared in clubs in Saint Petersburg and Moscow in the nineties and it didn’t take much for the whole empire to fall to their feet, now they will appear at Sziget. Seun Kuti is the youngest son of Fela Kuti, the person who mingled West-African joruba rhythms with funk and jazz. Alamaailman Vasarat is heavy and brutal and dead precise etnopunk from Helsinki. Ky-Mani Marley is the only child of the reggae icon Bob Marley and the table tennis star Anita Belnavis. Altan from Northern Ireland is a cornerstone of traditional Irish music just like the Chieftains or the Clannad. It has been almost a decade that the essential oriental etno-techno band, the English Transglobal Underground and their former singer Natacha Atlas have parted ways, they had separate concerts on Sziget as well. But this year on Sziget, inspired by the World Music Stage they will perform together again. Mory Kante will evoke the peak of „afro-disco” and the Armenian origin, but Moscow based kult-band Deti Picasso will also be our guest. Enzo Avitabile will bring us Italy’s best ranked percussion band hitting barrels and tubs. Goran Bregovic wedding and funeral band is coming with his newest production, Alcohol. Lee „Scrath” Perry, born in 1936 in Jamaica is a foundation of reggae and dub. N&SK from Saint Etienne is the French counterpart of the Russian Leningrad: amazing energy, boisterous party feeling achieved by mingling ska and punk and of course chanson, which can’t be left out from any French band’s repertoire who believe they are worth of it. Besh o droM was established ten years ago and they are an inseparable guest of the World Music Stage since nine years. They have had changes in their set-up -mainly with singers- but one things is for sure: anyone who is compelled by fiery rhythms from fiery countries always got what they wanted on concerts or cd-s by the band working with turbulent Hungarian and Balkan folk adaptations. And last but not least, Adrian Sherwood’s arrival to the Sziget is a rare delicacy and a special occasion for fans of dub and reggae as well.
MasterCard PARTY ARENA
The biggest pavilion on Sziget, the center of electronic dance music, the Party Arena is expecting Justice, the coolest thing in the world of pop today. Carl Cox, professional Dj since his young years, a musical veteran and ambassador, champion of acid house. Ferry Corsten, the Dutch superstar who is a resident on the list of the top ten Dj-s of the world will be also playing and so does Jack de Marseille, and the Europe-wide top woman Dj, Lucca, the first lady of Techno. Party Arena is also starring Chase & Status, Bailey, Philipp M. Straub and the English team T.C. & Mc Jakes.
HammerWorld stage is relocated and acoustically better insulated this year. Looking at the program no one could complain, there will be a very strong international lineup boosted by local performers. The German Avantasia, a most interesting project in metal put together by Tobias Sammet, singer of Edguy. The list of performers goes on with the most well-known metal band of the USA, Iced Earth, the Finnish metal-string quartet Apocalyptica, also from the USA, Exodus, established in 1981, the band where Kirk Hammett the lead guitarist of Metallica came from, Meshuggah from Sweden, playing clever metal and Pro Pain from New York blending hardcore and thrash. The so called „smaller” names this year are Dew-Scented and Lacrimas Profundere from Germany, Volbeat from Denmark, Sabaton from Sweden, 3 Inches of Blood from Canada and Punish Yourself, Mass Hysteria and The Eths from France. The British band Carcass is also staging this year they are one of the handful of bands who are responsible for the birth of the death-grind genre.
CONVERSE WAN2 STAGE
The A Converse wan2 Stage will change both in name and size this year. After seeing the tent continuously full for the past years, we decided to make it considerably bigger this year, keeping up the good standards, of course. To do so, we star three international band each day next to the Hungarian main stream. Among the biggest names are the American iconic hip-hop band, the Delinquent Habits, Kraak & Smaak from Holland who had a tremendous gig in the Medusa in 2006 on Sziget, the Canadian rock musician Danko Jones, the ska and jazz fusionist New York Ska Jazz Ensemble, the original newyorker style cute-bizarre-funny-unsettling Adam Green and José Gonzalez from Sweden the presenter of that song which advertises the television of that particular company with little colored balls. And this is not all, because we will have French and Dutch hip-hop bands, Hocus Pocus and the Pete Philly & Perquisite, Les Touffes Krétiennes a band that has long been on local streets and local clubs, Che Sudaka Spanish ska-punk, Izabo, a power rock band from Israel. The list goes on with the American originated but French resident Brisa Roché, a real superstar in France and with Holland two newest and hippest pop rock bands Moke and the Voicst. The previously mentioned Hungarian mainstream consists among others of Žagar and The Underground Divas, neo, Bootsie Quartet, Másfél, ColorStar and of course Korai Öröm giving the final concert of the wan2 just like the years before.
Klubrádió JAZZ STAGE
This years program of the Jazz Stage could be a declaration of musical freedom: the will to break with conventional structures characterize and link the performers on the stage as the concord of jazz does. Although the genre of jazz has always meant musical progress for almost a hundred years, the sound of all periods of time, past, present and future are there in the program – worthy of the idea of declared diversity on Sziget.
Bands that will be audible and visible are Rhoda Scott (USA), Maceo Parker (USA), Da-Taz (F) living and composing in parallel time frames of past, present and future, Sayag Jazz Machine (F) also from France, and a great newfound in 2005, the Smooth (F). There will be an opportunity to see Vladimir Cetkar (USA) and of course Hungarian names, such as Barabás Lőrinc Eklektric and Harcsa Veronika.
And this is far not the end of the list. Hungarian music receives more and more attention (ARANY ÁSZOK SAGE, MR2 STAGE) and the audience may view the curiosities of the region on a brand new stage (A38 STAGE). There will also be an underground music location (MEDÚZA), a stage for young rock talents (TÁLENTUM-ZÚZDA STAGE), ambient area (CÖKXPÔN) THEATRE AND FOLK DANCE PAVILION, LUMINÁRIUM OCTOPUS JOINT ART LOCATION and many more.
For the first time Sziget Festival sites offer a taste of its music program with the help of the world’s largest social music platform, Last.fm. A new specialized radio box will be available on official web pages providing the best music of the artist performing on the festival. Its possible to check out the tunes of all the different stages from the Mainstage, to the party Arena or even the Heavy Metal of the Hammerworld Stage.