Former Sex Pistol headlines Hungary festival

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Former Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and heavy metal legends Iron Maiden were among the headline acts at Hungary's six-day Sziget music festival, which kicked off Wednesday.

The 54-year-old Lydon - better known as Johnny Rotten in his days as lead singer with the Pistols - will be performing with his band Public Image Ltd. as part of a line-up which includes a host of other veteran British acts.

As well as Iron Maiden, 1980s ska bands Madness and The Specials will be appearing, as will cult indie heroes Muse and veteran German rocker Nina Hagen.

Students and backpackers from all over Europe flock to the festival, in its 18th year, which takes place on Hajogyari Island, a 79-hectare (187-acre) island in the middle of the Danube.

More than 70 bands will perform across 11 stages with organisers expecting attendance to match last year's record of 390,000.

Critics complain that ticket prices - concert-goers fork out 56,000 forint (200 euros, 262 dollars) for a five-day pass - are too high for most Hungarians.

Organisers dismiss this, saying Hungarian students can purchase tickets for a lower price and tickets are cheaper if bought in advance.

One of Europe's largest cultural festivals, the Sziget festival also attracts minority groups, including the Roma Kawa Musical Circus and the gay-friendly Magic Mirror tent, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

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