Sziget Festival rocks on in Budapest

Monday 10 October 2011 16:55

Sziget, one of Europe's largest music festivals, kicks off officially Wednesday with close to 200 acts from around the world expected over the next five days in Budapest.

Reunited British indie rock band Pulp will take the main stage in the evening, alongside compatriots Motörhead, French group Ben L'oncle Soul and local heroes Quimby.

On the eve of the festival Tuesday, American pop icon Prince entertained a crowd of 40,000 that included British actor Jeremy Irons, who is shooting a TV series in Hungary, Sziget press officer Csaba Marinka told AFP.

Further big names to perform on the festival's six main stages are Australian electronic music duo Empire of the Sun, British pop singer Kate Nash, French ensemble the Gothan Project and Sziget regulars The Prodigy.

The festival, with a special dedicated stage for Central European performers this year, also features minority acts including a Roma tent and the gay-friendly Magic Mirror tent.

Sziget ("island" in Hungarian) takes its name from its location, a 79-hectare (187-acre) island on the Danube just north of downtown Budapest.

Since its creation 19 years ago, it has gained increasing international fame, with now mostly Dutch, French and Italian students and backpackers paying the 54,000 forint (200 euros, $287) for a week-long camping pass at the festival.

Day passes meanwhile go for 12,000 forint.

Last year, some 382,000 attended the festival.

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