Nestled in the heart of Europe and bordering countries as diverse as Austria and Ukraine, Hungary fuses both the old and new - the European grandeur and communist grittiness - showing it off through its splendour of food, architecture and culture.
In amongst all that is its music scene, punctuating Europe with some of the most eclectic and wonderful festivals across the globe. Here are our top seven.
Headliners: Acid Arab, Shigeto, Suuns
The first entry on our list is a boutique festival that is an independent celebration of art beyond the mainstream. Taking place on the scenic Bánki-tó lake, Bánkitó combines an enviable setting with a socially conscious raison d'être. Music is, of course, the main focus, but the festival also offers film screenings, theatre productions, art exhibitions and discussions, aimed at confronting a different social issue each year.
When & where: 11-14 July 2018, Bánk
#6 EFOTT Festival
Headliners: Jessie J, John Newman, Lost Frequencies
Switching gears, the next entry is all about leaving your daily grind behind and having a great time. EFOTT Festival is the nation's largest student party, attracting over 100,000 of Hungary's best and brightest. Taking place on the banks of the Velence lake, the festival is a waterfront vacation from essays and finals, balancing its party-starting music lineup with water sports and sun bathing.
When & where: 10-16 July 2018, Velence
#5 OZORA Festival
Headliners: Ace Ventura, Astrix, Ajja
OZORA Festival appropriately started back in 1999 during a solar eclipse, in a field in Ozora. Perhaps its origin story instilled good fortune because fast forward to present day and OZORA is one of the most influential psychedelic trance festivals we've ever known. A haven of wonder, it's hard to pin this one down - let's just say try not to predict what you'll find within its 10 distinct festival areas, and let the surprise hit you hard.
When & where: 30 July - 5 August 2018, Dádpuszta
Headliners: Maceo Plex, Chris Liebing, Richie Hawtin
Paddling into fourth place is B.my.Lake. Things have only gotten better here after winning 2013's Best New European Festival Award. Having been nominated for Best Small Festival in Europe every year since for rolling out over 150 of the finest house and techno DJs against the stunning backdrop of Lake Balaton, B.my.Lake is a mecca of good vibes and refreshing sounds.
When & where: 22 - 25 August 2018, Zamárdi
#3 VOLT Festival
Headliners: Depeche Mode, Iron Maiden, Limp Bizkit
Oh how times have changed for Volt. Rewind to 1993 and barely 800 people gathered to watch just five bands, now it's third in our best Hungarian festivals list. Last year, over 100,000 people entered its illuminated forest to catch over 200 artists across 15 stages, delving into a variety of live gigs, DJ sets, theatre and more that covered rock, pop, jazz, hip-hop, electronic and world. Now one of the most exciting multicultural festivals in Europe with a following to match, Volt still maintains a relaxed vibe, creating the perfect setting to meet likeminded people all in love with the music.
When & where: 26 - 30 June 2018, Sopron
#2 Balaton Sound
Headliners: The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake, David Guetta
Clinching second place is Balaton Sound, which also takes to the shores of Lake Balaton for a music festival/insane beach party. Over 150,000 people flock to its sands to dance the night away to the hottest electronic artists on the planet. We're talking Hardwell, Faithless, Tiësto, and that's barely a tenth of the story, so you can understand why Balaton Sound is so popular, and a worthy silver medalist in our list.
When & where: 4 - 8 July 2018, Zamárdi
Headliners: Arctic Monkeys, Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz
As if there was any doubt, Sziget is our number one Hungarian Festival, and I'll personally buy a pint for anyone who was surprised by that. Boasting a lineup with over 1,000 acts from all walks of the arts - music, theatre, visual - the festival has been labelled the Burning Man of Europe. It's easy to see why as we're transported to an island where no one day is ever the same as the last. Showcasing the hottest international names alongside underground talent, Sziget has a far reaching appeal for music fans of all genres and the quirky side of life, and was an easy choice for our top spot.
When & where: 8 - 15 August 2018, Budapest
Check out our full range of Hungarian festivals here.
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