- Consider staying offsite
In 2016 I loved camping at Sziget – genuinely. However, when I went again three years later I booked an AirBnB. It was so unbelievably hot during the day and the dust was so bad on site that I think I would have had to leave after a day or two had I not had an AirBnB. By the end of the week people were ill from the dust and the heat. Check the weather before making your decision.
2. Get a camping upgrade
The camping upgrade is well worth it. I got the Siesta upgrade and was very grateful that I did. With Siesta camping you get proper toilets which are regularly cleaned, showers, a charging point, and a ‘guarded’ entrance. It’s pretty well situated (about 10/15 minutes from the Main Stage) and the area is covered with trees so there’s plenty of shade which is great in the morning when you’re still trying to sleep but the sun is beaming down. The shower queues were never more than 10 minutes and if you get up earlyish there’s no queue at all. The queues for the showers in the regular camping looked terrible and people’s tents were right next to all the paths around the festival.
3. Plan a day off
Unless you are the ultimate festival veteran, you will probably need a day off to relax and lay of the alcohol. It’s good to plan a day that you can just relax at the festival or head out to one of Budapest’s famous spas where you can get an extra good shower. If you buy a Citypass ticket you can get free/discounted spa access. I went to Sziget for 5 days last year so I got two two-day Citypass tickets (€12 each) rather than a 13 day one (€33).
Then consider heading out for dinner or lunch after. Budapest is really beautiful so I recommend seeing a bit of it if you can.
4. Plan a night offsite
Some friends were staying in an AirBnB close by so I stayed there on the third night just to recharge a bit and it really helped me to enjoy my last few days more. You can get hostels and hotels unbelievably cheap in Budapest so if you’re someone who needs your sleep it could be a good idea to get a hostel or hotel for a night. After 3 nights of about 2-3 hours sleep, the little wooden bed I had to sleep in felt like heaven.
5. Read the programme well
There are some unbelievable arts, circus and cultural shows in the evenings at Sziget. Everything is free and some of them were highlights of the whole festival for me. There’s plenty of dance classes and weird and wonderful things to do during the day so think about trying something new. Sziget has so much more to offer than just music.
6. Sleep in the chill zone
If your tent is soaked or your neighbours are awful just take a sleeping bag and pillow down to the chill zone. On the last night we packed up our bags and tents as we were leaving early the next day. We slept in the chill zone that night and there was practically a storm. If I was in my tent I would have been soaked but there’s plenty of covered areas there and it can be a good place to get some sleep. I wish I had slept there more often during the festival.
7. Packing suggestions
- A watch (phone battery is precious)
- An eye mask for sleeping
- Hand Sanitiser (nb nb nb)
- Clothes for all weather
- A power bank (or two) – you have to stand with your phone at the charging station along with about 25 others.