Live Music + Gig Reviews

Sziget 2010: Day 4 @ Obudai Sziget, Budapest

14 August 2010

Out and about on the fourth day of the festival, visitors are met with a bizarre sight – large groups of fellow festival-goers instructed by fierce Hungarian women with megaphones, performing a dance routine in unison. Although initially the overwhelming emotion is one of pity for those unfortunate individuals whose two left feet are incurring the wrath of the instructors, this will eventually come together as an impressive flashmob around the main stage, a truly awe-inspiring sight.

Meanwhile in the Party Arena, Calvin Harris delivers the headline slot, and once again, the crowd is ecstatic. Right from the off, he disappears behind a sea of hands, triply impressive given both his height (6’5″) and the fact that his set takes a while to get going. An uninspiring and occasionally off-key start is soon remedied by the sheer danceability of the hits, so that by the time the opening chords of The Girls emerge from the disciplined and energetic backing band, the wobbly opening is forgiven and forgotten.

For those wishing to avoid a decidedly average performance from Iron Maiden (which disappoints even some of the hardcore with its poor sound quality and lack of enthusiasm), the Jazz Stage offers Icelandic outfit Hjaltaln. Definitely nothing like Sigur Rs, they steer a course that mostly kept the right side of twee, darting between folksy ballads and danceable pop before a deliciously cheeky encore of The Jackson 5‘s Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough.

Unfortunately, the Party Arena is, as is typical for the late-night slots, too crowded to get inside to see the DJ set from promising Israelis Infected Mushroom. Instead, we head to the Magic Mirror tent, Sziget’s LGBT venue, now impressively entering its 10th year on the Island. This beacon of tolerance is something the organisers can truly be proud of, and doubly so, given that Hungary still refuses to acknowledge same-sex marriage and discourages homosexuals from entering teaching or the army. Although a cringeworthy striptease interrupts an otherwise ironically-entertaining cheesy disco and persuades us to show our solidarity from further afield, this tent is a symbol of the inclusivity which makes Sziget so special.

  1. Sziget 2010:
    Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5

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