Pollstar spoke to Andras Berta, in charge of international relations at Hungary's Sziget Festival, which is one of Europe’s largest festivals, and is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Aug. 9-16. 

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Photo: Courtesy Sziget Festival

Sziget Festival 2016 Crowd - Hungary

Berta talks about the festival’s history, and the key reasons for it growing into a mega-event attracting about half a million people to the self-proclaimed “Island of Freedom” on the Danube river in Hungary’s capital Budapest.

He also touches upon the other two Hungarian festivals run by the same team: Volt (June 27-Jul. 1) and Balaton Sound (July 5-9), which is on a similar path Sziget when it became clear it could become something big.

He also explains how the Sziget crew reacted to the passing of legendary festival booker Dan Panaitescu, who passed away mere weeks prior to the 2016 edition.

Sziget recently announced the next wave of acts, adding Wiz Khalifa, Rita Ora and Paul van Dyk to a line-up boasting Major Lazer, Billy Talent, Kasabian, alt-J, Flume, PJ Harvey, Danny Brown, Bad Religion and a lot more.

London-based Edition Capital and U.S.-based Providence Equity acquired 70 percent of Sziget in the beginning of this year.

“With the help of our new partners we will be able to make a giant leap forward and embark on the ambitious projects that have been in our pipeline for some time,” Sziget founder Karoly Gerendai said at the time.