Several performers confirmed their Sziget Festival gigs in the last few weeks and this good piece of news is accompanied by the fact that the Budapest-based event was once again chosen to be one of the best festivals of the world, this time by British world music magazine Songlines. After receiving similar honours from Festival Awards and The Independent, Sziget is clearly and officially up there amongst the top runners of the world’s festival scene.
Getting back to the 2011 line-up, let's start with the Main Stage. It is not a secret anymore that five-time-Grammy Award-winning and three-time Ivor Novello-awarded R&B, soul and jazz singer, diva, popcult icon, and owner of the most unique female voice of the 2000s, Amy Winehouse will play at this year's Sziget Festival. To please all fans of British pop- and rock and in order to celebrate last year's marvellous gig, one of Great Britain's coolest rock bands, Kasabian will return as well. Among the line of up-to-date bands, The Maccabees will also show up on the Main Stage, and they will most probably gift us with a real British alter-rock s?ance. We will never forget the great storm closing the last gig of Sziget Festival six years ago at 11 pm, putting a halt to the hysterically successful gig of the Madden-twins. We do not expect the storm to come back, however Good Charlotte will return for sure.
Sziget’s new Metal Main Stage will welcome one of the most popular bands of the contemporary nu-metal scene, Deftones, dropping by as part of their world tour. Within Temptation is without doubt one of the most charismatic European metal bands, by now selling nearly three million CDs and DVDs and collecting a total of 30 gold- and platinum records. After releasing their works in forty-eight countries they will also do a crazy gig at this year's Sziget Festival. An old wish (or even a prophecy) of local metal-believers will be fulfilled this year by the concert of Wales-based Lostprophets, giving all they have for Sziget fans after many years of waiting.
Early-evening line-up of the Ar?na venue will be made even more colorful by Kid Cudi, a true musical fashion-dictator, currently considered by many as the most interesting phenomenon of American hiphop and contemporary R&B with 3 Grammy-nominations to his name so far. Some news linked to the A38-Wan2 Stage were also announced by organizers: one of Scandinavia's most likeable indie pop band, Peter Bjorn and John consists of three highly gifted musicians, who have a great chance to end up being the favourite of this year's Sziget audience.
Sziget Festival is unique also because of it’s World Music Main Stage. And this is not just an empty statement, as Europe's leading genre-specific magazine, Songlines listed the event amongst the top festivals of the world. We can definitely say that even if it’s a great honour, by now it’s not a surprise, as Sziget’s folk/world/ethno selection has been covering the greatest stars and most up-to-date trendsetters of the scene ever since existing. This year’s world music line-up is as strong as it has always been and now three additional names have been added to the ones previously announced. Colombian Choc Quib Town is one of the most popular Latino dance-band, and their album Oro made half of the world go crazy last year. The fusion of African drums, rumba, salsa, funky, hip hop and electronics is not a rarity these days, however it's still remarkable how this company has proved to be stronger than all other bands in the scene, conquering the greatest festivals as well as radio- and record hitlists. One of the frontrunners of 21st century klezmer music is Canadian Socalled, playing a unique kind of klezmer with a special attitude. He has learned everything about Eastern-European Jewish music, speaks Yiddish language, plays the piano and the accordion, while he is also familiar with hiphop, rap and computers. Leading his band of five members, he has the ability to create a special voice-collage, which is nostalgic and futuristic at the same time, and talks to both the heart and mind with his catchy and up-beat club-music. To the great pleasure of West-African dance music-fans, Cheikh Lo will finally play in Hungary as well. The guitarist-singer from Senegal is popular because he embeds mbalax music into Latin melodies and reggae, making it enjoyable even for those who are not so keen on African rhythms.
This is the current offer and there’s a lot more to come, so now it’s surely the right time to get your ticket. Early bird weeklies (including camping) are available for 170 Euros till 30 April and if you are not the camper type you can buy a non-camping weekly for 140 Euros. The prices will go up 30 Euros each after the early bird period is over, so it does make sense to think ahead. Daily tickets will be available for 45 Euros.