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Danube’s finest under the spotlight

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By Sonja Tadic, Babel Belgrade While I was crossing K-hid bridge and reading welcome notes on over 10 languages I felt quite excited to be on Sziget for the first time. From the start I have subconsciously compared Sziget fest with Serbia’s Exit fest, as I am a regular visitor on Exit for more than ten years.

Initially, I’ve liked security and food check policies, because they are more liberate than on Exit fest. On Sziget you can’t bring in alcoholic beverages, but it is allowed to get in with non-alcoholic beverages and food in small quantity for your own personal use and I believe security check is more casual, because I haven’t seen any full body searches. Generally, I felt more welcome, even though I am in a foreign country. I prefer Sziget payment system: a single festival card, which is a prepaid plastic card, over Exit token money, which is a bunch of coins for drink, so you have to plan desirable structure of your money and unfortunately, you can’t buy anything else with it. On the contrary, with Sziget festival card you can pay everything on the island: from food and drinks to all kind of festival souvenirs. Both festivals are ranked in top five European festivals by The Independent magazine and both are held on an unique locations. The Sziget festival takes place on a Danube island in Budapest, while the Exit festival is held in fortress by the Danube in Novi Sad. When you go around the island for the first time you may notice that tents and campers are everywhere, in some sort of chaotic neo-hippy community, but there is no crowds and quarrels, which is quite interesting. The atmosphere is pretty much the same on both festivals. Many young, friendly, smiled people eager to have a great time are creating positive aura around the whole place (no, I am not talking about huge clouds of dust). There are many various contents on the island: NGOs, theatres, museums, restaurants, bars so you can’t be bored, not for a second. Only thing that I didn’t like is the cars and bikes driving all over the island but it’s a small sacrifice of personal convenient to overall sense of freedom of doing anything. Show me where to sign up in a list of regular visitors of Sziget fest!