After cooling off in the Danube on Sziget’s very own beach, festival goers saw in the first night with a headline performance from the King, Kendrick Lamar. Also smashing the main stage on the first night was Stormzy, who brought all the charisma he’s known and loved for to his performance and had fans going crazy.
Elsewhere rap-rock enthusiasts were out in full force on The Tribute Stage as Rage Against The Machine and Limp Bizkit tribute acts brought the energy to the island.
Thursday saw Gorillaz take the reins. Mixing the old classics with their new material, Damon Albarn led the charge backed up by a full choir, adding a whole new element to their songs. Elsewhere Seasick Steve and Cigarettes After Sex treated the crowds to their own blends of DIY blues and ambient pop respectively.
Away from the main stage was the Cirque du Sziget and Magic Mirror stage, where FAME fatale put on an incredible performance each evening amongst comedy and film screenings.
Shame welcomed in the weekend early with a mid-afternoon set on the Friday, stirring up the crowd with their snarly post-punk sound and unparalleled energy onstage. The Kooks and JP Cooper both also played stand out sets, their catchy pop bangers delighting the international fans. The all-American beauty queen, Lana Del Rey finished things off on the main stage, descending into the crowd whilst singing her swooning vocals.
Saturday’s highlight was a headline set from Mumford & Sons, a passionate performance of their biggest records and three brand new songs for the crowd.
Bastille played an absorbing set beforehand, whilst Everything Everything brought in thousands to the Mastercard A38 stage. Sofi Tukker also performed, their ’90s house-inspired jungle pop turning the tent into one huge dance-floor. Szitizens not ready for the party to end found their way to the porta-party, a not-so-secret hidden stage inside a port-a-loo that carried on until dawn.
British bands reigned supreme on Sunday, with Slaves and Wolf Alice both drawing huge crowds to the A38 stage with their sweaty, unrelenting punk attitude. Liam Gallagher played a set of non-stop hits, bringing all the Mancunian swagger and stage presence.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard provided a welcome dose of psychedelic rock, whilst Dua Lipa proved why she’s the biggest popstar on the planet with her headline set, ending with her punchy hit ‘New Rules’. Fans who hadn’t lost their voice singing along to Dua’s infectious pop bangers found their way to The Tribute Stage, where an ABBA tribute act had the crowd of Super Troupers dancing till the early hours.
Revellers found exactly what they’d been looking for during Tom Grennan’s brilliant set, whilst New York rockers Goo Goo Dolls injected a whole load of energy into the day.
Little Dragon and Nick Murphy (FKA Chet Faker)both hypnotised crowds with their trip-hop vibes, and Kygo brought a mesmerising show of visuals and euphoric dance tunes to the masses that lit up the sky. Elsewhere onsite, Szitizens discovered installations, colourful sculptures, unique art projects and more themed around the them of ‘Love Revolution’.
Blossoms kicked the final day off, their catchy alt-rock hits getting the crowd geared up for a spectacular headline set from Arctic Monkeys who proved that they’re still the best rock band in the world. Lewis Capaldiand Nothing But Thieves played earlier in the day, showcasing two of the best vocalists in current music. The party didn’t stop there, with elrow putting on the mother of all closing parties with their immersive, ingenious designs and amazing music selection.
Sziget this year has improved its commitment to reducing environmental impact.With a reusable cup system to reduce rubbish on site, eco-camping, recycling centres and it’s ‘Don’t Suck’ anti-plastic straw programme, the festival’s eco-footprint has been dramatically reduced and their ultimate goal of totally sustainable development is more of a reality than ever.
Sziget returns in 2019. For more details on Sziget head to www.szigetfestival.com.