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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in Hungary, Lesson 24 - Sziget Festival
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in Hungary Series at HungarianPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind Hungarian holidays and observances. I’m Eric, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 24, Sziget Festival. In Hungarian, it’s called Sziget Fesztivál.
If you visit Budapest at the beginning of August, you should arrange your schedule to be sure not to miss one of the biggest pop music events in Europe, the week-long Sziget Festival. If you haven’t heard of this monumental event, then stay with us and let’s go to the Sziget!
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question -
How many workers are hired to change Óbudai Island, which normally serves as a leisure park, to a festival city?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
The first Sziget Festival was organized under the name Student Island in 1993 on the almost three-kilometer-long Óbudai Island. The performers at this first festival came to be big icons in Hungary's rock, or rock, and alternative music,or alternatív zene scene. The following year, the event was held under the name Eurowoodstock, which was once voted to be the best festival in the world, with foreign stars like Jethro Tull and Frank Zappa. Nobody could stop the rise of the Sziget Festival’s fame.
Over the years, the Sziget Festival, Sziget for short, has become more and more popular among foreigners, the variety of programs and appearances by various foreign stars has increased as well. Nowadays, beyond rock and pop acts, you can also find world music, or világzene and electronic music, or elektronikus zene on the festival program, or you can visit theatrical performances, literary readings, or even folk dance performances from all over the world. Over the last twenty years, the daily ticket price has increased from HUF 300 to HUF 14,000. Yet in spite of it becoming more expensive, Sziget still attracts more than 350,000 visitors every year.
As the Óbudai Island that is home to the festival is situated between the two densely populated districts of Buda and Pest, the organizers receive a lot of noise complaints from local inhabitants. They try to avoid these issues by using various sound-proofed tents and sound-proofed walls, but still have only varying levels of success. The quality of services offered to visitors has also been improved in recent years. Cash machines, restaurants, first aid areas, luggage-lockers, babysitting, postal services, pharmacies and tourist offices play a big role in making sure everyone has fun at Sziget, no matter whether you come for just a day or a whole week.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question-
How many workers are hired to change Óbudai Island, which normally serves as a leisure park, to a festival city?
The building of the 55 hosting locations, stages and sound-proofed tents of the Sziget festival provides jobs for 6,000 workers, who work for two weeks on the preparations.
Did you like this lesson? Did you learn any interesting facts?
What act would you like to see at Sziget?
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