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sights & culture


Party time never ends by Lake Balaton - Summer festival round up


  • Szandtner Veronika

30/03/2015 2.00am

There is always party somewhere. This is especially true of Balaton's summer festival season, since we already know that there won't be a festival-free weekend in the summer. For now, we rounded up the major music festivals, but soon, we'll be back with events of sports and culture. You can start filling your calendar up, the Balaton will help you do so.

Nyitott Balaton (1-11 May)

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

The Balaton opens on 1 May with a lovers' bike tour, pleasure boating from Keszthely, renewed restaurants and wineries, and the ice cream of Lake Balaton vote. It seems that the Lake switches into gear with the Workers' Day. Before heading out, browse the homepage for hundreds of event, or check out or related article coming soon.

Nagyon Balaton (May to September)

The Nagyon Balaton festival series was launched by the promoters of Balaton Sound, VOLT Festival and Sziget two years ago. in addition to the most popular festivals (i.e. Sound, Strand Festival, and, some of the minor events (like ARTplacc, Kálibuli) will again be included in the program. A major change was already uncovered in last December: the Best New Festival of the European Festival Awards 2014, is going to move to Zamárdi, and promoters promise more surprises.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

 Wine - Books - Jazz 2015 (12-15 June)

Parallel to the Budapest Festive Book Week, Füred also holds its own festive book week, accompanied by great wines and progressive jazz. The special guest of the festival will be the Attila József Prize winner writer-poet, György Ferdinandy. Other guests of the festive weekend are - among others -  writers Noémi Szécsi and Attila Balázs, and poet Csaba Szögi. Those, who are more thirsty for jazz and wine, are advised to turn to Blaha Lujza Street.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

Lavender Festival Tihany (16-22 June)

A certain sign of the arrival of summer is when Tihany turns lilac. Together with the sight of lavender blossom, the fair will probably include anything and everything lavender-related again. And when we say everything, we mean it: the lavender-flavoured syrups, soap and chocolate are only the essentials category. Plus, you will also be able to try your hand at lavender harvesting.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

ARTplacc (23-26 June)

ARtplacc, the festival focusing on contemporary art phenomena and artists, has been held in Tihany annually since summer 2011. The world-class environs will host an improved musical line-up, open-air installations, the project tent and a design show. The replacement of name tags beside the artworks by the artists themselves is also a novelty: the under 30 artists will present their works to you in person.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

Beach Festival (25-28 June)

Balatonfűzfő's Beach Festival is a perfect for the transition from the semester-end exam period to the coming two months of festival stance. It lists bands that are returning summer accessories (Punnany, Wellhello), DJs who are warming up for the Sound, and the much anticipated good weather that will provide the home-like summer Balaton feel. Beach Festival is more than the average lakeside happening thanks to the surfers, SUPpers and watersports filling the otherwise lazy beach afternoons, and the fact that the night dipping ban will be lifted for a specific, lit area at night.

Everness Festival (24-28 June)

We underwent a thorough recharge at last year's Everness Festival in Balatonakarattya, and expect a similarly smoothing experience this year. Music, exercise, healthy food and 5 days of eco-consciousness. This festival focuses on alternatives, like herb tours, massages, astrology, and yoga, and it delivers relaxed evening concerts without an overwhelming amount of people.

Tickets: 8000 - 14 500 HUF

Kékszalag Regatta and VinCE Balaton Festival (2-5 July)

It was not only Balaton Sound where the God of Rain intervened personally last year, but also the Kékszalag Regatta, where boats had to be rescued from the storm. Still, tradition prevails: the regatta that has been held since 1934 wasn't cancelled and this year will be no different. The great question of Kékszalag 2015 is whether Fifty-fifty could retain its championship title and perhaps break its own jaw-dropping record. While the sailboats sail around the Lake at high speeds, the VinCE Balaton provides for the great wine, the delicacies and the concerts along Tagore Promenade.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

Samsara Festival (2-5 July)

Samsara seems to be the odd one out, given the fact that it forfeits the beach-sunshine-suntan triangle for a music festival for yoga fans in the woods of Siófok-Töreki. Based on the information provided by the event homepage, the mastermind behind the festival is the Hungarian-born Swedish documentary director, Csaba Czinkoczky, while the line-up includes yogis, healers, shamans, and psychologists, so even the healthy will be healed by the end of it. 3 stages, 120 yoga workshops, 90 musical acts, and Tilos djs.

Tickets: in advance: 96 EUR; on the spot 122 EUR

Balaton Sound (9-12 July)

We don't know yet whether the Wellington boots would make a return to festival fashion, but in rain or shine, masses will be cheering for the big guns of electronic music on Zamárdi's public beach, that's for sure. The huge interest is due to the scheduled appearance of two legends (Tiesto and Faithless), DJMAG mag's 2014 top artist, Hardwell, Grammy-winners Afrojack and Nicky Romero, Brooklyn's hip-hop daredevil, Joey Badass and the hugely successful DVBBS.

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton

Tickets: day tickets: 16 000 HUF (until 23 June: 15 000 HUF); passes: the first 10 000 pcs: 39 990 HUF; until 23 June: 44 990 HUF; full price: 49 990 HUF

VeszprémFest (15-19 July)

This festival has been one of the highlights of Veszprém's summers for 12 years, delivering concerts in every musical genre from world music, through jazz to operas. This year's program is yet to be announced, but the same appreciative/sitting trend is expected that took Katie Melua and Vaya con Diost to Veszprém. We don't need better proof than the fact that the official homepage has confirmed the appearance of Roger Hodgson on 15 July.

Veszprém Street Music Festival (22-25 July)

Everyone's favourite street musicians will arrive to Veszprém between 22 and 25 July. The promoters have so far shared two videos of the line-up, one of them features a beatbox talent accompanying a young, Tom Waits-like throaty voice, while the other showcases a French rapper and the repeatedly lost boombox.

Valley of Arts (24 July - 2 August)

The Valley of Arts has reached a jubilee: this is the 25th occasion that Kapolcs and its environs are transformed into a large fair, concert and theatre venue. We were shocked speechless by the missing Palya-yard, but the Hobo Club stays, the Hello Wood will have its own little village, Veronika Harcsa, the Pintér Béla Company and the Nézőművészeti Főiskola will all be there, while Fonó and Budapest's Központ are expected to form an off-the-wall unit at their shared venue. Thousands of programs and acts in 35 venues: be sure to book your accommodation now.

1400 - 7200 HUF

Photo: Sebestyén Blanka - We Love Balaton and Strand Festival (19-22 August)

As of this summer, Zamárdi can definitely be considered the festival capital of Lake Balaton, since the electronic music festival (which used to be hosted by Balatonaliga) will move to Zamárdi. On top of it, the two events will run parallel, in adjacent venues. Yes, we are also curious about the experience of partying to Fritz Kalkbrenner's set and listening to hard rock just hundreds of metres away.

On the Festival Official Facebook page, promoters have been leaking acts on a daily basis; hardcore electronic fans had better take a look. As for Strand Festival, Petofi Radio's line-up has yet again a secure spot, so Punnany Massif, Mary PopKids, Halott Pénz and Kiscsillag will not be missing. The international line-up lacks some of last year's variety trademarked by the Parov Stelar-John Newman axis: expect the likes of Steve Aoki, New Found Glory, Simple Plan and All Time Low.

Tickets: day tickets 9 990 HUF, passes 19 990 HUF
Strand Festival: day tickets 6500 HUF, passes 14 990 HUF

Balaton wine weeks

We don't even dare to make an attempt of enumerating all the wine weeks of Lake Balaton here, but we mention a few that are surely worth your attention. The Badacsony Wine Week, which boasted of a great range of wines and concerts last year, will return between 17 and 26 July this year. Balatonfüredí's marathon wine event, the Balatonfüred Wine Weeks will await you from 11 to 30 August. And for the south shore, the Balatonboglár Harvest Festival will take place between 19 and 23 August.

Photo: Csongor Kiripolszky - We Love Balaton

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