Italian soul star Mario Biondi opens the Örvényeshegy Piknik, a three-day festival in Zalacsány which will close on May 26 with Children's Day. Here are the highlights in between.

The Pálos Resort, venue for the Örvényeshegy Piknik, has already hosted internationally renowned Al Di Meola and seen last year's festival sold out on the first day. Now another world-class act opens this cool garden party: Italian soul singer Mario Biondi plays the main stage on May 24.

This year’s line-up also includes Hungarian musicians András Lovasi of the band Kiscsillag, actress/singer Eszter Bíró and underground rockers A Kutya Vacsorája. Other performances pair music with slam poetry. Mornings start with yoga sessions, while the party ends around 1am.

The last day of the festival is also International Children’s Day, so it will be all about kids and families. Pony rides, a carousel and live music for youngsters all feature. The festival is free for children under six.

Deer as special guests

Örvényeshegy is part of Zalacsány, a village 20 minutes from Keszthely. It’s a quiet spot on the edge of a forest, hidden amid the hills of Zala. The arts festival was created by the Pálos Guesthouse and the organisers of the Valley of Arts. Together they came up with the idea of a homely festival, with concerts, plays and entertainment for children. 

With the estate being near the woods, sometimes deer venture around the edges. A wildlife park was established at the festival venue, home to fallow deer, which also features on the festival logo. The guesthouse is continuously evolving, and a luxury tent with a view of the animals is under construction.

Local flavours

Gastronomy is also an important element during the Piknik. Smoked flavours will be delivered by chef and pitmaster Tamás Németh, while traditional dishes such as stew and goulash will be made by the hosts, the Pálos Resort. Last year’s success, the retro burger with goats’ cheese, will also be making a return, and there will be a special children's menu, too. Local producers showcase their wares such as juices and herb syrups by Natúr Pont, wines by Éva Dóka and Kisgörbői pálinkas, as well as homemade cheeses and jams.