The event series MOL Nagyon Balaton is well under way. After this weekend's National Regatta, festivals such as Balaton Sound, the Valley of Arts and the Strand Festival will feature among the 40 different events around Lake Balaton this summer.

MOL Nagyon Balaton is an essential part of summer here – it’s an umbrella under which all the biggest festivals, events and venues join together to show the liveliest side of the lake. We Love Balaton is once again the series’ media partner this year. MOL Nagyon Balaton will be bringing 40 events to Balaton this summer, expected to attract some 1.2 million visitors in total.

Norbert Lobenwein, the founder of MOL Nagyon Balaton, opened the summer season by saying that over the seven years since it started, MOL Nagyon Balaton has become known for the quality of its events. This year’s line-up includes the Paloznak Jazz Picnic, Balaton Sound, the STRAND Festival, the Valley of Arts, Veszprém Street Music Festival and Balaton Piknik, among others.

Zoltán Guller, CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency, praised the development of the Balaton region, including refurbished, family-friendly beaches, adventure parks, the continuously expanding gastronomic offering, and exciting events such as the many cultural and musical festivals – and underlined the vital role played by MOL Nagyon Balaton. Domokos Szollár, Director of Communications at the MOL Group, said that he believes that the event series encourages people to explore Lake Balaton, and he recommended bringing along four-legged friends as well, as there are more and more dog-friendly destinations around the lake. Zoltán Fülöp, head of VOLT Produkció Ltd, talked about Balaton Magazin, a free publication issued for the third year in 2019, while Best of Balaton, a series of events programmes, will be published for the first time this year.

Sport first

Events integral to MOL Nagyon Balaton take place between May and November. Already we have seen the NN Ultrabalaton running competition, with 13,000 participants, and a sailboat ceremony to mark the beginning of the sailing season.

The season is under way!

The official season opening was held in Zamárdi, at the MOL Nagyon Balaton Terrace, with a DJ set by José Padilla. The ferry concerts have also started with the most popular Hungarian musicians on board all summer – tickets have already sold out. Örvényeshegy Piknik was another successful event at the end of May.

Siófok and Zamárdi, sea and air

The National Regatta, a major sailing festival, takes place this weekend, June 1-2, with interesting accompanying events. The most exclusive beach in Siófok, PLÁZS opens on June 8. Here you can relax all summer while enjoying live music. Red Bull Air Race is also coming to Balaton, the planes flying above Zamárdi on July 13 and 14.

Wine and dine

The shores of Lake Balaton are home to several wine regions, and dedicated festivals. Balaton Fish and Wine Celebration will be held in Balatonfüred between June 7 and 10, while the Book – Wine – Jazz Festival, also in Balatonfüred, runs from June 14 to 16.

Badacsony Bor7, Badacsonytomaj’s own wine festival, is from July 12 to July 28. The Balatonfüred Wine Weeks start on August 9. The town also organises Füred Gastro from November 8 to 10, involving the best restaurants and winemakers of the area, while Balatonalmádi’s Zöldalma Vegan and Upcycling Festival will be held on June 9. 

Music all around

The summer of 2019 has plenty of music festivals in store, starting with Balaton Sound between July 3 and 7. The line-up includes The Chainsmokers, G-Eazy, Marshmello, Sean Paul, Tiësto, Paul Kalkbrenner and Rudimental.

KeszthelyFest starts on July 5, offering concerts and culinary experiences, while VeszprémFest runs from July 10 to 13 with performers such as Caro Emerald and Katie Melua. Shortly afterwards, on July 17, the Veszprém Street Music Festival brings music to the city’s streets.

Paloznak Jazz Picnic starts on August 1, with Rick Astley, The Jacksons, The Brand New Heavies, Maceo Parker, Adani & Wolf, Peet Project, Little G Weevil and Silhouette & Vinx filling the vineyards with music.

Culture finds a way

The Valley of Arts puts its emphasis on culture. Held from July 19 to 18 in Kapolcs, Vigándpetend and Taliándörögd, this festival has 1,500 items on its schedule, from jazz and folk music to plays and literary events. International acts include Alice Francis, Amber Run, Kosheen and the Boban Markovic Orkestar.

Everness, Hungary’s biggest lifestyle festival, will be held in Alsóörs between June 19 and 24, while Klassz a pARTon! brings classical music to the lakeshore on summer evenings. Kultkikötő has more than 400 events in store, including concerts, screenings and plays.

Celebrating the end

STRAND and are Balaton’s traditional end-of-summer festivals held in Zamárdi on the weekend nearest to August 20. The opening fireworks will be followed by John Newman, and later on by Bastille, Jason Derulo, Anne-Marie, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Steve Aoki and the best of the Hungarian popular music scene. Headliners at are Amelie Lens, Charlotte de Witte, Chris Liebing, Rødhåd, Sasha, Svan Väth, Sam Paganini and Tale Of Us.