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8th August, 2018

Sziget Festival starts today



The Sziget Festival opened its gates to ticket-holding campers on Sunday evening, three days before the week-long party starts on Wednesday.

Tens of thousands of people had set up camp by Tuesday on Óbuda Island ahead of what has grown into one of the largest pop music and cultural events in Europe over its 26-year history.

Chief organiser Tamás Kádár said mostly foreigners have bought weekly tickets, while Hungarian visitors arrive with one-day tickets or three-day passes.

Based on preliminary ticket sales, more than 120,000 foreigners from more than 100 countries are expected to be at the festival.

For the first time in many years, Britons, about 20,000 of them, will be present in the largest number, after Hungarians.

The biggest names to be taking the stage this year are Lana Del Rey, Kendrick Lamar, Gorillaz, Mumford and Sons, Dua Lipa, Kygo, Arctic Monkeys, Liam Gallagher and Shawn Mendes.

Technical director Dániel Benis said the health care centre on the island has about ten ambulances, a 600-strong staff and 40-45 doctors.

There are more than a thousand volunteers helping out at the festival, along with 1,200 security guards and 300 fire-fighters.

Police will provide extra presence at international railway and bus terminals, and on main roads between Liszt Ferenc International Airport and the festival.

Budapest public transport company BKV is running extra HÉV trains to the island, as well as a special boat service from Jászai Mari tér and additional trams along the Nagykörút.

Sources regularly consulted, with abbreviations used in text: Népszabadság (N); Magyar Hírlap (MH); Világgazdaság (VG); Napi Gazdaság (NG); Magyar Nemzet (MN); Népszava (Nsz); Kossuth Rádió news (KR); nightly TV news (TV).

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