Arriving at around 11pm Monday night (we would have like to have gotten there earlier but the flights from Ireland this year were insane -no direct flights at all!) we could immediately tell that the festival had indeed sold out -something they had mentioned on their Facebook page, and to my knowledge this is the first year ever that the massive island had reached full capacity.
For those of who may have only been to Irish festivals, let me point out a couple of differences here, apart from the festival lasting a whole week- 1.) You can basically camp where you like on the Sziget island. There are, kind of, designated camping areas, but that are simply defined by a) where ever anyone else sets up camp, and more continue to camp around them, and b) Tape bordering off pathways. 2.) The place is giant. Forget Electric Picnic -This place is like a town. So with that in mind, and the place being packed to the brim, finding a camp spot took FOREVER. Made feel even longer for my humans as they were carrying large bags.
Eventually we found a suitable camp spot, set up camp and hoped our 'neighbours' wouldn't mind the intrusion. At this stage, after travelling all day and sore from walking across the island, my humans were of course in dire need of some alcohol. Approaching the first bar they seen, they were informed that no money is accepted anywhere on Island, and that you must purchase a Sziget card. These cards are available at kiosks all over the island and work like a visa card -every time you need a top-up or want to check your balance, you can go to any of these kiosks. Now, my humans had read about these on the Sziget Facebook page, but had no idea they were compulsory -They hadn't even existed at the 2010 festival. Slightly annoyed, they went to get a card and eventually got their first drink, and I had a tiny tipple myself. All and all though, we realise the cards are a great idea -No need to carry around money, which of course is a benefit.
The next day, with our cards topped up, my humans then needed to find the locker areas to store their wallets/ money and valuables. They had booked one on-line prior to arriving for around €20 for the whole week. A great idea of course -that is, if you
can find the lockers. Asking at several information points, none of the festival workers had a clue what the humans were even talking about -in fact, we found that at any time we needed to know any thing during the week, the 'information' desk hadn't a notion. For anyone going next year and buying a locker -They are behind the house/ area where you can charge your phone, near the entrance. On that note also -You can charge your phone for a small fee, but be sure to bring a plug adapter, as they do not supply them.
Getting back to the place being super packed -When they said sold out, they really meant it! In fact, in my little penguin opinion, I do believe they sold far too many tickets, as at times the pathways were so blocked with people, it was imply unsafe. I spent most of those times in my humans backpack -It was no place for a little penguin to be. It was only for the amazing people who seem to attend the festival that kept it from turning into a riot... Apart from one incidence when a little troll like man pulled on Bicky's hair and threw him to the ground :( before scampering away -all because the fatty chubs chubs was getting crushed in the crowds (like everyone else was).
...The people though... The people who go to Sziget really make the week amazing. From all around Europe, America, Canada, and everywhere, they are simply the weirdest, most wonderful characters you could meet. Both in 2010 and 2014, we have met some brilliant folk, who in general make the festival a lovely and safe environment.... It really wasn't all doom and gloom like I might make it out -I'm just a grumpy little penguin who doesn't like crowds. And even though the workers at the information desks knew very little about the festival, they were still a happy, lovely bunch.
Another plus side is the prices of drink and food. Super cheap. Even cheaper if you go up the road to the supermarket. Remember though -no drink is allowed to be brought onto the island from outside; and they do check your bag and enforce this. Not a other though as many drink their purchases down at the shopping centre. And boy, are the supermarket's workers accommodating! You think they would mind youngsters knacker drinking (as we say in Ireland) outside, and inside their premises but they don't at all. If fact, they even erected a giant tent outside for the festival goers, in case it rained! :) definitely worth the wee walk down to the place, even just for the craic.