The morning of day 2 dawned and I had my first day of ringing in my ears. We had no initial plans for the day and so sleeping in was pretty high on the agenda. Of course that wasn’t going to last with the heat in our little oven box of a room, and me being on the top bunk because OMG ANTS! So many blasted ants! I’m pretty cool with most insects on a you stay away from me I’ll leave you be basis. (We have a resident spider in the shower, he’s cool as long as he stays in the corner. Didn’t like his room mate though she was waaay to friendly, she got evicted. Told him he needed to consult us before he got any more roommates.) But I can’t do ants, me and ants don’t get along and we made the fatal mistake of having fruit in the cabin. My poor blueberries! I emptied a good half a can of mosquito repellent on the floor trying to warn them off!
On the note of using all my bug spray on the ants I decided drastic measures needed to be put into place. We made a trip to the local Lidl store down the way from the train station back in Buda. It was about a 10 minute walk from the island itself and a chance to get some cheaper food supplies, because festival prices. And to stock up on ant killing spray a good big can of Raid. With brunch in hand we started our way back and came across a local selling watermelons bigger then basketballs. unfortunately he only took cash and someone (cough* Royce) had left our cash back in the cabin so we headed back melonless. 😦
Our next mission was a bit of island exploration. The Sziget Festival not only has a massive number of music acts but also sports huge theater and dance performances and other areas helping to raise awareness for various causes. Sziget festival’s way of ensuring festival goers go find all these hidden pockets of amazingness is through the festival passport. The booklet contains a beautiful picture of yourself, a program of everything and map of where to find activities and performances. Not only that it also has a stamp page, there was 21 stamps to collect from around the island and being one of the first to fill all the stamps got a free gift. (not us.) It was an excellent incentive to get around the island and see all the different areas.
One such area was known as the Ngo Island. It was a collection of tents promoting a number of issues. From climate awareness, autism, the LGBTQ community even breast cancer awareness. While there to collect the stamps in this area we got into some really interesting in-depth discussions with the LGBTQ community members present. They talked a bit about Hungary and why they were there. Hungary is still quite a conservative country and their tolerance to this community has waxed and waned through the countries history. At current there has been strong views not in favor of the community, particularly Transgender and non-binary peoples. Though Hungary itself no longer has compulsory sterilization for transgender people their neighboring countries still require it.
In Hungary the classification for whether you can legally change your gender has become harder in recent time to what it was ten years ago due to changes in political views in power. Along with most countries in Europe a mental health certificate has to be gained before identity documents can be changed. this perpetuates the false stigma that transgender is a mental illness. Later in the week we ended up walking in on a talk about transgender rights with some Hungarian locals who talked more about this and their own personal experiences. They wanted to see it become easier to change genders without having to have mandatory mental well-being tests and basically be able to have an ID card that matched the person they were. They didn’t want the frustration of having to explain why their drivers license shows a man when clearly they were a woman and vise versa. It was really interesting talking and listening to these people about their views, struggles and learning more about the community as a whole. I learnt a great deal about the day to day struggles of the transgender community in Europe. Their aim at the festival was awareness and education, they were there to answer peoples questions and were overwhelmed with the positivity they had received. It was heartening to see so many people come and sit down to learn and chat.
After our deep and meaningful chats over the afternoon we headed back to the main stage to watch Franz Ferdinand play and hear Jane Goodall speak. What an intermission! I felt exceedingly privileged to be present for Jane Goodall’s short speech, in which she brought a good proportion of the crowd including myself and Royce to tears. She spoke about her life and how she ended up working with chimpanzees in Africa, that it was her mothers encouragement to do what she believed in that meant she got on that plane and left for Tanzania. She spoke about the similarities with ourselves and the animal kingdom and her current project that has her touring Europe at present to promote climate change awareness and our need to act. Jane believes the way to save chimpanzees and the number of other endangered species is to save the rain-forests and therefore to protect our climate because we are all linked and if you help one you help the other. We are all part of nature and if we can put balance back to nature then nature can figure the rest out. Jane said she was inspired by so many young people standing up against big corporates and governments to make a stand for our future and the future of our planet.
It was hard not to be inspired and awestruck and quite frankly I didn’t even try not to be. If you want to know more about Jane and The Jane Goodall institute and how you can help go check out her website;
After the emotional speech it was back to the music, we headed to the MasterCard stage to check out Yungblud. Unfortunately though the tent was bursting at the seams so instead grabbed a bite to eat and caught the end of Richard Ashcroft on the main stage, which at the end of his set put us in a very empty mosh-pit awaiting the next act. The “What the hell we will join the mosh pit. We are at a festival after all.” Decision was made and that’s how we ended up in the center of the mosh pit for The 1975 a band neither of us had heard before (sorry to our UK and Irish readers.) While Jamming to a band we had never listened to before surrounded by hard core fans we met some Irish. (Wooh the Irish) well correction Meg saw me a few feet away and did a double take. Royce saw this double take and also did a double take, Meg then took it upon herself to introduce her and her friend and the other couple girls they just met around us. Meg later said she was confused as to why she was looking at her sister. (Apparently we look alike let me know in the comments whether you agree or not.) We got concert chatting as in; screaming in each other ears to be heard over the music. Meg and Chloe (the Irish gals) are big fans of the band and we jammed with them for the set which though I didn’t know a single song was a cool performance. The lead singer was definitely a bit cray cray in a “I’m a rock star I’m meant to be crazy, I’ll do what I want.” Type way. Complete with a very dramatic “I work hard to be on this stage I’ll finish when I say so!” Encore. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it even if the music wasn’t totally my scene.
After the set we headed over to one of the many picnic benches near one of the many more drink stands for a few drinks with our new found friends. (Yay friends!) And met some more Irish lads. Turns out there was a lot of Irish at Sziget festival! We also gave into temptation and tried some of the Hungarian fry bread served with sour cream and cheese AND garlic (like you could not have garlic) omnomnom. I sorta ate around the edges though because I’m a lacto and sour cream AND cheese is asking for trouble. A great end of a thought inspiring day 2/start of day 3.
Stay tuned for more out the gate festival adventures. Don’t forget if you haven’t already, hit the like button below and join the flock to stay up to date with new posts. Find out next time how Royce and I ended up with a whole bucket of Tequila sunrise.