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Between Utopia and the Marketplace: The Case of the Sziget Festival

  • Zsolt Győri
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave European Film and Media Studies book series (PEFMS)

Abstract

The Sziget Festival, held annually in Budapest, Hungary has become a mega-event since its initiation in 1993. Originally serving as a musical festival featuring both international super-productions and emerging local talent, the Sziget experience offered a window to global trends in an atmosphere resembling that of a giant house-party. This chapter examines the event’s internationalisation and the challenges this meant for its local fanbase of middle class youth. Based on sociological surveys conducted among festivalgoers and an overview of televisual marketing campaigns, the author contends that the Sziget brand, founded on cultural openness, social tolerance and cosmopolitanism was challenged, on the one hand, by the overpoliticised and paternalist public sphere and, on the other hand, the increasing commercialisation of the festival. As a consequence, Hungarian bands and participants alike felt excluded at the event which re-branded itself for the affluent European middle class and integrated the cult of youth into its cosmopolitan image.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zsolt Győri
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DebrecenDebrecenHungary

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