Sziget – Island of Freedom

just for youMy holidays are probably incomplete without a festival! Last year, during my Eurotrip I had a chance to visit two festivals, Sziget being one of them and it was surely one hell of an experience.

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Sziget is Europe’s largest music and cultural festival takes place on an island by the Danube river over a week. This was a spontaneous plan during my stay in Budapest and the best part was tickets being available on the spot at the festival.

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Getting to the Sziget from Budapest:

We used public transport to get to the festival using a tram and bus. We got off at Filatorigát station and walked to the festival from there. It was pretty easy to reach the festival. However, there are other modes of transport available here.

Now about the festival, along with your band you receive a ‘Sziget Passport’ which I personally thought was an amazing souvenir. You can get this passport stamped on every stage you visit, and it’s a great way to keep a track of the stages you have visited as there are over 20 stages at the festival. With only one day to visit the festival I did try to cover as many stages as possible.

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Once we were on the Island, the festival was so colourful and artsy, and luckily we headed to the main-stage right in time for the beach ball party! There were 1000’s of beachball that were being thrown up in the air together, it was such an amazing atmosphere and it was of of the highlights of the festival for me.

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Moving on the different things you can expect from Sziget, since it’s a music, cultural and arts festival. There are a lot of exciting things that are happening, my advice here is especially if you are attending the festival for a day or two download the Sziget application, browse through everything happening at the festival, short list the things you want to do. Let me warn you, there is a lot of walking as everything is spread over an island.

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My highlights from Sziget:

Attending a circus and theatre show, I managed to attend two shows and not just one.

Just chilling by the river and vibing on the music, this was the perfect place to catch the sunset and meet a lot of like-minded people.

Writing on the before I die wall – it’s a great picture and insta spot as well

Admiring all the art, culture and madness!

15 minutes of the beachball party at the main-stage 

And lastly, Wiz Khalifa stealing the show.  

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If you are traveling to Budapest during Sziget, it’s a festival you must visit even if it’s for a day and there is no planning required for this, since the festival is SO big, tickets are usually available on the spot without having to a pay a premium price which I think is amazing!! Hope you’ll have a chance to visit this festival and make your Eurotrip even more eventful.

 

 

 

 

 

25th Birthday at Tomorrowland 2017

I am probably writing about this wee bit late, but well it’s better late than never! My halfway to 50 was definitely done right, and my Tomorrowland experience is probably one of the best experiences of my life!

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First, what most people would want to know is how did I manage to get passes when they get sold out in less than 10 minutes online. Well, I didn’t get lucky with getting the tickets officially so I had to use the medium of the secondary market by paying that extra amount. So, I got my tickets for Tomorrowland on this site called Viagogo, it is ticket reselling platform. Apparently, it is officially partnered with Tomorrowland for tickets resale, however I don’t know how true that piece of information is.

Now a little advice on how to purchase your tickets of Viagogo, if you are 100% sure about going to the festival and didn’t manage to get tickets officially, don’t be in a haste and buy them off viagogo immediately as the prices are almost double at that moment and it’s the probably not the best time to buy your tickets. Wait it out, just a month or 3 weeks before the festival is the best time to make your purchase. Closer to the festival the prices on viagogo drop drastically and if you are lucky, you could get your ticket at face value as well.

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Unfortunately, since I bought my ticket from a reseller, I didn’t receive the cool box in which everyone who get’s their tickets officially receives it, I was pretty bummed about that. But the festival made it up for it.

Now to the most exciting part, I attended Tomorrowland on the 1st weekend which was from 21st to 23rd July. Three days were absolutely magical, the production of this festival was unreal, all the details for every stage was done so well.

 

Starting day one, we arrived to the festival around 3 pm the first day was nice and sunny so we were extremely blessed with the weather on day one. As soon as we reached we had to exchange our viagogo tickets for our bands and there we were inside ‘Amicorum Spectaculum’ the theme for Tomorrowland 2017.

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Tomorrowland’s ‘Amicorum Spectaculum’ means gathering of friends in Latin, the main stage was a mega size tent with a carousel, led it lights, theatre acts and unbelievable amount of energy. The main stage production was one of my favourites, but I would suggest exploring all the stages over three days. There were 16 stages at the festival each one having a different element to it, apart from the main stage, you would see most of the remaining stages every year.

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The other stages at Tomorrowland were Garden of Madness, Rose Garden, Organ of Harmony, Freedom Stage, The Arch, The Rave Cave, The Cage, The Tulip, House of Mask, The Leaf, The Core, The Harbour House, incase I am missing any of the stages is probably because I can’t remember the name now!

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Now to the best part of the festival, firstly bring in my birthday with the fire works blowing off at the main stage and attending the best EDM festival, I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday. But it doesn’t end there, next day of the festival just got better! 

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It’s no surprise that I lost my friends at the festival, as we all wanted to go explore different stages and well this is when I was passing by The Harbour House, a stage that had live theatre acts and some deep house music going on, the stage being relatively less crowded than all other bigger stages, I was right in front of the stage, called out to one of the performers and told him it was my birthday, next thing I knew he announced it to everyone in the crowd that it was my birthday, getting me drinks and I had everyone in the crowd coming up to me wishing, dancing with me, it was a one of my favourite moments of Tomorrowland. Having my birthday being called out amongst the thousands of people present there, it was definitely amazing!!!

 

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And that’s my Tomorrowland birthday experience, I’m sure it’s going to be pretty hard to top this birthday!

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Global Citizen Festival India – Coldplay

img_5967So, this was one of the most awaited days for thousands of people in Mumbai who waited for 16 years to watch their favourite band live. At this moment, I wasn’t feeling too bad about missing out on Coldplay in London.

fullsizerender-3And, it wasn’t only Coldplay that everyone was thrilled about, Global Citizen has a lineup that had something for everyone to be excited about. International performances like Pop star Demi Lovato, the king of rap Jay-Z, all the Bollywood stars like Shahrukh Khan, Amitabh Bachan, Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar and much more putting up various acts and even giving singing a shot which you don’t get to see often. It doesn’t end here there were political leaders, business tycoons making appearances to talk about sustainable development and how all of us can be involved in being global citizens.

The Prime Mister couldn’t be physically present but he made sure to give us a shout out virtually, and the crowd couldn’t stop chanting “Modi, Modi, Modi” but Chris Martin and the band stole the show.

fullsizerender-5I mean, Coldplay is one of the best bands in the world and their concerts are like a dream, I should say the band has been very generous to do their entire show here in India along with Global Citizen.

fullsizerender-1Coldplay was definitely the highlight of the evening, and surely worth waiting for 6 hours and more over 16 years. The band’s lead singer Chris Martin won all our hearts by collaborating with A R Rehman and singing ‘Vande Mataram’ (India’s National Song) and then jamming up a Bollywood song ‘Channa Mareya’ with Sky Full Of Stars. Coldplay created a magical paradise with their set up which, was full of colours, confetti and balloons. Words can’t even describe the feeling and the experience while the band performed, I really wish I could just rewind that evening just to hear ‘Fix You’ all over again. This was undoubtedly one of the best evenings of my life so far.

fullsizerenderAbout Global Citizen, I love the concept of merging a festival with a cause, here in India Global Citizen focused on three Sustainable Development Actions out of 19. And I personally believe those are very much required in India. Bollywood stars, Cricketers and Ministers addressed the crowd on – Gender Equality, Quality Education and Water and Sanitation.

fullsizerender-6Seeing, the response of the crowd and people of Mumbai I am sure everyone’s hoping for the festival to come back to India very soon and see the youth of India become Global Citizens by taking actions towards sustainable development.

Lastly, Chris Martin if you ever happen to read this or stumble upon this article, thank you for coming to Mumbai and giving us the best 2 hours of our lives and I believe the millions of fans in India would love to have Coldplay tour here in India with the kaleidoscope EP.
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