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Sziget Festival 2023: Here are the seven acts you don't want to miss

Sziget Festival kicks off this week - here are the seven acts you don't want to miss
Sziget Festival kicks off this week - here are the seven acts you don't want to miss Copyright Sziget Festival
Copyright Sziget Festival
By David MouriquandTheo Farrant, Saskia O’Donoghue
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It’s one of Hungary’s biggest cultural events, and this year's festival line-up is looking mighty impressive. Here are the seven acts you don't want to miss.

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Sziget Festival kicks off tomorrow and takes place on Budapest’s Óbuda Island, also known as the Island of Freedom, which becomes the site of the six-day-long festivities.

Yes, six days is a long stretch, with hundreds of concerts and performances on more than a dozen stages. So, to help you make your picks, an intrepid selection of Euronews Culture’s music-loving team have selected seven acts you shouldn't miss from this year’s impressive line-up.

And just to make it simpler, we’ve listed our picks in schedule form.

Don’t say we don’t treat you.

Bonobo

Balazs Mohai/AP
BonoboBalazs Mohai/AP

Playing on Thursday 10 August on FreeDome

If you're heading to the ‘Island of Freedom’ in search of pulsating basslines seamlessly intertwined with orchestral interludes and organic grooves, your quest ends with none other than the British maestro DJ and producer, Simon Green, better known by his stage name, Bonobo. Following the triumph of his seventh studio album, ‘ Fragments ’, which received widespread acclaim, and earned him a remarkable five-day residency at the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London, Green indisputably stands as one of the most respected artists in the realm of dance music - and for good reason. Sziget ravers can expect a cathartic and genre-defying musical masterclass from Green and his ensemble. Theo Farrant

Loyle Carner

Getty
Loyle CarnerGetty

Playing on Friday 11 August on FreeDome

A must-see performance at this year's Sziget festival comes from the extraordinary London-born rapper, Loyle Carner. Known for his poetic and socially conscious lyrics, paired with effortlessly smooth delivery over jazzy and soulful beats, he is undeniably one of the UK’s brightest talents - and he’s most brilliant when on stage. I’ve been lucky enough to see him twice within the past year, and on both occasions, he had myself and the crowd in the palm of his hand. It's not hard to quickly fall in love with him. From charming personal anecdotes to serendipitous interactions with the audience, his on-stage charisma and energy is like nothing I’ve ever seen from an artist before. I wholeheartedly urge to you to go see this legend in the making. TF

David Guetta

Joel Ryan/Invision
David GuettaJoel Ryan/Invision

Playing on Saturday 12 August on Main Stage

David Guetta may be 55 years old but his live performances are still as fresh and energetic as ever. The French DJ is one not to miss at Sziget thanks to his mastery of house music. He’s a veritable maestro of the genre, letting pulsating beats and euphoric melodies emanate from his fingertips. Known for his impressive synergy with the crowd as well as his ability to transcend genre boundaries, it’s no surprise that Guetta is still at the top of his game nearly 40 years since he spun his first disk. Longtime fans say he’s able to create a truly euphoric experience and is famous for his multiple encores, giving the crowd just what they want. If you’re looking for banging beats in Budapest, Guetta has still got it! Saskia O’Donoghue

Arlo Parks

Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP
Arlo ParksValentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP

Playing on Sunday 13 August on Main Stage

Whatever you do this year, don’t miss UK singer songwriter Arlo Parks. The pop prodigy released her second album this year, ‘Soft Machine’, which is a very different beast to her Mercury Prize-winning debut 'Collapsed in Sunbeams'. This year, she digs deeper on an emotional level and it hits hard. The last time I saw her live, she began the show with the heart-stopping lyrics: “Almost everyone I love has been abused / And I am included.” Granted, that may not sound like the easiest listen in the context of a vibrant music festival, but Arlo Parks has a unique talent for putting her finger on the pulse of a generation’s anxieties and strengths. Her soothing voice makes every word sound like poetry and the passion she exudes on stage is infectious. The show I attended invoked a sense of wonder that was entrancing, and ultimately uplifting. I envy those who get to see her this year on the ‘Island of Freedom’. And I pity those who decide to give her a skip. David Mouriquand

Caroline Polachek

Robb Cohen/2022 Invision
Caroline PolachekRobb Cohen/2022 Invision

Playing on Monday 14 August on Main Stage

We can’t get enough of Caroline Polachek here at Euronews Culture. My esteemed colleague caught her at Primavera Madrid this year and, truth be told, I’m still seething with jealousy. I’ve been a fan since 2019’s ‘Pang’ album, with the poptastic 'So Hot You're Hurting My Feelings', and every time I catch clip glimpses of her shows online, I’m nothing short of transfixed by her vocal prowess (how does she oscillate like that??) and sultry dance moves. If you're a regular in these parishes, you’ll know that we ranked her new album ‘Desire, I Want To Turn Into You’ our second favourite record of the year so far; it stunned us with trip-hop beats, electro glitches, varied instrumentations, all wrapped up in an addictive whole that will doubtlessly be 2023’s best pop album. Don’t miss out on catching her live – it's bound to be a poppy, sexy and altogether unforgettable highlight of this year’s festival. I wish I was going. DM

Hannah Grae

YouTube - hannahgrae.lnk
Hannah GraeYouTube - hannahgrae.lnk

Playing on Tuesday 15 August on FreeDome

I’ve never seen Hannah Grae live. But I’m aching to. Her name might not be a household one yet, but you’ve probably heard of her because of her 2021 melancholic piano version (and feminist reworking) of Aqua’s hit 'Barbie Girl'. She went TikTok viral, and while a stamp of approval from that particular platform is usually enough for me to go on my merry way and shout at some clouds like the grumpy old man I'm gradually becoming, I’m glad I stuck around. Putting aside the phone, the 20-year-old Welsh talent headed into the studio and delivered a promising debut album, 'Hell is a Teenage Girl'. It boasts her affinity for 90s pop-punk, and fans of Bikini Kill and Paramore need look no further. I can’t speak from experience, but I have a feeling this will be a lively, joyous affair. DM

Billie Eilish

AP Photo/Lewis Joly
Billie EilishAP Photo/Lewis Joly

Playing on Tuesday 15 August on Main Stage

If you’re still crying from Billie Eilish’s song in the Barbie movie, we don't blame you. The 21 year old songstress’ ‘What Was I Made For’ has become an instant, if tear jerking, classic and it’s reason enough to see her perform at Sziget. Eilish is well known for her genre crossing tracks - who hasn’t bopped to 'Bad Guy' in their time? There are countless other reasons than her stellar back catalogue to see the American singer songwriter, chief amongst which her ethereal voice and high energy tunes taking crowds on an immersive journey. Add this one to your packed festival schedule - if it’s not on there already! SO’D

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2023 Sziget Festival takes kicks off on Thursday 10 August and lasts until Tuesday 15 August.

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