Do you feel like you’ve seen every festival in the country? Are you specifically drawn to a subgenre of electronic music, or just a more alternative community? We’ve brought you five festivals that will definitely not disappoint you, and we’ve selected them in a way that you could even attend all of them!
Alkotótábor | 5–9 July
Alkotótábor turns 20 years old! This means that every year for the last two decades, the camp’s organizers, techno artist Isu and DJ twins Fiba and Wuki, have been treating techno and house lovers to amazing music. The first camp started as a micro-festival in 2004 and since then they have continued to deliver the same quality year after year. Although the festival hosts slightly more performers and visitors each year, its intimate nature has remained.
However, the camp is not only a refuge for electronic music but also for other alternative genres and workshops. This year, Hannes Stöhr’s bittersweet comedy Berlin Calling will be screened as the festival’s opening film, and the evening program will be complemented by a daytime “summer university” where the industry’s major players will discuss the state of electronic music and the Hungarian club scene.
Katlan Festival | 13–16 July
Katlan Festival debuted in 2019, so this year marks the fifth time that visitors have the opportunity to visit the Quarry of Tárnok for an unforgettable experience. The organizers have been part of the Budapest night scene for years, but after a while, they felt the need for something more. In 2018, they visited the quarry as part of one of their “ILL” parties, which immediately convinced them of the need for an underground boutique festival.
Basically, techno and house genres have always been featured at the festival, and over the years, many young artists have made their debut here who are now world stars and fill whole arenas, such as Nico Moreno or Reinier Zonneveld. While last year’s line-up was dominated by hard industrial techno and minimal house, this year the organizers are going back to basics and expanding the repertoire. There will also be a special goa stage on one of the days featuring Avalon, one of the genre’s top names, and house legends such as Kollektiv Turmstrasse, Andrey Pushkarev, and Satoshi Tomiie will be visiting the cave.
“We want to create an event independent of the big festivals and entertainment interests, a festival that both visitors and performers will spread the word about, and one that we ourselves would tell people about if we were to be guests. In addition, our core audience is very important to us, and community building is part of our work, as is inclusivity, openness, a friendly vibe and atmosphere, and creating a space where everyone feels safe and welcome. The quarry’s globally unique location provides the perfect setting for this,” the organizers explained their mission.
Gólem Festival | 20–22 July
The Gólem team never imagined that a birthday party they organized in 2017, eventually shut down by the police for breach of the peace, would turn into such a huge project. Fortunately, they are now more prepared and will be back for a fifth edition this year to give more talented young performers a platform. As well as the hard-core Gólem All Stars, a number of foreign artists will be visiting the festival this year to further expand its palette. “We’re trying to cater to everyone in terms of musical styles, from hip-hop to afrobeat, trance, rap, techno, house, hyperpop, as well as live music concerts,” the organizers explained.
The team is keen on self-identity. “As trendsetters, we try to bring new perspectives to the local crowd with our visuals, music programs, and attitude. Part of our identity is our non-profit nature and lack of sponsorship. We don’t want to bother our audience with unsolicited advertising,” they pointed out when asked about their mission.
The identity was created by Kristóf Kajetán Seper and Panni Teszler, who were mainly inspired by foreign models. The design blends a futuristic, edgy 3D aesthetic with the vibe of 90s and 2000s VHS footage.
Terra Kontra Festival | 03–06 August
Over the years, two groups of friends found each other almost by serendipity, hitting the dancefloors of stuffy clubs and philosophizing until dawn at house parties, only to finally come up with their first shared idea on the surreal, purple-glowing deck of a Berlin club boat: it was time to self-organize. In February 2022, they lit their very first beacon in the Pest nightlife, and since then they have appeared at venues ranging from Toldi, A38, Playground, and Aether to Turbina.
The festival will feature subgenres of underground house, from microhouse to garage, as well as ambient, downtempo, and a dash of techno. “Our mission is to create an inclusive, cohesive, and friendly community for house music fans in the longer term. Our plan is to continue to host the parties we have invented. From autumn to spring, we will organize parties in the Budapest nightlife and in the summer we want to focus on our festival. In both spaces, our goal is to go beyond ourselves, event by event, to deliver quality electronic dance music to our audience,” the organizers shared.
INOTA Festival | 31–09 August
The last festival we brought to you is unique in that it’s being held for the first time this year, although the thermal power plant have already hosted smaller events before. The festival’s most striking feature is its location, as it’s housed in one of the largest domestic industrial projects of the 1950s, which closed down 20 years ago. In addition to the music, contemporary visual art (light installations, mapping) has been given equal prominence, which is unique in the Hungarian scene. Foreign guests such as Nils Frahm, Daniel Avery, KI/KI, and many more will be taking the stage.
You can read more about the festival and its identity in an earlier article in which we asked the organizers and the DE_FORM design studio team.
Alkotótábor | Web | Facebook | Instagram
Katlan Festival | Facebook | Instagram
Gólem Festival | Web | Facebook | Instagram
Terra Kontra Collective | Facebook | Instagram | SoundCloud
INOTA Festival | Web | Facebook | Instagram