Hungary has long been entranced and in recent years a growing number of quality events, talented emerging artists, and the hospitality of the locals have made it a key destination on the European festival map.
Hungary – on Psy since the 90ies
The psytrance scene here dates back to the early 90’s and gained international recognition through the legendary Solipse Festival in 1999. Five years later, a group of Trance enthusiasts re-visited the magical valley to create what is now called O.Z.O.R.A. From its humble beginnings the event has grown into one of the biggest annual psy-fares in Europe hosting 30,000-strong crowds with people from all corners of the Earth. The week-long extravaganza is now crossing over to the mainstream and with its world music stage and visionary arts workshops it is attracting more and more people who are otherwise oblivious to this scene. Had it been only for the greatest names in psytrance and chill out, O.Z.O.R.A. would be a no-brainer choice to anyone in love with the music, but for many of us seasoned travelers the mega-gathering may be a bit overwhelming.
Luckily, Hungary has many other options for those, whose definition of a ‘psychedelic paradise’ lies somewhere else. The hot Hungarian Summer is offering a string of events following one another. You can easily spend an extended holiday in the region as you transition from one destination to the other. Ranging in sizes from a few hundred to a couple of thousand and with varying focus on musical styles, you’ll surely find what you’re looking for.
The hard edge of Psytrance
Starting off on the 9th of June, 4.49 Gathering is a family sized event, appreciated for its truly underground vibe and its focus on the harder edges of Trance. This year, popular names of the local dark-psy syndicate like Para Halu, Dr. Space, Aurafood or Ape Rape will be accompanied by neighborhood guests Kala, Mindflip, Suntrax Sascha and Kymantra.
If you’re more into the opposite end of the psychedelic music spectrum, the 2nd edition of Samsara Festival from the 6th of July will bring you the best downbeat and psybient tunes. Names like Carbon Based Lifeforms, Kaya Project and Solar Fields are just a few highlights and there will be yoga courses and workshops to keep your mind and body in balance.
No Hungary without S.U.N.
Just a week after, from the 18th of July, Solar United Natives are revisiting the wonderful land of Csobánkapuszta. Without the threats and limitations that forced to downsize last year’s edition to 1000 participants, the new crew is now ready to take the event to the next level. DJ and promoter Oleg, who’s one of the founding fathers of the local scene, is now leading a non-profit foundation in creating a new kind of gathering. Because S.U.N. is not just a festival but an open community space throughout the year, where members have direct influence on the organization. Questions on land cultivation projects or regarding new talents to be included in the lineup are all decided by the community. It is also according to their will that the event is limited to 3000 guests this year to ensure this way the long term sustainability of the land as well as the family atmosphere.
The lineup includes John ‘00’ Fleming, Electric Universe, Power Source, Boom Shankar, Champa, Hypnoise, Ital, Protonica, Tristate, Soul Seeker, Emok, Phaxe, Vertex or Zyce, and also a rooster of BMSS, Suntrip and Zion604 artists. They will be accompanied by such downbeat delicacies as Aes Dana, Alwoods, Astropilot, Desert Dwellers, Kalya Scintilla, Cygna, Akasha Experience, Snowdrop, GMO vs. Dense, Tor.Ma in Dub, Master Minded or Whitebear.
You will find no tickets at the gates, instead you should get your membership in advance. And by becoming a member, you’re not only getting access to the Summer gathering but also to all events organized by the S.U.N. Crew. This includes the Winter S.U.N. party in December which usually fills 3 stages with local and international headliners in the Budapest club Dürer Garden. The cosy ruin pub is a real underground strong hold, where the Y-Production, Psybaba and Goa.hu crew are regularly hosting indoor psytrance events, each setting up stages of differing styles for often over a thousand visitors.
Artists made in Hungary
When it comes to home grown talent, more and more new Hungarian artists are appearing on the international scene. Musician and DJ Alpha from interzone-pa in Hamburg is also Hungarian, and one of the forefathers of the legendary Solipse, BOOM, O.Z.O.R.A. and S.U.N. festivals. J.I.S. aka Journey Into Sound is making waves in the Balkan Goa scene along with Skarma and Asirion, while acts like Aythar, StereOMantra and Yarn are releasing well received psybient tunes through the local label of Psychotria Records. Progressive trance Flanger Strangers is coming up to international recognition, while Snag The Sunshepherd is ready to release his second album.
May it be a Summer holiday or a just a weekend getaway in the indoor season, Hungary has something to offer to all psychedelic travelers. Make sure to pay a visit when you’re around 😉
travel portals: funzine.hu, bkk.hu/en, mavcsoport.hu/en
party info: goa.hu
languages: Hungarian is the weirdest and hardest language on Earth but don’t worry, most young people understand English and will try to help you.
currency: 1 HUF (Hung Forint) = 0.0032€
Best travel time: End July, early Aug, 25ºC – 30 ºC
vaccinations/inoculation: Routine vaccines (e.g. chickenpox, flu, etc.). CDC recommends hepatitis A vaccine to avoid infections from contaminated food or water.
SOS call number: 112