BUDAPEST, Hungary (CelebrityAccess) — Several of Europe’s largest music festivals, including Sziget and its sister event Balaton Sound are the lastest live music events to be canceled due to COVID-19 as Hungary has joined its neighbors in banning large scale events until August.
In a televised press conference on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office announced that while some restrictions in the Eastern European country will begin to be relaxed on May 4th, public events with more than 500 people will continue to be banned until at least August 15th in a bid to slow the spread of the virus.
Organizers for Sziget almost immediately announced that the event, along with Balaton, had been canceled.
“The Hungarian government has just extended the ban on large-scale events until 15 August 2020, and due to this official prohibition, we are heartbroken to let you know that Sziget Festival cannot take place this year.”
“Sziget has always been special because of the atmosphere that you, our Szitizens, create and we are devastated that we won’t be able to see you on The Island of Freedom this summer. Sharing an unforgettable week with you is what keeps us going throughout the year and whilst our whole team has been working very hard on preparing for the festival, your Sziget adventure will now have to wait until 2021. As hard as it is, we believe that this decision best serves the safety of all of you and everyone working at our festival.”
As well, organizers asked ticketholders for “patience” while they work with their ticketing partners, presumably to provide refunds for the canceled event but they stopped short of promising said refunds.
Sziget, which regularly attracts more than 100,000 fans to Óbudai-sziget, an island on the Danube, was set for August 5-11 with a lineup that included Dua Lipa, Calvin Harris, The Strokes, Kings of Leon, Stormzy, Major Lazer, and numerous others.
The extended ban will also affect other events, including the Telekom VOLT Festival, the heavy metal-oriented Rock Maraton, the Bánkitó Festival, and the Hungarian Grand Prix FI race, though organizers are reportedly trying to arrange for the race to continue without an audience.