If you’re into electronic music, we’re sure you’ll be very familiar with this epic festival – the largest festival of its kind in Europe. Lake Balaton and Balaton Sound Festival should be compulsory for anyone wanting an incredible experience. Of course, you must give yourself plenty of time to sort everything out because it attracts thousands of festival-goers who all love electro, but we’ve got all the information you need.
So, what is Balaton Sound?
Well, for those of you who are a little forgetful, Balaton Sound is a festival held every year on the shores of Lake Balaton, the largest in the whole of Central Europe. If you want to go, you will need to get to Zamárdi, a village in Somogy County (to the south-east of Hungary), very close to the Croatian border.
Not only does the festival have an incredible line-up each year, Balaton Sound offers almost 3km of bustling beaches by its lake, only to be enjoyed exclusively by its festival-goers. It’s the perfect place to spend 4 of your summer days in Central Europe, with performances from some of the biggest artists on the current electro scene around the world, including a load of extras to enjoy on the beach.
When is the festival held?
The electronic music festival in Zamárdi has been going since 2007, usually during the first two weeks in July. The last one in 2016 was from the 6th-10th of the month. During its first few years the event came to be called ‘Heineken Balaton Sound’ and it’s not the only large firm that has been interested in the Hungarian festival. In 2013 the sponsorship changed hands and the festival became known as ‘MasterCard Balaton Sound’. The beer brand sponsors a load of the acts that perform over the 4-day party.
Where do you stay?
In and around Zamárdi itself you will be able to find all kinds of accommodation to choose from, depending on what your budget is. That said, most festival-goers naturally prefer to camp, and Balaton Sound has a huge camping area, where you can set up your tent or park your caravan.
Within the camping zone, every type of service will be available to you to make sure your stay is fun and that you don’t miss out on anything – from charging points for your phone to proper bathrooms!
Do you need to be a certain age to attend the Balaton Sound Festival?
You’re in luck, because there isn’t an age limit on going to this one. Of course, those under 14 should be accompanied by an adult for safety reasons. If you have any young ones yourself, kids under 11 can go to the festival for free.
You will also be happy to know that you can bring your pet to Balaton Sound, but obviously, you need to use your common sense; a puppy or an iguana are very different to a grizzly bear. As you can see, the whole family can enjoy this amazing event, even your baby and your furry friends. In any case, if you need to know more or check any regulations, have a read of the festival’s terms and conditions.
How to buy your tickets
Getting your tickets for Balaton Sound is in fact pretty simple, and you should be able to buy them from the festival’s official webpage without any problems. All you need to do is select the country in which you’re buying them from and it will redirect you to its partner website.
Prices of the tickets range from €56 for a day pass to €165 for access to all four days of the event. If you can, or just if you fancy it, the 5-day VIP pass is €300. You need to be quick though, because if you buy your tickets in advance during the early-bird sale, there’s a great discount where a 4-day pass costs just €140.
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We’ve already told you that there are loads of accommodation options in Zamárdi, from renting rooms in the locals’ homes to luxurious hotels. But if you’re someone who prefers to camp at a festival and enjoy the atmosphere 24/7, you need to know that the event has a range of offers for the camping option, depending on which type you want.
The cheapest option in 2017 will cost you €20 (no matter how long you’re staying for- bargain), situated in the camping zone which is a 10 minute walk away from the festival entrance, and a tent is already provided for you. Depending on your budget, there are some more expensive options available too…
A ‘Beach Camping ticket’ saves you the walk and it’s in the heart of the event. If you bring your own tent, you’ll be paying just €65. If you opt for one of the pre-pitched tents, you’ll be paying an extra €70 for 2 people, or an extra €119 to fit 4.
A ‘Caravan camping ticket’ is €100 and an extra €100 per person staying within it.
If you want accommodation at Balaton Sound without having to sacrifice a thing, we recommend you go for the Wooden Huts at Beach Camping. For 2017, a 2-person hut will cost you €385, or €510 if there’s 4 of you.
Performances and activities
It’s clear that we’re not just talking about any old event – in 2012, the award-winning Balaton Sound Festival won the European Festival Award, making it the best festival in Central Europe.
Some of the most famous artists have performed on stage here with the best electronic music in the world, including: David Guetta, Alesso, Tiësto, Hardwell, Mika, Faithless, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Dj Koze, Don Diablo, Eva Show, Alle Farben, Leftfield, A-Trak, Jan Blomqvist, The Prodigy, Fedde le Grand, Wu-Tang Clan, Avicii…
The organizers of the event at Lake Balaton have already announced that this year is going to be the best yet. Aside from the numerous musical performances we’re to expect a this ‘non-stop music festival’, you’re also going to be able to experience loads of other activities: bungee jumping, boat parties on the lake, beach volleyball, handball, football, zumba, pilates, yoga, bodyart, American football, treasure hunts…
As you can see, the activities don’t stop throughout the entire event, so we recommend that you’re organised and just plan to do a few. If you dive in head first from the off, you’re likely to miss some of the amazing acts. So, choose wisely which acts you want to see and activities you want to do and make a plan, including the hours you’re going to need for a bit of rest.
Booking the trip
Of course, you can plan the whole trip yourself, although you also have the option to leave everything up to our travel agency. Ask them what they advise are your best options and they will make you your very own itinerary. You will be able to take advantage of the experience from the off, getting to know your new friends that are travelling with you too. You can set off with your travel pack of tickets and accommodation, whilst also knowing the best times and places to eat at the numerous Little restaurants surrounding Lake Balaton and within the festival itself. You’re going to be amazed, it’s got: Arabic, Thai, Mediterranean, French, German, American, Mexican, Chinese and you can even try some local dishes!
Translated by Tess McKenna