Review: Strand Festival (Day 2), Hungary


We got the scoop about this brand new music festival happening by Lake Balaton in Zamardi, Hungary. It’s called Strand Festival and they got no one other than the freshly reunited Fall Out Boy to headline it’s second day on the 19th August! Of course, we couldn’t miss this opportunity to see them but first, let’s take a look on how this fine bank holiday Monday went down…

Being a festival based on a musical event circle around Lake Balaton, the vast of majority of Strand’s performers came out of the alternative/underground Hungarian music scene so we were able to get a glimpse on how these bands work live first hand.

Indigo Utca+Fluor

First up there was Indigó Utca on the VIVA stage. They played some catchy tunes with great lyrics; the perfect jam on a hot summer afternoon with the lake’s view in the background…until Fluor – a divisive celebrity, musician, rapper, teen idol – came on stage as guest star and joined the band for a few songs. His constrained jokes really put you off of wanting to see more. He was even wearing a “Haters Gonna Hate” shirt (one thing we agree about), but some enjoyed his appearance even more.

Meanwhile on the main stage, the lovely Odett began her show. She is one of today’s most talented up and coming musicians. Her songs are mostly about love, break ups and all things about relationships that everyone can easily relate to. At first sight you wouldn’t think this tiny young lady could have such energy live on stage. Not to mention the powerful unique voice she’s got.

Anna from Anna and the Barbies

Anna and the Barbies were the absolute highlight of the day with funky costumes, guitar music and fantastic humour. The most emotional song of the day was theirs as well: it’s called ‘Márti dala’; inspired by a very special fan who died recently. Special kudos to singer Anna Pasztor for leading such an awesome show, climbing on the huge speakers, getting into the crowd and singing and dancing tirelessly while being seven months pregnant. She’s one tough cookie with endless empathy to her band’s music and live performance. It was truly amazing to witness such energy on stage from a band. This show was also the last they’ll play for a while because of Pasztor’s baby-vacation.

Pete in the crowd

Fall Out Boy’s first show in Hungary – and probably the smallest festival they play these days – was a real rock and roll party with a mix of old classics, new songs and their biggest hits. The band showed great enthusiasm playing to an absolutely unknown crowd – the few drinks they said they had before the show surely helped. The audience returned this enthusiasm in the best way they could: being a rowdy bunch and screaming from the top of their lungs, lungs, lungs…well, sort of. The lack of knowledge of the lyrics showed strongly. Hungary, learn your words by next time so there won’t be an awkward silence when you should follow the ‘Am I more than you bargained for yet’ part! Despite the awesome time we had, two negative things occurred: the incredibly short set time (C`mon! One hour, ten minutes isn’t long enough for a so-called headliner!) and the awful quality of sound (The festival blamed it on the stormy wind but everybody else sounded perfect except the biggest name on the line up. Why?).

The Carbonfools were the last act of the day. They followed FOB on the main stage with a good one and a half hour long set-list. And what a great show they gave us! With his chilled out lazy dancing, it seemed that lead-singer Balazs Feher would fall asleep of boredom on stage but that wasn’t the case because all you could feel in the songs was professionalism and everybody – both fans and the band – had a good time dancing around.

Intim Torna Illegal

Of course in between the setting up of gigs at the same place, there was plenty of spare time to catch other artists for a few songs. The rockers of Intim Torna Illegal, Subscribe and Fish!, Neo with their new wave tunes, or the uber-popular band Heaven Street Seven were all amazing but set time clashes made it impossible to see everyone.

Despite the negativities mentioned, the rest of Strand Festival was great: the sun was shining, there were happy people everywhere plus the fairy lights on the trees and the moon created a special atmosphere at night. Bonus point for the Metapay Card that you can top up and use when buying anything on-site; this makes the queues go way faster and there is no need of cash handling!

So, how about same time next year? don’t have any professional photographers yet; are YOU interested in joining us? Email if so.

Dóra Udvardi
Dora covers the events of the Hungarian music scene – or wherever she's actually living – over at Alt Scribe. She gained interest in writing about music when she created her first blog on Buzznet in 2011. Since then she became a featured blogger on the site, where she shares about fragments of her life, travels and music experiences. She's the person to go to if you want to know about actual music events. CURRENTLY LISTENING TO: All Time Low, The Carbonfools and The Kooks. SPECIALIST SUBJECT: The Hungarian music scene

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