This past Tuesday marked the final day of 2023’s Sziget Festival, Hungary’s premiere music festival and one of the highlights of Europe’s summer festival season. Celebrating thirty years since its inception, Sziget 2023 was full of innumerable highs and unforgettable musical performances by some of the biggest DJs and artists today.
It was my first time attending Sziget, and I’m already looking forward to the next time I’ll be able to let loose on Sziget Island. Apart from the musical offerings (see below), the festival offered a staggering number of activities and performances—from circus acts to drag performances, to amusement rides and even a chill space to zen out between techno sets; Sziget had everything.
But with that said, keep reading to discover my favorite musical moments of Sziget 2023:
Billie Eilish Delivers a Punk-Infused Closing Night Concert
I’ve been a fan of Billie for as long as I can remember. Her debut album, When We All Fall Asleep Where Do We Go won the Big Four at the 2020 Grammy’s and featured heavily in many a pandemic-era playlist, including my own. The California native, together with her brother and primary collaborator Finneas, has gone on to release a chart-topping sophomore record, Happier Than Ever, and most recently featured on the Barbie soundtrack with “What Was I Made For”.
What Billie offered as the main headliner of Sziget 2023 was nothing short of spectacular, a nearly 90-minute set of her biggest hits and newest releases. The artist showcased her versatility, switching between sweetly whispered ballads to high-energy headbangers, commanding the stage as the only performer. It’s clear that Billie can skip dancers or elaborate sets because her songs and persona speak for themselves.
A Darker and Dancier Side to Lorde
Lorde’s last record, Solar Power, was about celebrating the sun and the blissful, relaxed vibes of the summer. I caught her tour (twice) last year and can attest to the artist’s holy love for all the season has to offer.
But during her set on Monday, Lorde offered the audience something a little different—in her own words, a veritable “dance party.” The set, which leaned on hits from her first two records, Pure Heroine and Melodrama, offered new and dance-infused mixes of well-loved classics, as well as a previously unheard new track from her upcoming record. The artist even brought out Caroline Polachek, fresh off her own set at Sziget, to duet her sophomore album’s lead single, “Green Light”—an unforgettable moment for the pop girlies.
Confidence Man Shakes Up Sziget
Another artist originating from “down under,” Confidence Man is an untraditional Australian pop duo that has captured my attention with their disco-infused hits. Their latest album, TILT (2022), is a brilliantly conceived collection of tongue-in-cheek synth-laden tracks, the ultimate soundtrack for the summer.
Performing at the Mastercard Freedom Stage, the duo offered the audience a spirited performance featuring several costume changes, elaborate choreography, and some great tunes. It was overwhelmingly sexy, just a little unserious and exhilarating—the ideal combo, if you ask me.
I Hate Models Brings His Signature Sound to The Ticketswap Colosseum
Who can resist catching a set from I Hate Models, the French techno DJ whose sound is as infectious as non-conformist, elaborate as hardcore?
Performing at the iconic Ticketswap Colosseum stage (one of my favorites at Sziget), I Hate Models offered ninety minutes of brilliantly programmed techno that breezed by. It was the perfect addition to a stellar final night lineup.
Mochakk Wows the Samsung Party Arena
A DJ friend slid into my DMs to urge me to catch Mochakk’s set at Sziget—”I’ve been playing his tracks in my own set; he’s incredible.” I’d heard a little about this 23-year-old Brazilian sensation, though I’d never delved too deeply into his releases.
Mochakk, who has blown up thanks to his TikTok captures of his high-energy sets, offered a tight and engaging performance on Tuesday night that ranged from acid techno to his signature Brazilian dance music-infused sound. It was exhilarating and the ultimate set to wrap up another excellent festival edition.
That’s all for now! To keep up to date with all things electronic music, including exclusive coverage of some of the genre’s most prominent festivals like Budapest’s Sziget Festival, check back here at Nexus Radio! And remember to follow us on Instagram @nexusradiodance.