BUDAPEST, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Hungary's most popular music event of the summer, Sziget Festival kicked off Wednesday here and tens of thousands of visitors will arrive to the Island of Freedom to listen to headliners, according to the organizers.
Last year, the Sziget festival broke its all time record with a turnout of 565,000 people in one week.
"Our regular visitors know that Sziget is a lot more than a music festival," Jozsef Kardos, program director of the festival told Hungarian public television channel M1, before the start of the festival.
"It is also a rich cultural festival, with many other artistic program to be found besides music, such as a rich international circus, theatre and street dance performances among others," he added.
"This year's musical program is going to be the strongest ever proposed, with Ed Sheeran opening the festivities," Tamas Kadar, the main organizer underlined to M1 television.
"For the closing of the festival we have a 2.5 hour-long show of the Foo Fighters, a musical delicacy on its own," he added, noting that organizers have invited performers from 62 countries and regions.
Set on a leafy 108-hectare island on the Danube in Budapest with more than 1,000 performances across 60 stages, for seven days with half a million people from all over the world, Sziget Festival has established itself as one of the largest and most popular festivals in the world.
"I have been going to Sziget festival since 2016. I'm going with my friends and I will be a "szitizen" (from Sziget-Citizen) for seven days," Anna Sara, a 17 year-old student from Budapest, told Xinhua.
"My favorite artist this year? Hard question, since so many great bands and artists are coming this year. I think, I'd say Ed Sheeran," she added.
"I love Sziget's friendly atmosphere, the programs which are created for us to bond with people from the other side of the world. I also like very much that there are various amount of stage options, just to make sure that everybody finds the perfect one for them," she concluded.
This year, Sziget Festival launches a "Green Sziget" sustainability program, demonstrating major environmental friendly efforts to minimize waste and achieve a 50 percent recycling rate on waste.
"Acknowledging their responsibility to minimize the festival's ecological footprint, Sziget Festival has been committed to reducing its environmental impact for almost 20 years. 2019 sees Sziget launch their 'Green Sziget' sustainability program, aiming to minimize their potential negative impact on the natural world," the organizers told in a statement sent to Xinhua.
In addition, one of the Sziget Festival's main messages, "Love Revolution", focuses on the importance of speaking out against discrimination based on skin color, religion or sexual orientation.
Sziget Festival will be held between August 7 and 13 in Budapest.