The Babel Sound in 2017 was probably the only free festival where the public could enjoy not only the daytime activities and concerts, but also free tastings and dinners. Everyone.
For a week, the world came to Balatonboglár this year as well. Cultures and nations met and celebrated each other on the latest edition of the Babel Sound Interactive World Music Festival. Musicians came here, who have never seen each other before and perhaps did not go to each other's country either. They appreciate the charm of the shore of Lake Balaton and begin to work together.
An Indian tabla player, a Bangladeshi and a Hungarian sitar player, a German bassist, a Hungarian jazz guitarist and a Transylvanian singer went to stage on Friday with a complete concert program. By the way they first met on Tuesday. This is not a unique case in Babel. High-class bands are also often accompanied by guest players with whom they found each other at the festival.
They're not just playing music. They get to know each other, learn and teach each other. During the whole festival they are with us and in addition to the announced programs, spontaneous jam sessions are often formed around one of the tents. Joyful music and joyful dance.
One of the most beautiful moments was when a guitarist from a Chilean band phonetically described his little speech, and at the end of their concert he said in Hungarian, nicely and understandably, how grateful they are for being in Hungary, how much they love Hungarians and how much they are thankful for us to be there. We felt how important it is for him to let us know.
Stages, event tents, cultural shows, exhibitions, children's programs. The festival venue is the free beach of Balatonboglár, with scenic views of the northern shore. If we liked it, we'd be thrown into the water and then back to the festival's madness. Or taste some delicacy. Spanish, Indian, Dutch, Indonesian, Italian, Serbian, Bulgarian and of course the typical specialties of Hungarian cuisine were waiting to be tasted. They were delighted to give and we were delighted to get the half-lunch sized tasting. There was enough of a smile to pay, and they did not even look at the wrong eye when some were twice in line.
There is no mass, no strokes, no endless rows at the counter. The atmosphere is straightforward, familiar, or rather family-friendly. For each program, we experience the "almost full-house" feeling when we are already sufficiently to feel the liberated mood, but the crowd is not uncomfortable yet. It was as if it would have been planned on this way.
Babel Sound is a value-oriented festival where perhaps the music is not the most important, but the encounters, relationships, and that we live them all together. And next year we will continue.
The festival was honored with the presence of Wening Esthyprobo, the Indonesian Ambassador on the closing day. The Embassy of Indonesia and India, the Israeli Cultural Institute and the VIVI Budapest Association have actively contributed to the programs. Concerts from Spain were supported by Acción Cultural Espanola, Ramon Lull and Illenc Institute.