Sziget 2021: an overview of the biggest rumours

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sziget
Photo: Rock Star Photographers

Summer festivals would not be as exciting without several months to speculate about which artists will take the stage next year. At Festileaks we always keep an eye out for rumours. In this article, we ask ourselves: who will we see at Sziget 2021?

2020 is forcing us to stay home, as festivals around the world are cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of April, the Sziget organisation announced the cancellation of the 2020 edition. But here at Festileaks, we like to look forward and think about when summer festivals will return. Who will headline Sziget 2021?

This is the list of the main rumours (in random order).

Headliners of Sziget 2020

Photo: Kamiel Scholten / Festileaks (Lowlands 2018)

We can safely assume that Sziget’s first priority is to move its 2020 line-up to next year. Therefore, the biggest rumours are the artists who were supposed to headline this year’s edition. Kings of Leon, The Strokes and Major Lazer will definitely return to Europe in 2021, as they will perform at Hurricane, Primavera Sound and MEO Sudoeste, respectively. On the other hand, we are still waiting on news from Dua Lipa and Calvin Harris.

Arctic Monkeys

Photo: Zackery Michael

Arctic Monkeys have been very quiet since they finished the Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino tour in 2019. However, rumours are now circulating about possible homecoming shows in Sheffield in 2021. Locals have spotted a licence notice for 4 to 6 June at Hillsborough Park. These early summer dates could very well be the start of a bigger Arctic Monkeys tour. Will they return to the Island of Freedom after their 2018 performance?

Gorillaz

Photo: Kamiel Scholten / Festileaks (Lowlands 2018)

Another Sziget 2018 headliner, Gorillaz, are back on the road! Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett’s virtual project will perform at Primavera Sound 2021, and more shows will likely follow. The English band currently release new music every month. For the Song Machine project, Gorillaz have collaborated with acts like slowthai, Slaves, Skepta and Peter Hook. Hopefully some of these guests will also join them on stage!

Eminem

Eminem already was a strong rumour for 2020. After releasing a surprise album in January, everyone was talking about the superstar rapper coming back to Europe for the summer. He was not included in the festival’s first announcement, but Sziget 2020 was still missing two headliners after all. Was Eminem one of the missing headliners, and will he be booked for 2021 as well?

Red Hot Chili Peppers

RHCP
Photo: Steve Keros

After Red Hot Chili Peppers announced the return of guitarist John Frusciante, we were all eager to see them perform. Of course, the band’s 2020 shows did not go ahead, but they will now return to Europe in 2021. The Peppers have confirmed headline shows at Pinkpop and Ejekt 2021, in the Netherlands and Greece. With the renewed hype about the band, it is possible they will add Sziget 2021 to their tour. In the meantime, we can still enjoy their legendary performance at Slane Castle in Ireland.

Katy Perry

Katy Perry
Photo: Liza Voloshin

Katy Perry is perhaps not the most usual festival artist. However, after Ed Sheeran’s huge success in 2019, it is not unlikely that Sziget will book more big pop stars. Katy Perry will release a new album in August 2020, so a tour seems likely for next year. Will she make a surprise visit to the Island of Freedom?

Arcade Fire

Photo: Guy Aroch

Great news for Arcade Fire fans: Montreal’s finest indie outfit are back in the studio! The band’s new record will be the follow-up to 2017’s Everything Now, which was followed by a large tour around the European festivals. It’s easy to predict that shows will also be announced to promote the next album, so Arcade Fire are certainly possible for Sziget 2021.

Coldplay

Release

Normally, a new Coldplay album would be followed by a tour around Europe. However, after the release of Everyday Life in November 2019, the English band announced they would only consider touring when this is possible in a climate-friendly way. On the Belgian radio, frontman Chris Martin confirmed that they expect this to take at least 18 months. A quick calculation gives us 2021 as the start of the next Coldplay tour!

Bon Iver

Photo: Ben Houdijk

Bon Iver had confirmed only three festival performances for 2020. Øyafestivalen, Way Out West, and Flow Festival were all set to take place just one week after Sziget. Now, the indie artist has already postponed most of his tour until 2021, so these festival shows will most likely follow. When Bon Iver is in Europe in early August, he may as well add a stop on the Island of Freedom!

Muse

Photo: Ben Houdijk

In a recent interview with NME, Matt Bellamy spoke about the band’s future plans. The Muse frontman confirmed that they’re likely to start recording a new record in 2021. Depending on the coronavirus restrictions, the English rockers will then start touring again. The question is whether this will be next summer, or the year after.

Lady Gaga

Admittedly, Lady Gaga has never really played European festivals before. However, after the huge success of A Star Is Born, we can’t help but hope that there’s a first time for everything. The movie was partly shot at Glastonbury Festival, so Lady Gaga does know what it’s like to perform on those legendary grounds. With new album Chromatica out since May 2020, will we see the superstar headline festivals like Sziget in 2021?

Sziget 2021

Sziget Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe. It takes place every August in northern Budapest. It started in 1993 as a festival for students and quickly attracted a more international audience. Since then, Sziget has won the European Festival Award of Best Line-up twice, in 2014 and 2017; for it is not the headliners that make the festival but rather its variety of musical genres.