As part of her Event Management degree, BIMM Brighton student Napsugár Bardócz took it upon herself to organise a brief tour of her native Budapest for performance students Amelia Caesar and Miles Goodall. The mini-tour was a great success and Naspsugar was kind enough to keep a tour diary of the experience for any aspiring artists or promoters to draw inspiration from.
6th December 2017, Wednesday
We’re in Budapest!
Miles and I managed to not miss our flight, not lose any of our luggage, and make it to our Airbnb in one piece, which is more than I expected from us. We had one last thing to do on our first day.
Welcome drinks at Szimpla, of course!
Let the tour begin!
7th-8th December 2017, Thursday-Friday
Amelia and Anton had to join us one day later, as they booked their flights slightly later, by which point ticket prices had changed drastically, so we didn’t end up flying to Budapest on the same day. Fortunately this wasn’t a problem, as our itinerary for the first two days solely consisted of exploring the city, and what it has to offer.
I tried to cram everything I wanted to show to my brightonian friends into two days. Christmas Markets, mulled wine, chimney cake, Christmas lights in the city centre, the Budapest Eye, Altair – the coolest teahouse on this planet, and all the best food places, which Budapest is not lacking. We could barely move after eating our way through the city. Lángos, goulash soup, fancy burgers, crêpes, the list goes on..
Because our Airbnb is located in the heart of the ruin pub district, we finished every night with a couple of drinks at one of my favourite pubs.
Guess how many beers you can buy for £10 in Hungary? 13! That’s right. Sometimes I forget just how cheap life in my hometown is compared to Brighton.
9th December 2017, Saturday, GIG DAY #1
Load in and set up: 15:00
Amelia Caesar: 20:00
Miles Goodall: 20:30
Margaret Island: 21:10
Definitely the most exciting day of the tour.
Akvárium is a venue I’ve been attending gigs at for as long as I can remember. It is the best and most popular large capacity venue in Budapest, and the fact the Amelia and Miles got to play a SOLD OUT show there, supporting the incredible Margaret Island, was a huge honour and a crazy experience for them and for myself.
The crowd were amazing – they interacted with Amelia and Miles, they clapped, they laughed, they cheered, they welcomed them with open arms. It was surreal to see both of them on stage, illuminated by spotlights, their name projected on the backdrop, and the songs I’ve heard a million times, somehow sounded different. They were even more passionate, even more mesmerizing. They both were truly extraordinary.
After the gig, members of Margaret Island, their management, their booking agency representatives, and members of other famous Hungarian bands came up to us to congratulate and they were all interested in what we do in Brighton, and how this tour happened. Amelia and Miles have definitely earned several new fans that night.
10th December 2017, Sunday, GIG DAY #2
After a long night of networking (and celebrating our first successful gig in Budapest), we had a slow start to the day, preparing for the second show of the tour, Miles and Amelia’s solo concert at Lámpás, a popular pub in the heart of the city centre, which has live music 7 nights a week.
Things don’t always go as planned. If I learned one lesson from organising this tour, this is it.
When we turned up at the venue, the promoter greeted us with the “great” news that the only person who knows anything about the PA and their in-house kit is currently away, travelling somewhere, where there’s absolutely no signal whatsoever. So, we had to dive in head first, and somehow figure out how those old-school speakers and amps could be turned on, where we can find a keyboard stand, and what that little red button does on the mixing desk. It took us a while, but with the help of our brilliant sound engineer, Anton Mocock, we managed to start (almost) on time.
But the reason why this specific gig was so special, is that all these people who were filling the room were all there to see Amelia and Miles – or they had walked into the bar, heard the music and decided to stay and have a listen. Not because they came to see the headliner playing after them.
I was thrilled to see so many people there, including my friends from back home, who had heard a lot about Amelia and Miles from me throughout the past couple of years.
11th December 2017, Monday, GIG DAY #3
We spent the day wandering around the Buda Castle, ticking off the last places on our bucket list. After a last cup of mulled wine at the Christmas market, we slowly made our way to Brody Studios, which was the last venue we played.
We had an interview scheduled for Kultúrjunkie, a popular Hungarian blog, before the gig, in which we talked about how we are, what we do at BIMM, the tour itself, and what our long term plans are. Miles even got a chance to show off his amazing Hungarian language skills – all the 3 words he learned in the past week.
The lovely promoters at Brody Studios treated us to some nice wine before the Acoustic Jam Session started, with Amelia and Miles performing as special guests.
The gig went really well, despite a chaotic start. The organisers didn’t give us enough information, and there were miscommunications from the very beginning. We weren’t really sure what we were supposed to do, when we should soundcheck, and how the whole evening is going to be structured. It wasn’t. Structured, I mean. So in the end, the event manager suggested I take leadership, and orchestrate the whole gig.
So I did. And it worked.
The room was overflowing with people, mostly members of BrodyLand – a thriving, exclusive hub of urbane culture and cuisine in Budapest. It was different from any other show we’d done – Miles even joined in to jam with the house band after his set!
12th December 2017, Tuesday
All good things must come to an end.
We played three incredible shows, gave interviews, built our network, explored Budapest’s hidden and not-so-hidden treasures.
It’s time to return to Brighton, and start organising the next tour!
Photo credit: Hegyi Júlia Lily Photography
Video credit: Bence Darvas
Edit: Jay Bartlett