Cultural Frontline: Budapest by Night

BBC World Service

Journalist and music curator Krisztián Puskár and artist Erika Szurcsik take us on a night-time adventure into the heart of Budapest’s thriving underground scene. Is the current political climate in Hungary energising or endangering arts and music?

The night begins after Erika finishes rehearsals with her art punk band Gustave Tiger. She and Krisztián take us to District VIII, one of the most diverse areas of the Hungarian capital. It’s here that many underground pubs and clubs are located, having been pushed out of the centre by gentrification.

We meet local artists and musicians, from traditional folk musicians , to electronic artists, techno DJs, and punks. For Erika and her friends, a DIY approach to their work is not an aesthetic choice but a reality when everything is done with little or no budget. There are also growing fears about censorship, but a strong sense of self-reliance and freedom to experiment.


Produced by Victoria Ferran


Broadcast: 26th May