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10+1 famous music videos shot in Budapest

Turn up the volume, lay back and enjoy the beats. All these songs have one thing in common, their videos feature a cameo by Budapest!

1.) Turn on any music radio these days and there’s a good chance you will bump into Close To Me, a happy song performed by Ellie Goulding. The British singer won the BBC’s Sound of the Year poll in 2010, then four years later she received the British Female Solo Artist Award. She became a truly recognised pop star through “Love Me Like You Do”, released in 2015 on her third studio album, Delirium. Her latest hit single, “Close To Me” quickly became the favourite of her Hungarian fans as the music video was shot at the Fisherman’s Bastion in the Buda Castle. You can also see glimpses of the Basilica and the Margaret Island in the clip, the latter being the place where Ellie went running each morning when shooting the video in 2018.
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2.) Admiral Films, a newly established Hungarian group only had 3 days for the pre-production of the 2018 Russian World Cup’s anthem which has been filmed secretly in Budapest at the end of May. The video was directed by Yasha Malekzad who also made clips for Usher, Lil Wayne and Ludacris, produced by Diplo. Live it Up! is featuring such starts like Will Smith, Ronaldinho, Nicky Jam and Era Istrefi. The filming took place on the K-bridge of Hajógyári Island – this is the infamous bridge you need to cross to enter Sziget Fesztivál – , an old-school residental complex of Óbuda and the District 9’s “Nagyvásártelep”, which  used to be a vegetable and fruit distribution center in the 1930s. The ruined building with several street art bearing surfaces is an enormous complex, 247 metres long and 42 metres wide, the roughly 10.000 sqm territory once inhabited 400+ traders. More than 100 dancers, musicians and football stuntmen took part in the filming, the crew used drone and steadycam making the clip visually spectacular. Fans at the Final on 15 July can also look forward to being treated to a live rendition of the song.
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3.) Katy Perry’s Firework was shot in the Castle of Buda and at Astoria with walk-on actors chosen by public castings. The classic-looking building in the film is the Budavári Palota (Buda Castle), overlooking the Széchenyi Chain Bridge, the extras were chosen from  a competition for the fans, the winners had the chance to be there to help her film the video. The video actually won the 2011 MTV VMA Music Video of the Year Award!
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4. Selena Gomez & The SceneRound & Round
The former teen idol’s music video has hit 125 million views on YoutTube since 2010. Budapest is presented in surprising detail with the Parliament, the Buda Castle, the Chain Bridge, the Astoria Hotel and Selena’s scooter riding talents all starring. Interestingly, they hit two birds with one stone when shooting this video as The Scene came to the city to do another shooting, and shot this music video with Selena Gomez as a kind of bonus. Puckered lips play an incomprehensibly important role in the production, but we hope that many Disney Channel fans vowed to visit Budapest after seeing the video, too.
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5.) Gwen Stefani’s Early Winter was shot partly at the Nyugati Pályaudvar aka Western Railway Station, other parts have been shot in Prague and Milan. The clip was made for the European market and was actually officially unavailable overseas.
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6.)  The music video for Depeche Mode’s Condemnation was shot in a long way back in the 90s. After their ’93 concert in Budapest, the crew went to Göd, which is a small town 20 kms away from Budapest. Just like several DM videos, it was directed by Anton Corbijn, however the video was only released in 2002!
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7.) Sarah Connor‘s romantic music video From Sarah With Love from 2001 starts with an ambiguous sigh but it has become one of the favourite songs of the participants of talent shows. The scenes were mainly shot at Keleti Railway Station in the autumn, when the platforms were covered by colourful fallen leaves. The storyboard is varying between the past and the present, and we can even see a deck of Hungarian cards in this gloomy clip. The man figure in the video is played by Marcell Nagy, who also played the starring role in the 2005 movie Fateless (“Sorstalanság”), a film based on the Nobel Prize winning novel by Hungarian writer Imre Kertész
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8.) Evita, the movie presented in 1996 is one of the most famous roles of Madonna, who played Eva Peron. The movie soundtrack reached No.1 status in several countries all over the world, thanks to Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, a romantic song composed by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s not a well-known fact, however, that the music video of “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” was shot in Budapest. Director Alan Parker and producer Oliver Stone judged the Argentinean capital Buenos Aires to be too expensive for the shooting, so they were set to look for an alternative and found the perfect place in Budapest. Madonna used to stay at the Kempinski Hotel Corvinus during the shooting and, according to the hotel staff, she asked for a bunch of fresh white lilies to be sent to her room every morning. Stylish, isn’t it?
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9.) Probably the most famous one is the teaser video of Michael Jackson‘s most famous album, HIStory, shot at Heroes Square. You can recognise a lot of Budapest locations, bridges, spaces and buildings.

 

10.+1)  The late Avicii not only filmed one, but right away two music videos in Budapest and close-by, featuring the countryside, the Korda Film Studios and outside area of a limestone mine.
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Cover photo: youtube

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