Play me – Public Piano at Budapest Airport

Play me is the name of the initiative that has finally arrived to Budapest. The project, which encourages passers-by to play an exhibited instrument, has proved to be a success in other countries, and has now come to Hungary thanks to the cooperation of Budapest Airport and the Rotary Club Budapest Center. The aim of the program is to entertain passengers and help them pass the time while they are waiting for their flights.

After the first timid pressing of the keys some familiar melodies fill the air of Budapest Airport Terminal 2B. The atmosphere of the waiting room has been indeed cheerful since the piano was set up with a sign that says “Play me”. Its sole purpose is to entertain travelers, who can play the piano if they wish to. The project was launched by Budapest Airport in cooperation with the Rotary Club and was also supported by the Gödöllő Art House.

The piano will be open for the public for the next few months round the clock. The instrument is set up at gate B12, where bold or preferably music-friendly passengers can play their favorite pieces before boarding. Similar projects are well-known all over the continent, since public instruments had been great success at airports and train stations in several capitals such as London, Paris, Athens and Prague.

“The point of the project is to contribute to the uniqueness of the airport, to make passengers feel pleasant and to let everyone who can or wants to play sit down and play their favorite melody from their childhood or a classical piece”- says Kata Pál, vice president of Rotary Club Budapest Center and one of the initiators. She added: “I am sure that the melodies will bring cheerful moments to the daily thousands of people who pass through the terminal, because music cheers you up and makes waiting at the airport more pleasant. This is exactly what Rotary, a club of people who want to make a better world, is for.”

Imre Rakonczai, the prize winning pianist was the first one to play on the piano at the elevated launching ceremony. “I don’t think there is such a place on earth where a piano would be a bother”, said the singer-pianist. “It is a pleasure that I could be here and I was the first one to play this public piano, which will bring joyful moments to millions of passengers”, he added.

The Play me project was also welcome by Gábor Szarvas, Community Liaison Director of Budapest Airport: “I am pleased that together with the Rotary Club, we managed to launch this amazing initiative. The first few days have already proved that a popular instrument like the piano is a great success with passengers. With the help of projects like the public piano, Budapest Airport seeks to maintain its prestigious status as a Skytrax and ACI Europe awards-winning airport.”

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