Despite his Forest Engineer qualification, József Kardos has worked in the field of cultural event organization throughout his whole professional life. Thanks to the work of the past 25 years, his network is extremely widespread internationally.
Between 1999 and 2009 he was the Program Director of Sziget Festival. In 2009 and 2010 he was the Program Director of Pécs: European Capital of Culture 2010. When Hungary took over the EU Presidency in 2011, he participated in the organization of joint cultural events. In this context, he was the initiator and organizer of the guest performance of the Tanztheater Wuppertal – Pina Bausch in Hungary.
As a curator he was involved in the organization of the Hungarian Cultural Seasons in France, Italy and the Netherlands. In 2013 and 2014 he was Cultural Manager at the Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art Budapest. In the end of 2014 he returned to Sziget Festival into his previous position as Program Director. Sziget Festival is one of the largest music festivals in Europe, which welcomes more than 400.000 visitors every year.
In addition to music the festival is giving great emphasis on performing art programs as well under his direction. He is primarily interested in contemporary dance, circus and street theatres. József is very sensitive and active in fighting for human rights, minority rights and he is against racism, xenophobia and homophobia.