State of EXIT
Welcome to the EXIT festival, a four-day long round-the clock party held annually in Novi Sad, Serbia. It may strike you as any other European festival, but it is not. EXIT came into being as a result of youth activism. As such, while offering all-night rave, it also promotes activism, education and social responsibility.
Where Hedonism Meets Activism
The beginnings of the EXIT festival are rooted in politics. At the time of its foundation in 2000, it represented a student movement opposing the ruling regime of the time and advocating for peace and freedom. Fifteen years later, it evolved into the best Serbian music festival and one of the greatest European and world music festivals. Festival activities still reflect the same ideas on which EXIT was founded, i.e. promotion of the democratic values and youth activism,and raising awareness of social responsibility.This year, in order to honor its 15-year Anniversary and to promote positive change in the region, EXIT organized EXIT Adventure thatincluded three festivals: Rock@EXIT, EXIT and Sea Dance festival in Montenegro.
EXIT takes place in the first half of July at the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia. It is interesting to mention that the first EXIT festival was not held on the Petrovaradin Fortress: the concerts were staged all over town, at the left bank of the Danube. In 2001, the festival was moved to its present location. The new location proved to be a great choice for it offers amazing acoustics, allowing different performances taking place simultaneously within range of several yards without sound interference.
Fun in the Courtyard
Though number and location of stages change each year,few are quite constant. The Main Stage, located at the heart of the Petrovaradin Fortress, welcomes about 35,000 visitors and has hosted some of the biggest names in the music world such as Pet Shop Boys, Billy Idol, Guns N’ Roses, White Stripes, The Prodigy, Sex Pistols, Lily Allen, Arctic Monkeys, Chemical Brothers, Jamiroquai etc. This stage is also famous for its “After 2AM” program that keeps the party going until dawn. Dance Arena, set in the moat of the Petrovaradin Fortress, hosts over 25,000 people who come to enjoy the electronic music show from evening to dawn. James Zabiela,David Guetta, Dubfire, Axwell and Roger Sanchez are just some of the worlds’ top DJs and music producers that performed on this stage. Apart from these two, there are also the Explosive Stage that usually hosts Metal, HC, Punk concerts, Fusion Stage where usually rock, pop and alternative music is performed and the Happy NoviSad Stage where one can get crazy to the rhythm of electronic music.
EXIT is one of the most awarded festivals in the country. It won the First prize at the EU Festival Awards competition in 2013, the “Best Major European Festival” Award. Furthermore, at the UK Festival Awards in 2007 and 2013, the festival was presented with the ‘Best Overseas Festival’ Award, and ranked among ten best Overseas Festivals. Having gained a lot of international media attention over the past decade, EXIT has greatly contributed to the image of Serbia in the wider world. The pictures of the crowd dancing their hearts out and the praise of Serbian hospitality have travelled the world and presented a better side of the country.
You need not worry about anything at EXIT. Not even weather. Though it is a festival held under the open sky, bad weather will not prevent people from merry-making. Moreover, it would only get the craze going. Just enjoy and have fun!