My girlfriend and I decided to go to a music festival but which one to choose from the many that are on offer? By doing a bit of research through the Internet, we thought we would give the Exit festival a try. We’ve never been there and it seemed like a great place to be in. We were right!
The Exit Festival is set in the grounds of the Petrovaradin fortress on the banks of the River Danube. The festival started in 2000 by a group of students and it has steadily grown to one of the most popular festivals in Europe.
We are greeted as we cross the bridge over the Danube by a gigantic banner saying “State of Exit” positioned on the imposing ramparts of the fortress. It feels as if we are entering somewhere very unique and special and this would be later confirmed by what we experienced.
Our accommodation for the two nights would be in the Exit Village situated on Oficirac beach. We had no problems finding the way. Just follow the crowd in the opposite direction to the music venue and you will arrive at the campsite. Tent pitched; suitable attire for the evening’s festivities and we are nearly ready to go. One thing remains, we have to go and pay for our food and drink in advance. To save the hassle of carrying large amounts of money, the organizers have introduced a cashless system for paying for all drinks, food and souvenirs purchased on-site. You credit the card they give you and you’re ready to purchase from any vendor by swiping your card at their stall.
We headed for the Main stage which has a capacity to hold 35,000 people. Things don’t get started until 8 pm. We watched Eyesburn, a local reggae/heavy rock band followed by South Central, the supporting act for The Prodigy. By now the crowd is immense and the atmosphere is reaching fever pitch. Just before midnight The Prodigy hit the stage and the crowd goes wild. We are treated to all their familiar hits for the next two hours. The bass sound is threatening as it reverberates through your body. After a final encore we head for the Dance Stage (capacity 20,000), to check out Jeff Mills, the Detroit based techno supremo. After another couple hours we head back to the village for some sleep.
I did say sleep, let that be no sleep. No one wants to sleep, the music and partying carries on until dawn and into the next day. Since there’s nothing happening on-site during the day we headed into the city centre, where we browsed through the many shops and enjoyed the relaxed café culture whilst basking in the sun. It’s an interesting city to spend a few hours while you wait for the next evening musical delights.
This evening we again went to the Main stage to see a local Serbian alternative rock group called “Darkwood Dub”. One thing I realized is that you don’t have to understand the lyrics to appreciate the music. Good music is good music, right? After that we saw David Guetta, the world-renowned DJ, who played some sublime dance music; which reignited the party atmosphere once more. In the early hours it was a pleasant walk back to the village for some more socialising. Sleep? Forget it; it’s not going to happen. The next day we got a refund from the money we didn’t use and we headed off home, exhausted but happy.
So why go to the Exit festival? Well, if you want to hear some of the world most famous artists then this is the place. So many different genres of music are catered for, you are literally spoilt for choice. My advice: check out the running order in advance and pick those artists you really don’t want to miss. Exit Festival is in its fourteenth year; it’s well established, well organized and mostly importantly it’s an absolute blast. It’s also reasonably priced on all fronts. This is a bit of a no-brainer really, so watch out for next year’s line-up and book well in advance. You won’t be disappointed; tired, yes, but it’s worth it. Treat your ears to a musical sensation. Enjoy!