1. Festival History
The finale of EXIT 2000, ‘System Virus’, was a 100-day long peaceful protest, which drew 200,000 people together to vote against Milosevic. Following the election results there was an EXIT exodus to Belgrade after Milosevic unbelievably failed to step down – EXIT joined the famous 500,000 strong political demonstration which forced Milosevic from the National assembly building and ultimately from power. EXIT has evolved way beyond its humble beginnings as a student-initiated project. Initially born from suffering, EXIT was a demonstration of youth sentiment that’s now blossomed into a powerful symbol of freedom! EXIT’s instigators confirm this, saying, “The absolutely incredible success of the EXIT project is one of the greatest social and cultural phenomena of the past decade in this region.”
2. The Petrovaradin Fortress
Exit takes place in the picturesque Petrovaradin Fortress, which is an 18th Century Austrian built fortification on the banks of the River Danube in Novi Sad. The Fortress - historical, architectural, artistic and tourist jewel, has proven to be the ideal venue for a festival such as EXIT. Apart from its magical atmosphere felt by all the visitors and performers of the Festival, the Fortress offers the perfect acoustics with the possibility of having all the stages of various happenings close together, without having their music mixed together.
3. The Crowd & Atmosphere
The people are so friendly and welcoming with around 60,000 festival goers attending the site each day. They love their music, are clued up and full of enthusiasm. Most Serbians speak very good English and you are guaranteed to make many new friends along the way. Even the rain doesn’t bother the crowd who simply don their plastic ponchos and dance with their umbrellas. You can’t help but feel part of something special at Exit as it is more than just a festival in the region of South-East Europe – as you will see for yourself - it has a distinctive cultural value on it's own. One that promotes positive energy, tolerance and one that brings the youth and elderly alike from all sides of the war-torn region, together.
4. The Line-Up & Performances
Every year the festival has top names bands and dj’s with 20 stages to discover covering everything from rock, reggae, dance, latin, chillout, classical and blues to name but a few. Highlights from the main stage were performances from Underworld, Ian Brown, Fatboy Slim, The White Stripes and Garbage who’s set was delayed due to a freak storm, but they braved the rain and carried on regardless, much to the appreciation of the patiently waiting crowd. Standout performances in the dance area came courtesy of Carl Cox, Felix Da Housecat, Sasha and Sandy Rivera, with the climax being Darren Emerson on the final day as the sun was coming up.
5. MTV Fee Your Mind Arena
The Free Your Mind area came about because MTV wanted to provide an environment for the festivalgoers to openly discuss and learn about the issues surrounding human trafficking. The arena featured a series of film screenings and audio visual art presentations from young Serbian directors and artists. After midnight, some of the festival's top DJs played exclusive sets till dawn. We're very happy and proud that MTV is playing such an important role in raising social awareness as well as providing a space for some great music.
6. Beach Parties
Still want to carry on after the festival is over? Well at Exit you can, as a short walk over the bridge leads you to banks of the river Danube where the fun and festivities carry on throughout the day. The parties are run by local Serbian promoters and this years guest dj’s included Lexicon Avenue and Pete Gooding to name but a few. At the beach anything goes and you can dance in amongst the trees or just chillout make news friends and enjoy the picturesque surroundings. Many have likened these parties to Bora Bora or DC10 in Ibiza and once you have experienced it is easy to see why.
7. The Cost of Everything
The currency in Serbia is Dinars and you’ll find that your money goes a lot further than in other countries with 80 Dinars to the Euro. You’ll only need around £50 (70 Euros) to last you through the festival, with drinks from 50p (70 cents), taxi’s to and from the festival site from 50p (70 cents) and eating out at one of Novi Sads top restaurants will cost as little as £10 ( (14 Euros) a also a mere 50p!
8. Novi Sad
Novi Sad has been the centre of Serbian culture in Austrian and Austro-Hungarian empires for many years. Once situated on the south of Austro-Hungarian empire, Novi Sad today is the capital of Vojvodina, the northern province of Serbia, the most agriculturally developed region of the country, as well as the European region with the most distinguished multiculturalism. People of diverse nations and religious denominations have lived in Vojvodina in harmony for centuries – which is the reason why it is so easy to fit in here. In the centre of the city there are buildings dating from the second half of the 19th century and from the beginning of the 20th century, which give the city that fine note of middle-European charm characteristic of all the cities founded on the banks of the river Danube.