Ah, the month of July! The month every party goer, festival lover, music aficionado and enthusiast has been waiting for. It’s been a year since the last one and let me tell you, time really does go slowly for those who wait. And of course, I am talking about the Exit Festival!
Serbia’s most popular music festival held at a magnificent place, the Petrovaradin Fortress, that draws not only locals, but every young hearted music lover across the globe. It is the time when Novi Sad becomes the capital of fun, the IT place, the place to be. The combination of art, culture, music, innovation, positive vibe, optimism and freedom is what makes Exit unique and long-lasting. All that mixed with 8pm official festival start makes it different from the rest, since it is one of the festivals that begin in the evening and end whenever you want it to end (which is never, but hey) but for some, that end is usually in the late morning. The headliners are around midnight and the party must conclude in the Dance Arena area, it is like a tradition. It is said that it has the most beautiful sunrise overlooking the Arena, the crowd and the fortress itself. Also, it is said that if you haven’t experienced at least one sunrise at Dance Arena, you haven’t properly been to Exit Festival.
All in all, Exit has become the brand Serbia needed (beside rakija of course), a true representation of its nation, their free spirit, optimism and hospitality.
This year it was its 16th edition with the slogan of Exit Magic, describing the magical atmosphere of the fortress.
And ooh man was it magical!
Hundreds and hundreds of people all walking towards the fortress which is lit up with a huge, better yet enormous red banner across it that says EXIT FESTIVAL. And we all get even more excited knowing we are so close to the entrance. The crowd is so enthusiastic, everyone I pass by looks so happy, they all have smiles on their faces, and are either singing with their group of friends and other people would casually sing along or they are holding hands, kissing or drinking homemade rakija.
It takes a while to get to the entrance, but we don’t mind since it is all about the experience and we are in no rush. We exchange our tickets for wristbands and buy a card with which we can make on site payments. It is a rather new system, since in the previous years you could buy drinks with tokens. But, this new method is far easier and convenient since all you need to do is top up your card and lean it against the card machine thingy.
Anyways, once we were done with all the necessary pre-festival “must have” we headed towards the entrance. You can barely see the signs which guide you to it, not that they were badly placed but rather that there were so many people, that all you could do is follow the crowd and hope for the best.
Luckily, our faith in others turned out great as we were met by yet another huge crowd now waiting in several lines to scan their bracelets and then get checked up by the security before the entrance. And once that long process was done, we could officially step foot into the magical land of music and freedom that is Exit Festival.
Let the day 1 begin!