After this year’s record-breaking attendance in 16 years of its existence, EXIT Festival 2017 will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love! Next year, EXIT will mark some of the most important events from 1967 when the revolutionary Peace Movement began and changed the world forever. This social phenomenon gathered people from all over the world around the idea of community, peace, solidarity and love; it held in immeasurable influence over contemporary music as well as culture at large. The peace sign, colorful clothes and flowers in hair are the first things that come to mind when talking about the Summer of Love, while its vast legacy embodies the universal quest for peace, freedom of speech, human rights, and social, racial and gender equality.
“The Summer of Love” symbolizes the beginning of the hippie movement that changed contemporary music forever and gave birth to modern music festivals, whose aim was to fight for peace and to change the world through music and celebration of life. Similarly, EXIT was founded from the resistance youth movement that was fighting for peace and freedom in Balkans 16 years ago. It’s one of the rare active music festivals that still nurtures the legacy of the early contemporary music festivals from late 60’s and early 70’s that first and foremost were founded because of strong social agenda.
The culmination of the grand anniversary will take place at the EXIT festival, 6 – 9 July, at the Petrovaradin fortress, one of the largest ones in Europe, settled in the city of Novi Sad in the northern Serbia.
This year’s EXIT Adventure, which is a name of the unique festival holiday package that is comprised of two award-winning festivals, EXIT and Sea Dance, held on two spectacular locations in two neighboring countries, took over 270.000 visitors, from more than 60 countries, on a summer festival journey. From the colossal Petrovaradin fortress in Serbia to the stunning Jaz Beach in Montenegro, they spent four days and nights at EXIT festival, then another three more at Sea Dance festival listening to some of the most sought-for global music acts.
The Adventure onboarded its first passengers in Novi Sad and took them to indie-pop princess Ellie Goulding’s firework-infused show, preceded by the British rockers Bastille.
The title of the first amongst equals on the second night was won by the absolute hitmaker David Guetta, thanks to an audio-visual spectacle that’s rarely seen in anyone’s lifetime! EXIT’s Main stage looked lit, like a huge machine that birthed special versions of the biggest pop and dance hits in an endless, glittering mix. The huge party at EXIT’s Main Stage was also heralded by the funk doctor George Clinton, backed by the numerous members of the Parliament-Funkadelic, while with unbelievable ease Wiz Khalifa confirmed the status of the world’s no.1 hip-hop performer, by putting on a show that is possible only for someone who’s at the very peak of their career. Khalifa’s charisma even caused the show to pause at one moment so the audience could chant his name for almost 5 minutes!
Popular English indie-rockers The Vaccines lived up to pretty big expectations, along with the punk legends Cock Sparrer, guitar rebels Tinariwen, and – to utterly no one’s surprise – The Prodigy, the favourites of the EXIT fans, who caused an unprecedented eruption of energy. This unfathomable chemistry between Liam, Keith and Maxim and 55.000 people in the audience led to a record-breaking evening on the final night, and crowned it as the day with the most visitors at the fortress, ever!
During the four days of the festival, over 195.000 visitors ventured through its gates, and all stages were packed with smiling people, which was best witnessed by David Guetta’s quote during the unprecedented spectacle at the Main stage: “Thank you EXIT, I have enjoyed here before, but I think that this year is better than ever!”