EXIT Festival 2012 Review

As much a holiday in tranquility as a cross genre music festival in the centre of Europe, Exit festival offers something for everyone, including incredible weather that UK festival goers might not necessarily be prepared for!

Exit takes place from Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th July, in an 18th century fortress overlooking the river Danube and one of Serbia’s largest towns, Novi Sad. The festival is massive, with over 600 artists performing on over 20 stages across the four days as well as various other areas designed for rest, rehabilitation, dancing and drinking.

This festival certainly delivers maximum power for minimum spend with a huge, huge lineup of bands, solo artists and DJs with tickets starting from less than £100 for the full four on days. If you hate getting stung at festivals back home for high priced food and drinks, you’ll love EXIT with its much more economical shops, bars and food stalls.

Bands here range from crowd pleasers Duran Duran to rebellion bone crunchers Skindred to party governors Felix da Housecat and music often lasts all through the night. Absolutely everyone who comes to EXIT seems able to find something they can dance to. This is a festival designed to accommodate all tastes rather than focus on any particular genre or musical style.

Having said that, one of the best parts of EXIT is the world famous Dance Arena, renowned for its crazy crowds, supercharged DJs and beautiful setting within the walls fo the festival site fortress. You’ll find music of all types here, from hip hop to electro to techno with entertainment lasting very late into the night, often right until the sun comes up, and far beyond.

Once you’ve had enough of dancing your feet off on fabulous, picturesque dancefloors, or you need to take a well deserved break, the festival venue and camping areas are simply delightful. You can head up high and view the whole of Novi Sad (even better when the sun is setting or rising) which is pretty spectacular, or instead, take what feels like a medieval tour and walk around the cobbled streets, ramparts, tunnels and other hidden gems popping up all around you throughout the town.

Getting to EXIT isn’t easy, although thoroughly worth the adventure. Serbia is not often considered a hot European tourist destination but tourists are really missing out on this undisclosed diamond in the rough. Serbia is brilliant, and a lot friendly than news reports would suggest. You can travel here by any combination of plane, train, car or coach and although you may come across some slightly dodgy taxi drivers and various austere officials on route, there’s nothing here that will really disrupt your adventure.

Plus, once you do get to EXIT you’ll find a range of Serbians, worldwide travellers and music lovers, intent on just having a good time and a good party. EXIT was, after all, started as a protest against the Milosevic regime and the spirit of revolution and brotherliness underlines everything here. This is a non-corporate event, with strong motives for spreading peace and happiness rather than necessarily lining anyone's (or any corporation’s) pockets with cash. Having said that, EXIT is definitely a paradise for people who just want to have some fun. Expect to find hedonism and some crazy party people wherever you look!

Worthy of note is the festival’s village area (called EXIT Village) where you can meet some very friendly locals, dance, snooze or lounge on the beach or even swim in the lovely water. Exit Village is a short walk from the festival site but offers a lot for festival goers, including it’s own stages and food/drink. With Serbia’s phenomenal weather, you’ll want to experience some down time here almost every day.

All in all EXIT is incredibly unique, incredibly diverse and incredibly beautiful place to spend some of your summer. It has to be one of Europe’s best but still relatively undiscovered festivals right now, so get in on this party as soon as you can.