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2014 Line Up

Artists that have been announced for EXIT 2014!

The line up so far includes Damon Albarn (ex Blur and Gorrilaz), Carl Cox Vs Friends, Skrillex, Rudimental, Dub FX and Koven. Plus Disclosure's Wild Life with Carl Craig, Green Velvet, Dusky Paul Woolford. Jackmaster and Oneman.

 

Acommodation

EXIT festival accomodation
 

Links

EXIT festival information links

EXIT Festival 10th-13th July 2014. Tickets on sale now

EXIT Festival Veterans' Comments

 

Information

EXIT festival information
 
Airport Transfers
EXIT festival airport transfer coaches
 

News

So much cheaper to visit Exit festival

Rates of hostels and hotel rooms are now almost half the price than 5 years ago

Budget Airline Wizz Air flying from Luton to Belgrade in recent years

Great Sterling to Serbian Dinar rate....Your money goes much further

 
dj and crowd at exit festival

 

 

This is your page - please let us know about your experiences at the EXIT festival (see right). Please Note: All information is contributed by veteran festival goers and Exit Connect UK neither endorses, agrees nor disagrees with this information. These are experiences contributed by yourselves & although we do try to ensure that remarks are not offensive, we take no responsibility for defamatory remarks.

Please click on the section titles below to go straight to the information you want.

Editorial and news
What the Stars had To Say
Eating out in Serbia

Camping
Trains
Serbia
The Fest
Accommodation
Flying

 
 

EDITORIAL & NEWS

Who's playing in 2014?

The first artists have been announced for EXIT 2014!

The line up so far includes Damon Albarn, Skrillex, Rudimental, Dub FX and Koven. Plus Carl Cox vs Friends - which will include Ben Klock, Marcel Dettmann, Eats Everything, Cassy, Planetary Assault Systems and Danny Tenaglia,

 

In early January 2014 Exit organisers learnt that the Festival had finally won the accolade of "Best Major Festival" in the European Festival Awards.

 

EXIT 2013 - Who played?

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds .
He joins David Guetta, Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Snoop Dogg aka Snoop Lion and Bloc Party.

Also: Ce Lo Green, FatBoy Slim, Snoop Lion, Atoms for Peace, Rudimental, Eric Prydz, Bloc Party, Jeff MIlls, Mathew Jonson Live, Delilah

Other artists includedd:
Chase & Status DJ Set,Rage, Diplo, Eric Prydz, Rudimental live, SBTRKY(DJ SET), DJ Fresh Live, Ama Popovic, Broke'N'£nglish, Camo & Krooked (DJ Set), Dynamite MC, Delilah, Dismantle & LX One, Dixon & Ame, Feed Me (DJ Set), Gregor Thresher Live, Kate Boy Live, Mathew Jonson Live, Redlight, Scuba Live, Prong, Wilkinson & VisionObi, Chase & Status DJ Set and Rage, Feed Me (DJ Set), Friction & Linguistics, SKiSM, The Prototypes, Insepctor Dubplate, Brookes Brothers, Dub Phizix, Strategy, Seth Troxler, DubFire, Pan Pot, Matador, Appolinia, Deniz Curtel, Subb An b2b Adam Shelton

 

EXIT 2012 - artists who played

Guns N' Roses, New Order, Duran Duran, Plan B, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Avicii, Felix Da Housecat, Wolfmother, Gossip, Richie Hawtin, Miss Kitten, Art Department, Maceo Plex, Buraka Som Sistema, Luciano, Reboot, Kenny Larkin, Robert Dietz, Maayan Nidam, Laurent Garnier, Azari and III, Brodinski, When Saints Go Machine, Erykah Badu, Hercules and Love Affair, Citizens

There was a feast of electro acts too.

 

 

 

 

Knife Party, Claude Von Stroke, Jacques Lu Cont, Eats Everything, Tobi Neumann & Geddes, and Benoit & Sergio have been announced for the Dance Arena.

Netsky & MC Dynamite, Goldie & SP:MC, Borgore, Drumsound & Bassline Smith feat MC Dynamite will be appearing on the Main Stage After 2AM.

Happynovisad will play host to Space Dimension Controller, George Fitzgerald, Sigha, and Locked Groove.

Whilst the Elektrana line-up includes Thieves Like Us, Nikonn, The Tapeaters, DAT Politics, Franz + Shape, Detachments, A Terrible Splendour, and Christian Strobe.

EXIT 2011 - who appeared

Arcade Fire, Pulp, Portishead, Grinderman (Nick Cave), Underworld, Jamiroquai, Magnetic Man, Beirut, Tiga, James Zabiela, Joris Voorn, Hadouken! Joachim Garraud, Gramophonedzie, M.I.A., Bad Religion, House of Pain, Magnetic Man , Petrol, Deadmau5 (unhooked), Groove Armada, Fedde Le Grand, Digitalism live, Dj Sneak, Paul Kalkbrenner,Steve Aoki, Carl Craig, Marco Carola, Better Lost Than Stupid, tINI, Maya Jane Coles, Partibrejkers, Go Back To The Zoo, Svi na pod, The Good Guys, IrieFM, Kreator

 

 

EXIT festival accommodation

book EXIT festival accommodation
 

Trains for EXIT festival

train information for exit festival

Train tickets are much cheaper if you buy them in the country of travel, but if you want you can buy in advance online at:
www.internationaltrainline.com
www.seat61.com
reiseauskunft.bahn.de

Other useful websites:

Serbian Railways
www.zeleznicesrbije.com


Croatian Railways
www.hznet.hr


Slovenian Railways
www.slo-zeleznice.si/en/

InterRail
www.interrail.net



Hungary - Budapest to Novi Sad:
Journey takes approximately 5 hours and this year there WILL BE additional carriages for those wanting to take this route.

Budapest to Novi Sad – Departures daily at 10.15, 13.00 and 23.00
Novi Sad to Budapest – Departures daily at 08.56, 11.35 and 22.54
Ticket Price - 50 euros return

Slovenia - Ljubljana to Belgrade:
Once in Belgrade you can take a train or a bus from the Central Station (nearby) to Novi Sad.

Ljubljana to Belgrade: Departures daily at 01.56, 08.15, 14.35 and 21.15
Belgrade to Ljubljana: Departures daily at 05.35, 10.20, 15.25, 21.40
Ticket Price – 57 euros return

Croatia - Zagreb to Belgrade:

The train takes around 6 hours and once in Belgrade you can take a train or a bus from the Central Station (nearby) to Novi Sad.

Zagreb to Belgrade: Departures daily at 06.03, 10.58, 17.25, 23.55
Belgrade to Zagreb: Departures daily at 05.35, 10.20, 15.25, 21.40
Ticket Price – 40 euros return

 
 
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

What's changed

Checks at the actual fest were more relaxed last year. Whoopie!

Buses in most areas put Exit placards in their windscreens saved a lot of working out on bus routes. 45p per ride if you want to save your legs.
Cabs still up to their old tricks especially the ones hovering around the railway station - £35 for a £5 ride.

Mainstream cabs the safest - the new red Skodas & the new yellow Golfs.

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More info

Drug busts were isolated & mainly in the campsite. Heard of a few but most didn’t go any further than paying the “militia”(cops) off. £80 -100 of emptied pockets took care of it & you also got to keep the drug. Better than being hauled through the courts or a cell & a lot cheaper. Don’t whine just accept graciously.
Tip: Have less in your pockets then less will be taken away.

Zebra crossings are just for brightening up the dreary grey tarmac do not be under the illusion you can use them as pedestrian crossings. They are for Zebras only & as they don’t have any in Serbia drivers rarely stop. Traffic Light crossings are safer! (I was going to say pelican crossings but that would take us down another road & I reckon I’ve exhausted this subject already)

For those who like to be well organised in advance, booking your apartment this year will be somewhat expensive but at least off your tick list. For risk takers wait till a lot later when the landlords get worried & drop their prices.
We had scores of apartments last year at the last minute at much lower rates!

"As for the serbian ’killjoys  and ***** If you are going to do/take/buy anything, do it when the sun goes down and in the crowds. A lot of locals sell within and outside Exit  festival (in the city we got handed a leaflet for 'transport links to belgrade airport' with a phone number on it, the guy leaned in and whispered "this is not for transport, this is for *****")
The exit festival grounds are littered with undercover law enforcers. Some but not all are corrupt, so don't expect  to be treated as you would back home. If you don’t want your collar felt watch out for guys who  wear small black satchels over their shoulders and give them a wide berth. You'll spot them about the festival, looking like normal festival go-ers .
My friend sparked up during the day in the campsite and within 10 minutes the undercover brigade arrived. We didn't see him for 24 hours and he came back with a few stories to tell.. Ended up being fined £350, and he said that the fines very much depended on how much they liked you and felt like fining you."

Exit Festival 2011 traveller

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What the Stars had to say about EXIT festival

“It was great honour to be back at Exit Festival for the second time and play to the Serbian people. They made it something to remember for us, it has a crazy wild side that only very few festivals have. Bring us back again! We fukin’ luv it. Come on!!!” The Prodigy

“It was my first time in Serbia and didn’t know what to expect, but the EXIT audience was amazing!” Lily Allen

“It was an honour and a privilege to play such an important festival especially on its 10th anniversary. The crowd and the location were stunning. We hope we will be invited back.” Nicky Wire, James, Sean - Manic Street Preachers

“Most indeed it was a pleasure to play at such a well organised event.., Thank you for having us, we had a great time very, very special in more ways than one!” Roots Manuva

“Loved the exit gig! Playing with Eric Prydz was a fun challenge which turned out to be a memorable morning! Exit rocks!” Adam Beyer

“Once again Exit proves to be one of the best festivals in the world!!!” Nic Fanciulli

'Exit was more than we could have expected it to be. The audience was exceptional and the setting was breathtaking. I hope they have us back sometime.'  Alex Kapranos / Franz Ferdinand

"Serbia, we had no idea what to expect and it was an amazing show, the crowd was fantastic and we can't wait to come back."  Ana Matronic / Scissor Sisters

"Serbia was fantastic, we all really enjoyed it ... the audience was amazing and it was the best show on the tour so far."  Billy Idol

"We didn't have a clue about what to expect - and it was incredible!" Nick Halam, Stereo MC's

"An absolutely amazing festival both in terms of the crowds that came and the people behind the scenes. The setting was amazing with the sun coming up and the sound system was intense (as opposed to in tents which would normally be the case at a festival but I digress), I was so happy that I could finally be a part of this and would like to thank everyone that came along."  Dave Clarke

"wow - exit - what a festival! great energy, great understanding of the music and a great place. very impressed." Giles Peterson / Radio 1


Comments from Exit festival Brits

The Exit Festival itself
I would say Exit Festival is one of Europe's best music festivals, the combination of the setting, sun, people, music and the serbian atmosphere completely blew me away. One of the most amazing events I have ever been to!

Exit is a huge festival with such a diverse range of people and music! You can really get what you want from this festival whether it being raving all night in the dance arena or taking it easy and enjoying the atmosphere, skankin' at the reggae stage till the sun comes up  then everyone heads to the beach/campsite for whatever sleep they can get.

The heat is impossible to sleep in a tent in, some wise people brought hammocks, I just bought a lilo at the local supermarket and that provided me with a cool bed for the whole festival! There are also tree's on the beach where most people pass out under during the day! The new Exit Festival  campsite is right beside the beach!

Serbia is immensely affordable (a key student concern). A twenty-pack of decent fags costs around £1.50, a pint of decent local lager about £1, and huge burger and chips is around £2 and a meal in a restaurant about £5. This means, simply, you can get pissed, sick and give yourself lung cancer for very little.

NOVI SAD

Novi Sad itself is quite small and concrete, though rather more cosmopolitan and modern than you might think. Those in apartments (usually about £25 a night) head into town, whilst those camping (£25 for a week) caught a taxi to the top of the old army barracks in Petrovaradin: the site of Exit festival. Max Glover

Eating out in Serbia

Exit Festival City offers a lot during the day, you can browse the markets, go to the local beach or sit in one of the cafe's and have lunch! The food in Serbia is amazing! Because Serbia isn't in the EU prices for beer, cigarette's, food etc.. are very cheap! A lot cheaper compared to anywhere else in Europe.  
Vegans:
You’re definitely in the wrong country for any form of variety so you may well be disappointed.
You’ll probably have to survive on side salads (shopska salad with feta cheese is a favourite)& feed the meat to the stray cats

No Indian restaurants in the whole of Serbia. Chinese restaurants are not at all like the UK, even with the genuine Chinese chefs. Everything is served or covered with a thick brown gooey sauce. I didn’t like the food but maybe I’m too fussy

Camping at EXIT festival

Hey man, went to Exit Festival last year and thought it was quality so am doing it again this year. Camped last year but yeah it was hot hot hot, managed to get a bit of kip in the woods but wasn’t the best. However it s really cheap compared to hostels and apartments. I'm still in 2 minds on what to do tbh. Up until last year the campsite was in a much more wooded area with loads more shade. But then it got moved to the old army barracks on the hill due to flood risks. I'm not sure where the campsite is going to be this year but if it is the same as last year it is sweltering.

Serbia gets a lot hotter than you might think, and the campsite lacks much in the way of shade. Crawling into your sleeping bag in your sauna of a tent at 8am, and being promptly awoken at 8.30am by the blistering sun, leaves you bleary-eyed to say the least. We found sanctuary at the river beach, one of the highlights of the holiday. Many a pleasant day was spent here.Max Glover

I camped last year. It's an experience, it's cheap and it's close to the action but it's noisy and hot, and very busy/cramped. Beer in the fest is about £1.20 per half litre/can etc, but you can really only get hold of Tuborg because they sponsor it. Outside the festival, around town, beer is much cheaper and better -
'Jelen pivo' and 'Lav' go down very well. Would cost about 60/70 pence in cafes and it's very cheap to buy it from shops/supermarkets

I'm going again this year and am looking to rent an apartment in the town. Last year's camping experience, though being a good laugh, was a real pain. The music finishes at 8am so by the time you are looking to get to sleep it's the hottest part of the day, so even if you are camping in the shade it's uncomfortably hot. We rarely slept the whole week due to the heat and the noise. Another campsite could work. But obviously the heat will still be a factor. Most people who have camped in the first year will get an apartment the following year, so what does that tell you? I don't think you can put a price on air-con, a nice bed and a fridge to keep the beers nice and chilled. The fortress and campsite is about 20-30 mins walk from the centre of town. The bars around the campsite are quite busy so we avoided those and went in to town where you can get a seat and relax with the locals.

People don't like camping at EXIT for good reason. The festival only stops at 9am. By the time you get back to your tent it's 35 degrees out..... Tents are like green houses. I don't know how anybody camps at exit. I couldn't even sleep with the heat in the hotel.
Can't believe people are actually stupid enough to camp in Serbia, it gets way too hot over there, I think last year Belgrade was in the 50s for a good portion of the summer. Novi Sad I believe is cooler but being in a huge crowd with such temperatures can't be too good of a thing.

Camping was a decent laugh but security was shite. Get a room or make sure your camping stuff is really safe and you have nothing worth stealing (we just kept our passports and money in a belt 24/7).

Camping is pretty hot, but we had no issues with security whilst we were there. The atmosphere in the campsite was pretty awesome from 1pm onwards with the beach stage playing some pretty good tunes and getting everyone ready for the night ahead.

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Trains to EXIT festival

The train. Although quite possibly preferable to the overpriced coach journey, the train ride to Novi Sad felt like catching the last train out of Poland as the Nazi’s came up over the horizon. In this case, pushing works. And if you don’t get a seat then you face the prospect of hunching up on the floor or standing by the toilet for the entire six-hour journey, unfortunately upped to eight hours due to numerous Serbian border checks.Max Glover

Last year I flew to Budapest with a budget airline then got the train direct to Novi Sad with a few hundred other festival goers.The train was cheap (about 25 quid), but was well overbooked and we stood for the entire 9hr journey. This year I ain't messing around with budget airlines to Budapest or Ljubliana. We have booked ourselves a flight to and from Belgrade. It doesn't cost a great deal more than the budget airline and train set up (220quid), and it saves a lot of messing about.
The train was a good laugh, met loads of sound folk on the journey. Meeting other people traveling around the region was really good fun, but the train is very busy, you won't get a seat unless you book one, and if you don't get one, you can be stuck in the corridor standing for the whole journey & it can get a bit rowdy (a lot of beer was consumed!)

The train from Budapest - I sat sweating my arse off not being able to get to a toilet (thus drinking very frugally), or eat or do anything really apart from wait to get off the thing. It took 6-8 hours. Foolishly I got the return journey too. Without a doubt the worst journey we have ever been on. More like a survival mission than anything else.
I wouldn't recommend the train!!
On Exitfest.org it says that there will definitely be more carriages on the train this year - how reliable do you think that is? The LAST thing I want to do is be stuck on a train for 6 hours with no seat and no toilet!

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Serbia

Serbia is an oft-maligned part of Europe, somewhat untouched by the consumerism we might encounter in Britain. As a result, you are travelling to a country with a real sense of its own flavour and history. On the downside, it’s a bitch to get to. The vast majority of festival-goers seem to fly to Budapest, the capital of Hungary, and then from there catch a six-hour train to Novi Sad, the provincial university town in Northern Serbia, North-East of Belgrade. Max Glover

Me and a few friends went to exit last year and had a brilliant time. May very well be going back this year seeing as it suits my finances a treat! We were a bit apprehensive about travelling to Serbia as we had no idea what it would be like, but rest assured it
was fine. I didn't feel any more unsafe there than I would walking around London, and the majority of Serbian people there were really friendly.

I do suggest people check out Belgrade if they can though, great city despite all the bad press us Serbs get. The Times actually had it listed as one of the top 6 cities in the world. Great clubs, restaurants, bars, couple of historic football clubs (if there's a Red Star European match go to it because the atmosphere will be like nothing you'll ever see again).

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The EXIT Festival itself

So once again Exit Festival was amazing, had a brilliant 8 days over there and so many laughs!

Musical highlights were Chic ft Nile Rodgers, Dexter, Fat Boy Slim, Seth Troxler, The Prodigy, Atoms For Peace, Chase & Status, Bloc Party, Nick Cave, Dubioza Kolective.. worst act was Snoop Lion by far closely followed by Kate Boy Live.

The new payment card system for drinks/merch at the festival worked brilliantly and so easy to use... take note UK festivals.

Negatives about the festival - needs more urinals at every toilet block, perhaps do spirits at the main bars and don't try to blackmail the smaller independant bars (glad they sorted that out!)

The food was amazing and we ate out at some awesome restaurants, hotels were brilliant value, drink was cheap and the people all friendly, even the Murray/Djokovic banter! Going to miss Serbia next year, but our minds have been set to try somewhere new next year.. the search has already commenced Paul UK

Was only there on Sat and Sun but it was insane. Don't think I would have survived the four days.
Thought SBTRKT was the best I saw. Chase were good aswell, best I've seen of them (well him).
All the stages in the actual fortress were the best though. Also loved the stage down the ally near the dance stage, think it was called happynovisad or something.
The serbian people are awesome, so friendly if you talk to them.
Last year the crowd for Prodigy was pretty big and I wouldn't like to have been at the front, but apart from that it was fine (on the main stage). No worse than any other Brit festival. Same with the toilets, in fact if you used your brain a little you could walk to the quiet ones maybe 2 mins away 

Last year fest finished at 9am.We were straight into a taxi and straight onto a flight. I might consider staying an extra day or 2 this time.

I went to Exit and would highly recommend it. Every Serbian I met was really friendly and the atmosphere there was great. Everyone else I know who went thought the same.
I'm definitely going again this year.

I am in to my dance music and I thought it was very varied. Roger Sanchez one night, Marko Nastic another. And if the music in the dance arena isn't to your taste then there was the happy novi sad stage and the urban bug stage which both played all forms of dance music over the 4 nights. We found the locals very friendly.
At the main arena last year the crowds were terrible. During 'Prodigy' I really thought I was going to get trampled. I hope this year they are more safety conscious. The other arenas are pretty good and there are loads so you can always find one with a bit of space if you are desperate.

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Accommodation during EXIT festival

Have survived the campsite and flats without aircon, so it can be done. But if you can possibly get it, it is a real bonus and well worth an extra few quid. In this specific case, sounds like whichever option you go for will be something of a compromise. You either sacrifice a degree of comfort, or the ability to get to and from the festival easily.

I wouldnt mind an apartment if it  had aircon in the bedrooms.
One word of caution - if you go for aircon over location, prepare to be fleeced by taxi drivers every time you need to go anywhere.

I can't take the heat. We went back to Novi Sad last August and stayed in an apartment. There was no air con in the bed rooms. We had to bring the mattresses into the living room so we could sleep with the air con on!


It isn't as cheap as it could be. For a 4 person apartment in town we paid 700 euros (£520). £130 each for 6 nights isn't too bad, cant blame the locals for setting high prices, it is a bit of a risk renting your apartment out to festival goers, especially Brits, with the bad reputation that we sadly have

Staying in Hotel Park again this year, I know it's expensive but I for one think it's worth every penny, 65 euro per person for a 5 star hotel isn't exactly extortionate, room service and aircon in bed... heaven!!! Plus the first year we were there we met a few of the acts in the lobby.

Flying to EXIT festival

Looking at Budapest flights the cheapest I could find was £140 from Bristol with Ryanair. As for booze and food it is ridiculously cheap, managed to get a bottle of Vody for £2.50 although it was puking horrible and gave us the shakes... The people are really gracious and helpful and the atmosphere in general is quality.

I'm flying to Budapest with jet2 and then getting a coach from Budapest to Novi Sad which works out the cheapest for me you can either camp which is the cheapest option but problem with this is that your tent will heat up during the day as it can be from 35-40c and you may have problems sleeping or you can book into a hostel. But if there is quite a few of you, you may want to look into renting apartments as it can work out cheaper than hostel! and exitconnectuk.com has both hostels and apartments to choose from. After the festival is over you can get on a bus back to Budapest and get your returning flight.

BA do flights direct to Belgrade but its expensive.. You’ll be looking at £300 for a return. There is another site you can look at for flights which is flyniki.com but you'll need to fly to Austria and then a connecting flight to Belgrade.

Flying wise I'm fairly sure the best option is to fly with Malev, the Hungarian airline to Budapest. We flew from Manchester but I'm fairly sure they are operational from most UK airports. Our flights were something like 84 return so good value I thought!

Once you arrive in Budapest you can either arrive in time to go straight to the festival or get a hostel and have a look around the city for a few days (which is what we did and highly recommended) transport is simple when getting to the fest from Budapest as there is a train that runs from the city to Novi Sad over quite a few days and is very good value although takes its time! but we found that to be a bonus to be honest as it was just one huge piss up!

I would also add that you should take care with Serbian police as one of our group experienced getting arrested for a certain reason and it wasn't ideal! It was his silly fault rather than them being bent he thought to be honest. Look after the cops & they look after you……..

 

Airport Transfers

airport transfers to EXIT festival
Book airport coach transfers to EXIT festival
 
exit festival at night
Picture of the man who started EXIT Festival

THIS IS THE GUY WHO STARTED IT ALL
Exit Festival Founder Bojan Boskovic

An interview on Revolution, Cruise Missiles & Jail By Jonty Skruff (Skruff.com)

He even did a stint inside!

Reported by on March 25, 2008
The one time student agitator turned Exit Festival chief admits he was unflustered by the overall experience, despite even going on hunger strike for ten days.
"It was really OK," he smiles, "I had a lot of support in the cell, people liked me there."
While fellow Exit Festival Staffer and PR chief Rajko Bozic went on a sympathetic hunger strike outside, Bojan admits to sneaking 'a bit of chicken here and there' with physical violence also something he had no fear of, "Errm, we know a lot of people, obviously," he smiles. "It was funny because the guys in the cell were like 'hey, can you get us some job when we’re out, can we do something' but even the guards were asking if they could be involved in the festival too. So then I started thinking 'this country really has changed- everybody wants to work'."

Four years later, Exit Festival is acknowledged as one of the premier destination festivals in the world, attracting over 10,000 Brits last year and countless thousands more from across the Balkans and the rest of Europe. Born out of an anti-Milosevic student campaign led by Bojan and his fellow Exit founders Dujan Kova?evi? and Ivan Milivojev, the event has become Serbia's biggest cultural asset for normalising relations with the EU.

The people’s festival which came out of the ideas of freedom of speech and democracy. We're very pro-European; we see Serbia and the Balkans as an integral part of Europe and the European Union and we want to do everything in our power to be there as soon as possible."

Rewinding to the last Balkans/ Kosovo conflict in 1999, Bojan and the rest of Novi Sad’s population endured a 3 month nightly bombing campaign by NATO forces, in which cruise missiles were used to terrorise the population and wipe out much of the city’s infrastructure.

In 2005, the devastated bridge stumps still remained exposed and unrepaired close to the beach area site of Exit’s day time raves, only being repaired fully in 2006, though today the situation’s a lot quieter, says Bojan.

Anyone who has been to the Exit Festival before knows that Serbians are very generous people.
Skrufff: How did you get involved in creating Exit in the first place?
One of the ways that the government was repressing all those people who believed in free speech and democracy was to force them to join the army. So you'd go into the army, they'd send you somewhere dangerous and you would probably get killed, because there was a war going on. Therefore we moved to Canada and lived there for two years. I came back to Serbia in 1995 right in the middle of the crisis when there were hundreds of thousands of Serbs coming from Croatia (following ethnic cleansing).

From 1995 onwards I witnessed pretty much all the horrors that were happening in Serbia, including the NATO bombing and everything else. Myself and the whole Exit crew also really lived this story of trying to fight against the autocratic regime of Milosevic and that's how Exit Festival started, We put a lot of heart into it and within two or three years we could already see the shape of Exit and we knew it was going to be a big deal internationally. And yet, you’d still turn around and see these bridges torn to pieces. It was an amazing sight and contradiction."

Skrufff: What were you doing in Novi Sad in the 90s?
Bojan (Exit): "We were all studying. I was at the faculty of electronic engineering and we were issuing a lot of initiatives and plans to change the regime. We were constantly challenging the regime and we formed an organisation, we were interviewed by the police many times. The idea was that we could use culture, music and an independent state of mind to change the government."

You were jailed for a couple of weeks in 2004 just before that year’s Exit Festival
Bojan (Exit): "It happened three weeks before Exit. Firstly, I need to tell you some background about Exit Festival. We have a strong political stance but we are not aligned to any particular political party. Our standpoint is that Serbia and the whole of the Balkans should be part of Europe. But not only politically but also mentally; that Serbia should be democratic and free and that all people should be able to live free; that we should glorify and embrace the higher values of humanity, freedom of speech: these are the values we stand for and these values are quite progressive for some political parties in our environment.

Exit is a political organisation in that sense and we have quite a lot of political influence with the young people that come there. Young people in Serbia are banned from travelling, they cannot go to Europe, they cannot attend European universities- they’re isolated. Exit presents a window to them. It’s crazy that 20 years after the Berlin Wall you have another wall in Europe that’s even higher.

We were three weeks before the festival and one week before the Presidential elections and some extreme elements of the government were looking for a scandal and they wanted to present us as people that are bad for Serbia. This story was developing for quite some time. They started by saying we were drug addicts then claimed we were thieves and were stealing money, so we were put in jail. It was very ridiculous, we had the police in our office for months."

Bojan (Exit): "No, we were invited for an interview at which they informed us we were dangers to society then we were put in front of the judge, who was the same judge who operated throughout the 90s for the Milosevic government and was on their payroll."

Skrufff: What did they charge you with?
Bojan (Exit): "The reason we were put in jail was because we gave away too many free tickets. She asked 'did you take an official decision on how many free tickets you would give away?' and I said 'what the f**k are you talking about? There isn’t a single politician in Serbia who pays for a ticket at the festival'. (laughing). We'd be giving all these politicians tickets when they asked, saying 'sure, come, just stay away from me, don’t bug me'. Don't get me wrong, there are nice politicians that really have helped us, and understand our story, but than again there are those we have nothing to do with.
Then she said ‘you’re going to jail’ and she sentenced us to jail for one month. The reason why we were in jail because they felt we were a danger to the witnesses. Which is ridiculous because the witnesses were people from Exit."

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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