Set inside the incredible Petrovaradin Fortress, EXIT Festival is a five day/night experience like no other. Forget the mud and rain of Glastonbury, Reading or Bestival and set your sights on dancing through the warm Serbian nights instead.
Each day, the festival starts at 6pm, as fun seekers flock through the festival gates into the awe-inspiring surroundings. Passing from stage to stage and enjoying the array of musical variety on offer, festival-goers dance the night away until sunrise. Come 9am, it's back to wherever you may be staying for sleep, rest...or even more fun!
Unlike any other internationally recognised festival, EXIT has a unique history. It also has some fairly unique ways of doing things, that are good to know about before you go. We've put our skulls together in this section, to give you a brief insight into the festival's beginnings, and some bits and pieces that you could find helpful towards your whole EXIT experience.
EXIT Festival: Best EUROPEAN Festival 2013
EXIT 2013 R:EVOLUTION Line up
In the year 2000, three students from Novi Sad University: Bojan Bošković, Dušan Kovačević and Ivan Milivojev, organised the very first EXIT Festival. With the Milošević era drawing to a close, the festival was set up in an attempt to help people 'EXIT out of the 10 years of madness' (EXITs original name), and encourage more international artists to perform in Serbia, after years of isolation from the outside world.
In this first year, the festival lasted not just four, but ONE HUNDRED days, with a collection of local bands performing on various stages, assembled between the University Philosophy department and the Western banks of the mighty Danube in Novi Sad.
In 2001, the festival was reduced to nine days, and with the Milošević era officially over, Serbia could once again open its doors to the international community. Significantly, the festival also crossed the banks of the Danube into the formidable Petrovaradin Fortress, which provided a truly immense and unique setting for the festival to take place.
Attracting recognised international acts such as Kosheen, manCHILD, Finley Quaye, 4 Hero, to mention a few, EXIT Festival 2001 was an overwhelming success, as performers and festival goers alike partied into the sunrise, realising the significance and magnitude of what the festival had come to achieve in only its 2nd year.
Since then, EXIT Festival has continued to grow and grow. Scaled down to a more manageable 4 days, it is now recognised across the globe as one of the world's leading music festivals. In 2007 it won the UK Festival Award for Best European Festival, truly cementing it among the world's festival elite.
Now in its 13th year, EXIT is intending to celebrate in style...
Preview the documentary that is being made to celebrate the history of Exit Festival.
In 2009, the EXIT Camp site crossed the banks of the Danube to the same side as the EXIT Festival. The site will be open for 10 days - and will have its own stages playing music through the day.
The campsite is always a great place to meet people from across the world and you certainly won't get bored in the 'mini festival' that it is itself. We would recommend buying a pass to this place whether you decide to camp or not, as it is only £14 and you are likely to want to give it a visit at some point.
However, if you are camping, be sure to get there early to claim your pitch, as shade is limited and a tent in the sun just isn't what your body needs after a hard night's partying - in fact, it's insane!
Drinks & Token System
Alcohol in Serbia is notoriously cheap. In the shops, you can buy 2L bottles of beer for under £1, and in bars you won't normally pay more than £1.50 for a pint.
You are not permitted to take any food and drinks into the Festival and will be searched on entry. Inside the 'State of EXIT', drink are a little less than bar prices but the festival operates its own currency, using a token system.
This system is setup to help avoid queuing, making the bar staff's job more efficient as they don't have to bother with change. You will be able to buy tokens at the campsite and at various kiosks inside the festival. With the tokens, you can choose from a selection of Beer, Wine, Energy Drink, Juices and Water. If you get bored of the above, try mixing the wine with the energy drink together to make Turbo Wine!
There is a noticeable absence of spirits from the festival, as the EXIT brand has a strictly 'no spirits' policy. However, for when the beer and turbo wine runs a little tiresome, you will be happy that you've bothered to read so far into this info. We know a little place that you can treat yourself to a spirit and mixer within the festival walls... When you get the EXIT map (2008 version), look for the small independent restaurant/bar next to the Agora Area - and don't tell anyone we said so ;)
Ticketing and Re-entry
If you purchase your festival ticket online you will receive an e-ticket. You will then need to take this along with your ID to one of the
designated ticket outlets on the Petrovaradin side of the Danube, (same side as EXIT and the new campsite). Here, your ticket will be swapped for an EXIT Festival Wristband.
You must KEEP THIS SAFE, as if you lose it you will have to pay for re-entry unless someone finds it and hands it in.
Providing tickets don't sell out, you can purchase full festival and one day passes from the festival gates.
Once inside the festival there is a no re-entry policy, so you are not permitted to leave and then come back in. So, make sure you don't leave anything behind in your accommodation.
Lastly, the gates close at 3am, so make sure you don't get there too late.
Cops and Drugs
Serbian police are high profile; you will be searched on each entry, and they have been known to perform stop and searches inside the camp and festival. Undercover officers have also been known to have been deployed.
Their policy on finding people carrying drugs is pretty tough; depending on the quantities found, those caught are taken straight to the police station, made to wait until morning and fined somewhere in the region of £100. In some instances, we have heard of people being thrown in a Serbian cell with other long serving criminals who certainly won't go out of their way to make you feel at home...
You have been warned!
Disclaimer: The above information is based on experience and research only. We have endeavoured to provide you with as accurate information as we can; however, we do not claim to be official; this information is for general guidance only.