15 reasons why EXIT festival promises to be one of the biggest events of the summer

Running between July 6-9th, EXIT Festival will take place at Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia, and promises to be one of the hottest festivals of 2017.
Here are 15 reasons why you need to make sure you don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime experience of amazing music and vibes in Eastern Europe…


Dance giants like Hardwell, Duke Dumont, Hot Since 82, and Alan Walker, will join the likes of Liam Gallagher, Jake Bugg, and many more in what promises to be an amazing spectacle of wide and varied musical styles that will cater for every taste around.

Exit Festival has been awarded the Best European Summer Music Festival for 2016 by the leading travel portal “European Best Destinations”. Previously it was voted ‘Best European Festival’ at the 2013 European Festival Awards and Best European Festival at 2007 UK Festival Awards.

EXIT’s unique fortress venue has other festivals green with envy, offering breathtaking sunsets over the city of Novi Sad and with over 600 artists performing on 20 stages connected by cobbled streets, ramparts and tunnels – a walk through the mystical fortress is like a trip through a magical wonderland. EXIT is also a musical journey as they embrace diversity and offer different genres of music from worldwide artists.

The picturesque city of Novi Sad also has lots to offer with a bustling restaurant culture.  Spend your days leisurely enjoying the Serbian sun and hospitality with plenty of bars, eateries and shops to choose from.  They also have great coffee. Most places in the city resemble ruin pubs in Budapest – retrofitted chairs, cute refurbished tables… And always ask for the coffee of the day/month! If you’re feeling energetic you can also rent a bike and explore the city sights which include churches, parks, monasteries and of course the river Danube.


EXIT is also home to the world famous Dance Arena, renowned for incredible energy and set within a moat of the fortress walls. From techno to electro to dirty house to house with a disco twist, the Dance Arena covers all tastes and will keep you dancing all night long. Pushing cutting edge new talent and tipping its hat to the old school, the music in the arena never disappoints and the experience of dancing with 20,000 people as the sun rises over the fortress walls is truly mind blowing! Just to name a few of the stars coming this year to the festival’s Arena –  Global sensation Recondite, Robin Schulz, young French producer Kungs, and stars like Jamie Jones, and Black Coffee!

This year will celebrate 50 years since the famous “Summer of Love 1967”, when the revolutionary hippy movement began and change the world forever by fighting for peace, freedom of speech, human rights, social, racial, and gender equalities. As the only contemporary music festival that grew from a struggle for social change and whose mission is to connect and foster growth in the region, EXIT would like to use this opportunity to protect the basic ideas from which the first music festivals came from during the end of 60’s, such as Woodstock, Monterey and others, as well as to convey the messages of those movements which in today’s world are needed now more than ever.

During EXIT Festival you can visit the city beach called Štrand, which is one of Europe’s best by-the-Danube beaches.  Only 15 mins away from the city centre by foot and located right next to the festival’s camp this 700m-long stretch of sand morphs into a city of its own come summertime, with bars, stalls, showers, basketball park and loads of other opportunities to fill in those spare hours with fun. Or you could just, you know, spread a towel and hit the sun.

Sure, the biggest stars are usually on the biggest, loudest stages, but take a look at the more cozily snugged stages at EXIT Festival – they almost always have the best parties ‘till dawn with the yet-to-be-world-famous artists. Find them through cobbled streets, tunnels and ramparts and experience everything from world music, chill-out, metal and more.

Eastern Europe really heats up in the summer months with temperatures reaching the mid 30 degrees. During the festival you can party hard at night when it’s cool and chill out in the shade under some trees by day or top up your tan whilst enjoying a coffee in one of the many street cafes.


You’ll be surprised to find a lot of cheap or highly affordable things in Novi Sad, and Serbia in general: Beer is almost laughably inexpensive, and you’ll find yourself saving a lot once you are shopping down Novi Sad’s malls ends. But then again, you’ll start over and spend the cash you just saved because why not. It’s cheaper to get here, stay here, eat here, drink here, and go to EXIT than to simply buy a ticket for  any other major European festival!

The local cuisine packs a punch. Amongst many fantastic dishes, there are juicy, tender, greasy, grilled meat burgers they’ve adapted to the region and call them pljeskavica (plyeskaveetza); Burek is a crispy on the outside and soft as an angel on the inside kind of pastry dish, filled with either local cheese or ground meat (and more varieties depending on the shop) that makes a hearty breakfast. “Ćevapi” are an absolute favorite – rolled meat grilled to perfection with a side of “kajmak” or “ajvar” and some fresh, quickly cut onion. They’re pretty cheap, too. Don’t worry if you’re vegetarian – all Serbian products are local, fresh, and organic, grown on farmland near villages, under the sun, nearby.

Forget plain Vodka (which is made of potatoes) because you’ll fall in love with the Serbian spirits made from local fruits, called Rakija. There are multiple varieties, but all promise the same: they’re as strong as a frenzied, rabid mother bear protecting her baby cubs. Drink responsibly. Or if you get drunk easily, don’t drink them at all. Just stay away. Goes for a euro too.

The elevated position of the Petrovaradin fortress at EXIT is the perfect place to relax with a drink and watch the sunset over the picturesque town of Novi Sad.  As you party through the night at the festival you can also experience the sunrise over the fortress walls in the Dance Arena alongside 20,000, or whilst chilling out on the VIP Terrance or reggae stage.

Named at one of Europe’s top ‘secret holiday locations by Lonely Planet, Belgrade is one of the most happening cities in Europe. The city is also full of grandiose coffee houses, quirky sidewalk ice-creameries and smoky dens with historical buildings juxtaposed with old socialist blocks. ‘Belgrade’ literally translates as ‘White City’, but Serbia’s colourful capital is red hot.

EXIT is a non-corporate event with a unique history, having started as a student protest against the communist Milosevic regime. EXIT has proved that music is a universal language that can connect and bring people together to make the world a better place.  Be part of something that is more than just a music festival, where hedonism meets activism as EXIT continues to evolve and bring like-minded people together.

“Party hard and remember – apathy is the enemy”
EXIT. Where hedonism meets activism.

(BA Hons Journalism), 30, London. NCTJ-accredited journalist and dance music lover specialising in interviews, features, editorial work, and reviews. www.journojake.com

[email protected]