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  • Writer's pictureBalkan Art Scene

EXIT festival for the history and recovery of the world music industry

Atmosphere, Dance Arena

EXIT is over, a big celebration of the 20th anniversary of the festival, which took more than 180,000 people from 70 countries through the festival gates from July 8 to 11, writing new, crucial pages, of the history of the entire festival world. In those four days, Novi Sad was the global music epicenter because the two-time European champion became the first major festival to be held since the beginning of the pandemic, with rules that will become the standard of work and a roadmap for saving the music industry. The audience and performers put a smile back on their faces, as they finally all returned to what they love most. They could rejoice and enjoy, socialize, dance, celebrate life, create wonderful memories and finally, after 16 months of darkness, feel normal and safe. David Guetta, DJ Snake, Paul Kalkbrenner, Charlotte de Witte, Sabaton, Nina Kraviz, Solomon, Robin Schulz, Sheck Wes, Amelie Lens, Maceo Plex, Pan - Pot, Satori, Asaf Avidan, Paul van Dyk, Roni Size and hundreds more performers, many of whom had their first performance at Exit after a year and a half, left their hearts on the stages across the Fortress. Some of these concerts will remain inscribed as true musical masterpieces, one of the best the audience could hear during the two decades of the festival, and according to many performers, one of the most emotional performances in their lives.

THANK YOU | EXIT 20th anniversary 2021:

"There are no adequate words to describe the magic and the level of energy, emotions and feelings of freedom that was released at the Fortress in these four days. This year’s EXIT was not just a festival, it was a movement of people ready to do whatever it took to make human connection and touch continue to give meaning to our existence. It is especially gratifying that this EXIT was a gathering of the biggest and most loyal festival fans from Europe and all over the world, because those who did not mind all the uncertainties related to unforeseen travel cancellations, PCR tests and other obstacles gathered at the Fortress. The need to be together no matter what, reunited us, through the power of music. Festivals exist to promote the values we live for, so we are happy and proud that in these difficult times we managed to organize a completely safe event and share that knowledge with the world. "- said Dusan Kovacevic, founder and director of EXIT festival.

Praise for the huge work done on creating an epidemiologically safe event has already been received from the city's leaders and medical experts, which provides another key confirmation of the success of the adopted protocols. In addition to the excellent reaction of the audience to the presentation of the Digital Green Certificate at the entrance, a mass testing of visitors who were not vaccinated or who got over Covid was successfully organized. Of the nearly 14,000 tested in five days, only six were positive. This July, more than in previous years, a large number of foreign journalists arrived in Novi Sad and Serbia, and the news of the festival was spread by many world media, from the BBC to the music giant Billboard, which he called this year's EXIT "historic". The city lived to the fullest. As early as last week, 99 percent of the accommodation capacities in this city were sold out, taxis could not be obtained, and it was difficult to find a free place in many restaurants and cafes.

The first night at the fortress was, understandably, full of emotion, both on stage and in the audience. DJ Snake put on an amazing show on the Main Stage of Exit, with a simple message "We're back!" "So, this really happened last night !!!!!!" Roni Size, Exit's first foreign headliner, concluded his energetic performance with the words "20 years later, we are stronger than ever!"

"Turn on the lights, to see people, I wanted people," said Amira Medunjanin from the Visa Fusion stage, wiping tears from her eyes. If the first day at the Fortress was full of emotions, by the second day they were already spilling all over Exit out of control. Although Paul Kalkbrenner's appearance at Exit was his first after 18 months, that did not stop him from creating one of the strongest sets in his career. The night he stood at the counter of the fascinating mts Dance Arena, and after a year and a half touched tens of thousands of fans in the trench with his magic, will be recorded in his new video, as a kind of diary of a return to normal life. The main stage passed in the sign of heavy metal giants Sabaton. They were so thrilled with the Nemesis concert that they invited the girls to their festival in Sweden!

On Saturday, Nina Kraviz performed a set of epic proportions that will be talked about for a long time. In the style of the biggest rock concerts, the audience returned this icon of the electronic scene to the encore three times, chanting her name! A few hours earlier, festival visitors felt one of the most powerful energies created on the Exit Main Stage. In a fantastic performance, in which he also presented the music from the album recorded in Serbia, Satori showed all the splendor of his talent. The world premiere and the most impressive part of the concert was the performance of the song "Đelem Đelem" in which the vocals from one of the last recordings of the great Esma Redžepova were sampled, for which Satori received the rights from her son. The program on the Main Stage was marked last night by as many as four music superstars. The audience was first enchanted by the charismatic Asaf Avidan, and until 5:30 in the morning it was kept dancing by hitmaker Robin Schulz, legendary Paul Van Dyk and multi-talented Satori, in whose live performance Amira Medunjanin appeared as a guest.

After three exceptional nights, the last one brought the finals worthy of the celebration of the great anniversary. With many special effects and the absolute biggest crowd, the spectacular show was staged by the great David Guetta, one of the world’s most influential music producers, who was particularly inspired to perform at Exit. He opened the concert with the hit "Titanium" and the words "You can't imagine what it means for me to be here tonight. We are celebrating 20 years of Exit, 20 years of amazing music and also this is the first festival that has finally happened and the best place on the whole planet, where you can currently find yourself. I hope you enjoy the show because I will enjoy every minute of it. We are finally free, are you ready ?! Get ready to party. " Sheck Wes sent a strong message of hope during a great performance from the Main Stage: "We are the future, we are the tomorrow." After bringing the audience to the peak of entertainment, Guetta welcomed the dawn on one of the largest electronic dance floors - mts Dance Arena, enjoying the energy of the people, good entertainment and music selection of his colleagues - Solomon and Artbat.

The premiere two-hour performance of music wizards Artbat, considered a worldwide electronic sensation and epochal, emotionally charged, five-hour set of Solomon, will remain inscribed as the festival’s strongest closing and listed among the most important musical moments in Exit’s history. After Artbat's performance and according to the wishes of themselves and Satori personally, Satori's "Djelem Djelem" remix resounded in the mts Dance Arena, which became a kind of anthem of this year's festival, and the magic of the powerful voice of the great Esma Redzepova took tens of thousands of people into a trance.


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