Festivals: Take me to the EXIT!

Exit Festival took place from July 7 to 10 at Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad, more than 500 artists performed at 20 stages, and this year 2,000 000 were expected!

Bad Religion’s Jay Bentley described Exit Festival as “the best festival on the planet ever, non better. That’s true, I’m having a great time. Everybody is real nice and real happy that we’re here.”

Joachim Garraud was more than thrilled with everything. His first impression of Exit was, “Woooow, it’s amazing! I haven’t played already, never at a fortress. I hope to wake up early and see everything.”

Exit is one my favorite festival at the region, so I couldn’t miss the chance to be one the thousands visitors and this year.

Thursday July 7: A Great Festival Beginning

The first exit Festival 2011 night was marked by performances of the stars we have been waiting for for ages, and the currently hottest ones . On its opening day, Exit 2011 was visited by over 40,000 people, and Bad Religion, Arcade Fire, Pulp, Magnetic Man were some of the performers, only on Main Stage.

Arcade Fire was one of my biggest desires and of course one of the highlights of the festival. Except that they released one of the best album of the year, they gave us an excellent performance and they showed why they are considered one of the most charismatic bands nowdays.

So after this I’m READY TO START…

I did a try to catch House Of Pain on Fusion Stage, but unfortunately I missed them, so after I had a quick chat with the other half of Interactive Loverz (yes both Interactive Loverz were in Exit) and I went to watch the Pulp.

I will be honest, Pulp were boring, I never liked the bands reunions and Pulp gave me a perfect excuse of that.

Although I enjoyed the “Common People”, because “…She came from Greece…”…. but….

We are in 2011 and not in 1994, if you know what I mean…

One thing that I don’t like in big festivals is that many bands or DJs that I want to watch/hear play the same time, so unfortunately I sacrificed Magnetic Man’s performance & Beirut who performed on Fusion Stage and I headed to the Dance Arena.

The incredible sensation in the form of mice army going towards dance Arena, covered the fortress in order to reach their destination. This fact overshadowed Tiga who was performing just before Deadmau5. I have seen Tiga quite many times and I am really sure that he didn’t like it not being in the spotlight.

On the other hand, Deadmau5 didn’t fill my expectations, his dj-set was pretty boring with luck of suprises.

I give him some credits though for the last half hour of his set, when he spreaded some nasty DubStep beats.

The next dj was James Zabiela who gave a lesson on the skills of managing turntables and the crowds.

Joris Voorn was the last dj of the night.

Friday July 8

Exit Festival on Friday night was all we ever expected, and way more. Sea of people at the fortress, party wherever you go to, rush to get to our favorite performers.

Editors, proved for one more time why they are the festival’s favorites to the thrilled audience with whom they made excellent contact.

It was the 3rd time that I was able to watch them live and I have to admit that was the best. They have gained a lot of experience through these years and they are an amazing band with a lot of energy.


M.I.A. gave an awesome performance, I didn’t expect so much energy and I really lost my mind when she performed her track “Born Free”. I was even lucky to watch her sound check at noon. A very charismatic artist with sharp political comments.

After her concert I headed once again to the Dance Arena and I arrived in the middle of Underworld ‘s live set, who gave a powerful old school lesson to everyone who wants to work in electronic music.

The Detroit based producer of Techno music, Carl Graig followed with a blow minded dj-set.

In the meanwhile, I headed to Happy NoviSad Stage (as I mentioned there were 20(!) stages), which was close by to watch Loefah & a bit of Boddika‘s set.

After I returned to the Dance Arena just to catch the second half of Marco Carola‘s dj-set.

The time was 8 a.m., the sun was shining, Tini was on stage and I was tired. Time to head to Exit Village.

Saturday night fever at Exit 2011

Open sky, funky sounds, love in the air, dancing shoes and fever, well..I was a bit sick.

Maybe that was the main reason that I didn’t enjoy the night so much. Well, this, the fact that I don’t like funky music and the awesome line up of Sunday which made me to want to keep up my strength for the next night.

Anyway, the funky night was spiced up by Kraak & Smaak,  Santigold, Jinx, and the performance given by the irresistible Jay Kay and his crew called Jamiroquai.

I was in the Dance Arena, in which Gramophonedzie performed, Fedde Le Grand followed right up with an amazing remix of RATM ‘s “Killing in the name” and my night closed with mind-blowing Groove Armada and their Red Light.

Sunday July 10: A Legendary Festival Finale

Portishead and Grinderman honored the Main Stage with their concerts, whereas party authorities Digitalism, Paul Kalkbrenner and Steve Aoki shook the Dance Arena.

My night started with Portishead ‘s performance at the main stage and after I headed to the Dance Arena to catch my favorite Digitalism.

I have seen the German duo more than 5 times and they never let me down.

Jens was on the vocals as usual and an additional dj and a drummer were with him although, the absence of İsmail “Isi” Tüfekçi was obvious. They performed dance hits as “idealistic”, “Zdarlight” and the new hot single “2 Hearts”, besides others.

For me the apocalypse of the night was the performance of Steve Aoki.

The American electro house musician, producer and founder of Dim Mak Records is simply crazy.

He was dancing, screaming, running, jumping, throwing champagne to the audience during all his performance.

“Warp” was definitely one of the highlights of his dj-set and I think it was in that track that I hit my nose during a pongo dance (still hurts).

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@EXIT Dance Arena 2011 Crowd during Steve Aoki

Before even put my self together the German superstar and producer, mr. Paul Karkbrenner, occupied the stage of the Dance Arena with his filthy beats. I felt like Berlin Calling me, tunes like “Atzepeng”, “Square 1″, “Altes Kamuffel” and “Gebrunn Gebrunn” rocked my world and of course he couldn’t miss playing the top hit “Sky & Sand”, which made the 20.000 audience screaming, but the moment that really blew my mind and I didn’t expect it was when I heard the awesome remix of Fatboy Slim ‘s track “Praise You”.


Paul Kalkbrenner @ Exit Festival 2011

I have to mention that the Greek Electro duo, Marsheaux, performed the same time in Elekrana stage.

The glorious night that had turned into day by then, closed with an amazing, uplifting, awesome set by the mr. “Where is my Money?”, Caspa.

It was an insane moment…”You Got 2 Know”.

So thats was Exit Festival 2011! It was crazy, awesome with a loads of fine beats… I can’t wait for the next edition.

Some of the most interesting tweets:

@jorisvoorn

Closing the first day of EXIT was fabulous, loved the sun shine in the morning! http://fb.me/XjECpBcl

@steveaoki

Epic night at exit festival!

@digitalismMusic

Wow @exitDanceArena was f****kn sick! Thanks so much #Exit!! really one of the best stages round the world. Xx <3

@ExitDanceArena ace stage!!

@Photek

Going on in a couple hours, HOT HOT HOT here in Novi Sad Serbia @exitfestival #exit2011

@Anoraak

@elektrana @ExitFestival was amazing! Thank you all! @exitfr

@grummmusic

Exit…that was amazing.

@marsheaux Sophie Marianthi

Thank you Novi Sad! Thank you Serbia! You were wonderful yesterday!! We had an amazing time!