On Saturday we had a sightseeing day in Novi Sad under the dazzling sun. What impressed us the most was the center of the city. We admired the Old Town Hall, built in neorenaissance style, which is situated right on the main city square called Trg Slobode, in the centre of which we also saw Church of Virgin‘s name, a beautiful and sublime Catholic church built in neogothic style. Both, the building of the City Hall and the Catholic church, which is at the opposite side of the square, were planned by architect Georg Molnar in 1895.
We strolled around the pedestrian zones, where a bunch of peddlers sold lots of delicacies and traditional stuff from Serbia. What we found amazing was some herbal kinds of wine and Rakija that are various strong alcoholic fruit brandies. Really popular and delicious in Novi Sad were also the Serbian pies, whose name is pita, similar to the Greek pita.
On this marvelous day, as time rolled by we approached the camping site, while the sunset was dying over the high buildings opposite us. We got prepared for the long-awaited performance of the band Atoms for Peace, which actually was the world’s largest exclusive act of this year’s Exit because the group, Thom Yorke’s latest reincarnation, have got only few gigs during this year. From the very start of the concert of the band the atmosphere was overheated, so it can be said that it has met with success.
Thom Yorke played very well and solidly and their performance was as good as if they were playing with band for years. Songs from their recent album “Amok” were supplemented with additional tracks and he didn’t let us hear any Radiohead hit. The only track from the past was a beautiful version of Unkle‘s, Rabbit in your headlights, which was magnificent.
At the same time, on the dance arena one of the world’s most famous DJs, the French David Guetta was the centre of attention at the Petrovaradin fortress judging by the fact that it was full as it rarely was in the history of the festival. His performance began a few minutes after midnight, and the Dance Arena was not enough for all of his fans who were craving to see him play live. The dance stage also experienced its largest crowd ever with 25,000 souls surging to see the famous Dj play.
We also realized how great the musical diversity of the festival was, with many smaller stages around the festival site offering a variety of music and entertainment from Riffs & Beats, Urban Bug, Latino and Reggae Stage, Silent Disco, Radio As FM, Discozone, OTPevaj Karaoke and the Gaia Experiment Trance Stage. We visited a lot of them that night, but what seemed the most underground and eclectic was the Happy NoviSad Stage, with an two very brilliant Djs, Ikonika (Leisure System, UK) and Rasheed. They offered us a long and very pleasant night that was followed magically with a thrilling morning in gorgeous surroundings around the completely unique fortress venue. The incredible sunrise over the beautiful, stunning vista of the nearby city of Novi Sad overwhelmed us and made us stay in the camping site chatting some more until we finally went to sleep happy and full of cutting edge rhythms in our heads.
SUNDAY 14th OF JULY
This was our last day, but unfortunately we missed a big part of it, due to the long stay at the festival the night before. We can’t say that we regret it, because we lived to the most the renowned artists of the night before who transmitted their incredible energy to us. We just had to rest, as the tiredness was accumulated in our bodies throughout all the past days, of not enough sleep and running up and down the Fortress.
After a nice and rich traditional meal at a local restaurant we came across on our way, we had to be quick in order to get to see the ever popular indie lads called Bloc Party, who performed really satisfactory and drove us wild with their heavy guitars and nice, refined vocals by the talented Kele Okereke. When the energetic performance of Bloc Party finished, the audience got thrilled by the many colorful and impressive fireworks that lit up the Fortress sky, announcing the end of this year’s manifestation in Novi Sad.
A few minutes after 11 p.m. the standout headline performance of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds started their performance at the Main Stage, kicking things off in style and armed with his divine orchestra and his unique physique. Besides their most major hits, Cave and his awesome band played a great deal of tracks from their comeback album “Push the Sky Away”. The show started with the song “We know who you are” and continued with the uplifting “Jubilee Street” that enraptured Nick Cave into a passionate dance, which was tensed and got raving mad in its end. This entire atmosphere aroused the masses, who applauded him in an enthusiastic way.
With their performance, in front of more than 20,000 people last night finished the 14th EXIT festival at the Petrovaradin Fortress. Dressed in an elegant black suit, he came close to the audience and had intimate and frequent contact with his fans. At one point, he mentioned that his guitarist George comes from Serbia, and then addressed to him so that he speaks some serbian, which made the people burst with excitement.
He was constantly transmitting energy to the crowd with his cool moves and growls and he was active on stage during every song from The Weeping Song to Stagger Lee. It was an outstanding performance for the admirers of Nick Cave, but also for those of us who enjoyed him for the first time.
As a whole, Serbia’s number one festival, set on the banks of the Danube River is an event worth knowing about and visiting! This year the largest amount of single-day tickets in the history of the festival was sold (20,000) with a record entrance speed (300 people per minute entering).
On the top of that, over 600 artists played there, across 20 stages, which are all connected by ramparts and even tunnels! It was beyond doubt an absolutely magical and unforgettable experience.
There really is so much to do in this unique festival. Come and enjoy life under the Balkan Sun, and experience some of the best live performances the world of music has to offer, over an incredible and unforgettable 4 days!
All in all, Exit Festival’s CEO Dušan Kovačević gave an account on these days :
“Exit 2013 succeeded beyond all expectations with audience numbers significantly up on last year. We are especially proud of the fact that the leitmotif of the festival was happiness and smiles on people’s faces, which made Exit a specific oasis of positive energy and awakened optimism”.
Many warm thank you to Julien Barrat for the pictures!