Europe’s hottest music lineup this year is hosted at the same place where Charles Eugène de Croÿ thought “Yeah, there’s going to be a hell of a festival here one day” and opened the gates: The Petrovaradin Fortress.
Milan JovanovićIzvor: EXIT
Foto: Exit / Promo
Listen, the modern version of the fortress was finished in 1780, so it’s as old as the United States (actually she’s just 4 years younger but who’s really counting age, it is just a number), so of course there are loads of mind-blowing facts about it. Did you know: rumour has it that in the tunnels under Petrovaradin Fortress, which allegedly connects it with Novi Sad under the Danube River, there is a place with a thousand cats, hidden libraries and cursed treasure. But there is a sleeping monster there as well, as a young couple once saw for themselves.
Another interesting thing, the history of the fortress goes way back. People found tools used by Neanderthals – who are now officially the earliest settlers of the rock upon which the fortress sits. Not even kidding. Talk about partying all night – with Neanderthals!
Fast forward a bit (a lot) from the first settlers and the previous version of the fortress was built – with regular breaks in programing – during the Middle Ages. But it wasn’t until the Austrian military engineers decided to completely demolish the old mediaeval fortress and build a modern fortification did the fortress we know and love today came to be.
The basement of the fortress is veined by catacombs: some stretching so far and wide no one knows where they lead. It’s all pretty scary but also kind of humbling stuff.
And the fortress just so happens to be the delicious venue for Serbian EXIT music festival.
That means 40 (forty!!!) stages and zones sprinkled all over, with each stage representing a different music genre. Side note: you could also say there are two more unofficial zones of EXIT Festival that should be experienced. One’s the festival camp, which sits at one of the most beautiful city beaches, Štrand. The other is the very centre of Novi Sad that’s bursting from tourists who come from more than 90 countries all over the world!
Speaking of music program and stages, there IS A LOT to see! If you’re feeling overwhelmed – worry not! Here are the key stages you want to keep in mind when deciding where to fall in love or worry about losing your phone.
MAIN STAGE, BABY
Well the name is just MAIN STAGE, no BABIES included. It’s really THE place to be at the festival with all the leading / main / key / mucho importante acts including but not limited to rock, hip-hop and the leading hits of today: The Cure, Skepta, DJ Snake, The Chainsmokers (absolute heartthrobs, be sure to catch them), Greta Van Fleet, Chase & Status RTRN II Jungle, Tom Walker, Desiigner, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, IAMDDB, Sofi Tukker, DubFX, Griz, Lost Frequencies and many more.
mts DANCE ARENA
Gladiators are getting ready to raise hell at the best place for it: the colossal moat of the mts Dance Arena. Not for the weak of heart and faint of soul, the Arena will seriously test your fortitude and your finest dance skills and reward you with the sunrise view of your lifetime. See electronic maestros Carl Cox, Paul Kalkbrener, Solomun, Tale of Us, Jeff Mills, Adriatique, Amelie Lens, Boris Brejcha, Charlotte De Witte, Dax J, Maceo Plex, Peggy Gou, Satori Live and lots more.
NO SLEEP NOVI SAD
You probably won’t be getting much sleep at this stage and thank goodness for that, because the iconic electronic music venue will showcase clubs such as MMA – Mixed Munich Arts, Sao Paulo’s D-Edge, Bassiani from Georgia and the globally-beloved party All Day I Dream. Arriving under their banners are Blawan, DVS1, Lee Burridge, Sébastien Léger, 999999999 Live, Boston 168 Live, Giorgia Angiuli, I Hate Models, Jasss, Newman, Renato Ratier, Yokoo and more.
The Addiko Fusion stage is right next to the gorgeous museum atop the fortress. The stage represents music that blends into other sounds which results in fused tunes. It’s a stage that’s edgy, modern, and ready to set fire to your expectations of what music should sound like. Listen to a mix of great international and best-loved local acts: Tarja, The Selecter, Atheist Rap, Bad Copy, Bassivity Showcase, Sajsi MC, Eyesburn, Svemirko, The K’s, Who See, Zvonko Bogdan, Raiven and many more.
Catch bands that will melt your face off like you landed straight on the surface of the Sun. You will get smashed by a mixture of metal, punk and HC sound: Whitechapel, Arcturus, Soilwork, Entombed A.D, Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Booze & Glory, Total Chaos, Das Ich, Enforcer, October Tide, Vitamin X, Grade 2, Siberian Meat Grinder and plenty of more reasons to flock to this epicentre of loud riffs. (Your hearing health is important! Loud noises can irreversibly damage your hearing so come prepared! OK luv ya xoxo)
I know what your thinking. This stage is named after chickens. Well you’re not wrong, but you’re also completely and terribly wrong. It’s named after a cool, sparkling drink and will be serving vibes just like that: cool and sparkling. Catch some of the most popular local hip-hop and trap beats with Hazze, High5, Krankšvester, Vojko V (absolute daddy material, don’t miss this), Krešo Bengalka, Black Serbs, Bekfleš and plenty more. Like a lot more.
I don’t know what to tell you other than get ready for some serious bass lines at the pit. Climbing gear not included with performances from: 1991 (this is an excellent year, definitely don’t miss this act), Technimatic, Turno, Gydra, Bass Fighter, Codex, Critical Bass, Drop Sensei, Fa11out, Friski, and lots of other bass turners.
ONE MORE THING BEFORE I FORGET: DON’T MISS THE SUNSET!!!
Listen, I like you. That’s why I’m telling you that you have to have fun until the very first rays of the sun in the morning at the mts Dance Arena. This is a transcendental experience. Many people speak of it as if it’s a religious experience and they’re NOT entirely 100% wrong.
It’s literally what EXIT is known for, and what people talk about when they talk about EXIT’s secret sauce of success. And you can experience it with these fine folks: Carl Cox, Maceo Plex, Paul Kalkbrenner, Peggy Gou, Boris Brejcha, Solomun, Tale of Us, Dax J, and Amelie Lens!