Exit Festival 2014 Review

Voted the ‘Best Major European Festival Award’ in 2013, we had massive expectations for Exit and now come the end of the weekend, we can tell you that our expectations where well exceeded.

With one of the biggest festival lineup’s in Europe, Exit’s headliners this year included Damon Albarn, Skrillex, Pet Shop Boys and more.

Unlike many other festivals, Exit starts off in the evening around 7 – 8pm and goes through to the early hours of 6am.

As we mentioned in our previous review, Pet Shop Boys kicked off Thursday evening in spectacular fashion, if not to the biggest crowd, but to an appreciative crowd, leaving us to ponder what the rest of the weekend would have in store for the Summer Festival Guide crew.

Disclosure also took on the revamped Dance Arena and were billed to bring their live show to the Novi Sad Castle.  However a last minute press release stated that the production duo could not do their full live show however their Wild Life themed night would go on.  Getting on the one’s and two’s Disclosure had packed out the amazing Dance Arena at Exit.  This is one of the most exciting and spine tingling arena’s at Exit due to its awesome layout and setup and it made for a perfect setting for Disclosure.  Hits such as ‘White Noise’ and ‘Latch’ had the crowd singing their hearts out but it was the end of the set with surprise hits Chic’s Le Freak’ and Outkast’s ‘Miss Jackson’ that really topped off the night.

Exit Festival wasn’t blessed with the best weather this year and it didn’t matter one bit as the crowd didnt really care and still enjoyed Exit to the fullest.  It almost resembled a typical Glastonbury!

Rudimental have featured heavily on the festival circuit this year and after a cancellation at the 2013 edition they more than made up for it at the Friday night slot.  Bringing raw energy and drawing a massive crowd to the Main Stage, the UK band smashed out hits from their “Home” album including “Waiting All Night”, “Free”, and “Not Giving In”.  Serbia was definitely treated to what we picked as one of the best live shows weekend and it really did lift the bar for what we expected by the other artists this weekend.

One of Exit’s biggest draw cards is their Back to Back sets and this year we were treated to some of the best B2B combinations we have ever witnessed.  Carl Cox & Danny Tenaglia joined forces on Friday to bring their house & techno vibe to Novi Sad.  Both Carl and Danny are legends in the electronic music scene and it was an immense pleasure to see them playing together.  As the sun set on the Dance Arena the lads had the crowd grooving from start to finish.

Other notable B2B sets that we managed to catch were Afrojack & Quintino, their high energy electro house set in the early hours of the morning keep the crowd going right up until the end.  Exit regular Green Velvet joined forces with Carl Craig to deliver a house and techno infused set pleasing those that like the harder side of electronic music.

The biggest drawcard for Exit this weekend had to be ex Blur frontman and Gorillaz head honcho Damon Albarn.  Being his first trip to Serbia, Albarn treated the packed out Main Stage crowd with tracks through his back catalogue as well as tracks from his critically acclaimed “Everyday Robots”.  Kicking off with his the chilled out “Lonely Press Play” and “Everyday Robots”, it didn’t take long before he had the crowd singing along to Gorillaz tracks “Kids with Guns” and Blur’s “All Your Life”.  However the biggest tune of his set had to be “Clint Eastwood”, Albarn really seemed to enjoy his time on the stage at Exit and his performance was one of the highlights of the weekend.

Another massive name on the festival circuit is Sonny Moore, better known by his stage name SkrillexSkrillex arrives slightly late to the party and already has the main stage packed out waiting to see this grammy award winning artist.  If you haven’t seen this guy live then you don’t know what your missing.  Not only is the guy like an energiser bunny on stage, but his stage presence is like no other DJ.  You would not know that its 2am when Skrillex comes on as the energy around the main stage drives you to keep moving and dancing.  Kicking off with “Try it Out”, Skrillex is already bouncing around behind the decks and instantly has the crowd moshing and going crazy.  His mixing is fast and his set is powerful and energetic and by the end of the set we are soaked with sweat.  Talking to a few people on the crowd after his set, you can tell that Skrillex delivered exactly what they came here to see.

Sunday sees the likes of Hurts, Suede and Pretty Lights take on the main stage as well as the return of Deep Dish and Jaymo vs Andy George in the Dance Arena.

Hurts kick off our night in the Main Stage and play to a packed out crowd.  This English synth pop duo have the entire crowd sing through the majority of their set with standout hits “Mercy”, “Wonderful Life”, “Excile” and encore “Better Than Love”.

We managed to catch up with grammy nominated producer Pretty Lights in London prior to his Exit performance and we made sure that we caught him on the Main Stage in his early morning slot.  Pretty Lights genre infused music is something fresh and pleasing to listen to over the huge sound rig and he rightly has a massive crowd on hand to enjoy it.

Deep Dish reformed this year after a hiatus to bring their house music to Novi Sad.  Playing in the Dance Arena they played massive set full of huge drops and fat baselines to those that ventured to see them perform.  It was great to see these guys back together as their productions were hugely popular back in the day.

Exit Festival has come a long way since its inception back in 2000 and now see’s over 200,000 people go through the gates each year.

As we walk around the festival we are gutted that its almost about to be over, the weekend has flown by and Exit has captivated us, the crowd have been amazing and the lineup even better.  It was our first Exit experience and it definitely will not be our last.  If there is one European festival that you need to experience in your lifetime then Exit should be at the top of your list.  See you in 2015!







Damon Albarn to headline Serbia’s Exit Festival

Award winning festival Exit reveals that Damon Albarn will headline the main stage at this years event which takes place in the amazing Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Damon Albarn, the British musician best known as the frontman of Blur, co-creator of one of the most popular virtual acts in the woorld, Gorillaz, and an integral part in supergroups such as The Good, the Bad & the Queen and Rocket Juice & the Moon will play EXIT's Main Stage on Saturday 12th July, as part of a tour to mark the release of his first solo record 'Everyday Robots'.

Grammy award winner Damon Albarn's flourishing career, which counts various projects earned him so far five BRIT awards, eleven NME awards, six MTV awards, as well as nine Q awards. He has sold over 30 million records worldwide and his debut album with Gorillaz was sold in excess of 5 million copies worldwide, earning multi-platinum status. In April this year, Damon Albarn will present his first solo project, 'Everyday Robots', his most personal and autobiographical project since his musical journey began.

Damon Albarn will embark on a tour at the end of April starting in London, with further performances in Spain, France, Denmark, USA, The Netherlands and Belgium, and on July 12, Damon is coming to Serbia!

Damon Albarn has unveiled the lead single and the title track from his forthcoming debut solo album 'Everyday Robots' in January, whereas the video, a digital portrait of Damon by the artist and designer Aitor Thorup, is available at Damon Albarn's official Youtube channel, at this link. The video for his new song, 'Lonely Press Play', was unveiled last Wednesday and was entirely shot by Damon on a tablet in Tokyo, London, Dallas, Utah, Colchester, Iceland and Devon.The new album explores the relationship between nature and technology, and features Brian Eno and Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes as special guests.

Latitude Festival 2014 Launch Event Review

The Black Keys have been announced as the third act to grace the Obelisk Stage at Latitude Festival this year. It will be the first time the blues / rock duo have headlined a UK festival. After the success of their last album 'El Camino' they will be more than ready to set the final night of the festival alight. They will join Damon Albarn and Two Door Cinema Club as the headlining acts for the ninth year of the festival.

The announcement was revealed at Sadler's Wells in London by festival organiser, Melvin Benn. Sadler's Wells not only provided the venue for the launch, it also adds to the festival by showcasing their very own English National Ballet, James Cousins Company and National Youth Dance Company.

The venue was full with guys and gals excited to hear who would be the next acts to be announced. As drink got flowing, it was clear to see that these people could not wait to be opening their first beer at the festival. The conversation was clearly about who they were most excited to see at Latitude.

Other acts which have been added to the stellar line-up include Editors, James, Crystal Fighters, Kelis, The Afghan Whigs and Tinariwen, Mogwai, Lykke Li, War On Drugs, Temples, Parquet Courts, George Ezra, Conor Oberst, Tom Vek and Dawes.

For those looking for something a little different, a well-rounded cultural experience, the reason that people swarm to Latitude, there will be performers such as Laura Bates (Literature), Sabrina Mahfouz (Poetry) and Margeret Thatcher Queen of Soho (Cabaret) gracing the Arts Stages. The theme for the Art Stages was revealed as 'Secrets and Lies'.

Finally if you're just looking for a giggle and a laugh the Comedy stage will delight you with the likes of Dara O'Briain, Milton Jones, Cardinal Burns, Josh Widdicombe and Seann Walsh.

Having been awarded 'Best Line-up' 2013 at the UK Festival Awards, Latitude has continued to pull together yet another outstanding line-up. We cannot wait to get down to Henham Park, Suffolk in July!

Tickets are on sale now. To get yours go to www.latitudefestival.com/tickets

Damon Albarn confirmed for Rock Werchter

Damon Albarn is the musical superman of the 21st century, though perhaps it is not that noticeable. The reason for the description is probable his high productivity. The Brit does so much that it is hard to keep up: rock, opera, African music… It is always interesting and cool. Plus: Albarn is getting better as the years go by. He is known first and foremost as the frontman of Blur, the group which staged such a fantastic performance at Werchter last year. And he has already been here with The Good, The Bad and The Queen. His greatest commercial successes have been achieved with Gorillaz. The second album “Demon Days” (2005) has been doing well on both sides of the Atlantic. After more than 20 years in the frontline, Albarn is now releasing a first album under his own name. “Everyday Robots” (2014), he says, is a mix of folk and soul. Superman goes solo. Damon Albarn will headline KluB C on Thursday 3 July.

List of names confirmed and announced so far for Rock Werchter 2014. 

  • Thursday 3 July: Metallica, Placebo, Damon Albarn, Skrillex, Dropkick Murphys
  • Friday 4 July: Arctic Monkeys, Ellie Goulding, Major Lazer, Jack Johnson, Crystal Fighters, The Naked and Famous
  • Saturday 5 July: Pearl Jam, The Black Keys, Pixies, Triggerfinger, Imagine Dragons, Agnes Obel
  • Sunday 6 July:  Kings of Leon, Stromae, Franz Ferdinand, Babyshambles, MGMT, Birdy, Passenger,  Metronomy

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn to headline Latitude Festival 2014

The Summer Festival Guide can reveal now that Damon Albarn will headline Latitude Festival in a special one off UK festival exclusive performance.

Having performed at Latitude previously with super-group The Good, The Bad and The Queen, his 2014 performance will follow the hotly anticipated release of his olo album 'Everyday Robots'.

Damon Albarn

Latitude is hugely excited that his performance at the festival on Saturday 19th July will be his only UK festival appearance. Damon is no stranger to the festival having appeared at Latitude in 2007 as part of the supergroup The Good, The Bad & The Queen. As a musician who constantly challenges conventional boundaries and norms with his creativity, Damon Albarn is a perfect fit for such an innovative festival and now audiences will be delighted to see him appear for his first ever festival performance as a solo artist at Latitude 2014.
Damon Albarn’s eclectic musical style and observational lyrics have made him one of the UK’s most influential and consistently interesting musicians. He is the recipient of five Brit Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards and a Grammy Award, with a career that started with Blur and spans Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad & The Queen, Mali Music, Monkey: Journey To The West, Dr Dee and Africa Express. We are thrilled to welcome him to Latitude for 2014.
Albarn joins other Latitude exclusive performances including Two Door Cinema Club making their first festival headline appearance; Norwegian electronic duo Röyksopp and Swedish indie-pop pioneer Robyn, in a special joint-appearance as part of their Do It Again 2014 tour, the only opportunity in the UK to see the tour. Winner of the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards ‘Roots Award’, Billy Bragg and his band will be stopping off at Latitude for a UK festival exclusive performance and finally the colourful and psychedelic experimental Swedish band Goat, who have a magnificent live show, which can only be seen at Latitude this summer.
Other names to look forward to for Latitude 2014 include BRIT nominated Californian sister trio Haim, one of the all-time legends of Memphis Soul Booker T. Jones, ‘Best Breakthrough Act’ Brit Award 2012 nominee Anna Calvi, Alabama native Phosphorescent and contemporary classical pianist Nils Frahmwith his intensely delicate pieces. Latitude will also welcome American folk-pop nomad Cass McCombs, gospel and soul inspired Chicago singer songwriter Willis Earl Beal, American baroque pop band San Fermin and British singer songwriter Marika Hackman one of 2013’s breakthrough artists. After adding extra dates to his London tour due to demand, post-rock and alternative hip-hop musician Son Lux will wow festival goers with his ethereal and nocturnal experimental rock, while modern folk singer-songwriter Josephine Foster will bring her wyrd-folk and melancholy balladry to Latitude this year.