After more than 25,000 clubbers entered dozens of No Sleep Festival’s parties last year, all spread on various locations across the city in a continuous 48-hour run, this year has already seen countless ravers booking flights to Serbia’s hedonistic capital city.
Friday 8th and Saturday 9th November is when the action unfolds and now the final line-up is revealed to include fabric London and Bicep, Mind Against, Terry Francis, Anna Wall and Anastasia Kristiansen joining Amelie Lens and more in Serbia.
One of the world’s leading clubs and a symbol of London’s nightlife, fabric celebrates its 20th anniversary in Belgrade with a programme is led by Bicep, the Belfast-born duo, whose eponymous LP from 2017 found acclaim from all corners of the electronic music world.
Tickets and more info can be found online at Nosleepfestival.com.
Any Brits who were hoping the fact they had come to a European festival meant they would escape the incessant rain that sometimes besets those based in the UK had their dreams dramatically shattered as lighting began to strike above the Petrovaradin fortress a few hours before EXIT’s main gates opened. Festival go-oers went wet t-shirted to and fro between the ticket office outside the entrance and the EXIT VILLAGE campsite in a small park nestled between a busy main road and towering suburban apartment blocks. Residents looked out over their balconies possibly bemused as tents sprung up forming a carpet of synthetic canvass.
The reason for the move away from the traditional campsite on the banks of the Danube are unsure, possibly due to excess mess or lack of space in previous years, or perhaps the risk of flooding from the river (the organisers may have somehow predicted the weather). To me it seemed strange to encourage an overflow of tourists closer to the city center, especially as EXIT’s programme goes on late into the evening (the last DJ set starts at 6.30am), meaning there is a steady stream of people making there way back through the city (possibly merry) well into the morning. But then again this may be to bring more money into the city itself and provide campers with more facilities closer to hand, as the campsite is situated next to a mall with cafés, shops, restaurants, a swimming pool and a supermarket, as well as having a small street of food vendors inside the EXIT VILLAGE itself.
The walk takes about 40 mins but only a 10 to 15 minute bus ride, and for those on a western European budget there were representatives selling fairly cheap weekly bus passes for around 6 Euros at the train station and the campsite. Although the buses tail off around 1am there is a steady flow of taxis after this surrounding the venue which cost around 500 dinar (about 4 euros) for a ride back to the camp.
Fortunately the deluge was short lived and clouds cleared as people began to stream through the gates past the rather heavily armed Serbian security to the sight of a glorious sunset over the city of Novi Sad.
The show was kicked off on the main stage with some smooth reggae from Hornsman Coyote which the gathering crowd seemed to enjoy, followed by the Energy Opening by Balkanopolis. Their set consisted of an engaging performance from Renaiszance who played their single “ I Will Rise” accompanied rather effectively with visuals taken from the graphic novel The Inventor: The Story of Tesla based on the life of famous Serbian inventor NikolaTesla, as well as an uplifting act of semi traditional Serbian music using a variety instruments including a form of local bagpipes made out of the body of the goat. The crowd began to dance around the rather deep puddle that had formed treacherously close to the main stage as the finale including aerial silks came to a close.
When it was finally dark it was the turn of Belgian music maestro Stromae to take to the stage in an arresting and pitch perfect performance that had the Serbian and European crowd singing along in French with gusto.
Stromae used all of his charisma as well as beautifully paletted video backdrops to get the audience below him to raise their hands in the air and bounce around without ever having to request it. He was a fascinating performer to watch live with his cartoon like facial expressions and physical flourishes while managing somehow to make a school boy style of long shorts, socks and cardigans look cool.
This was arguably the busiest point of the evening and as The Pet Shop Boys prepared to take to the stage the crowd thinned out to a more chilled out volume while they strutted and sang through modern classics as well as new mixes. Neil Tenant sported a fascinating variety of head wear including the infamous Disco ball and a post modern metal mask in the shape of the cow’s head, which was complimented by the cow skulls and wigs that both the live and pre recorded backing dancers sported to creepy effect. As the night progressed and came to a close people spread out to the various other smaller stages dotted around the venue to sip beer and smoke cigarettes while lying in hammocks. The genre of music was varied so that there was something to be found for everyone, and despite being the first night of a major festival the atmosphere was relaxed and happy, the most common sight to be seen was people dancing and smiling with their eyes close, whether that be Dub by Dimension, Heavy metal, or Flamenco dancers at the Latino Stage. EXIT festival had officially begun.
Britpop icons Suede join EXIT Adventure for the 15th Edition to headline the Main Stage at EXIT Festival alongside the already announced Daman Albarn, Gloria Gaynor, Rudimental Live, Skrillex and Stromae. Plus first acts for the Explosive Stage are revealed and three exciting pre parties in collaboration with UKF.
The 15th edition of the Best European Festival is celebrated by a big eight-day EXIT ADVENTURE that’s taking us to ROCK@EXIT festival on 11th June 2014, at the Petrovaradin fortress in Novi Sad, only to continue to EXIT festival held on the same spot from 10th to 13th July, only to top it all off with SEA DANCE festival from 15th to 17th July at the Jaz beach, one of the most beautiful, smooth silky sand beaches of the Adriatic Sea.
EXIT also won the most prestigious festival award this year, ‘Best European Festival’, with the help of more than 620 000 votes from all over the world, in a category pitted against 360 festivals from 34 countries.
Come and join the Adventure!
SUEDE TO PLAY IN SERBIA FOR THE FIRST TIME Eccentric icons of new glam rock and heroes of the 90s pop scene, SUEDE, with the charismatic Brett Anderson at their front, are coming to Serbia for the first time as headliners of EXIT’s Main Stage on Sunday, 13th July.Mercury Music Prize winners and authors of epic hits ‘Beautiful Ones’, ‘Trash’, ‘Animal Nitrate’,‘The Wild Ones’, will play their greatest hits, as well as songs from their latest, sixth album “Bloodsports.” Q magazine named it one of the best albums of 2013. The final day of the festival will be the perfect time for Anderson’s fans to reminisce why they had huge crushes for him and sway gently to the rhythm of the electrically charged songs of these British seducers.
EXPLOSIVE STAGE RETURNS WITH A BIG BANG! Brace yourselves for an extreme sound at Petrovaradin fortress because EXIT’s most fire-starter stage is coming back with a bang! The four days of Explosive will host more than 36 bands from 14 countries, from guerrilla underground to worldwide renown mainstream names. The energy levels of EXIT adventure are so high that last year’s Riffs&Beats stage exploded, massively expanding into an even more vehement program at Explosive stage. The stage that’s coming back hammer and tongs will fuel all fans of metal, punk, rock, and hardcore with bands like SABATON, MADBALL, 7 SECONDS, ARKONA, DEATH BEFORE DISHONOR, HELLER, HOBBS ANGEL OF DEATH, JAMBINAI and many others!
3 NIGHTS. 3 PARTIES. 3 SECRET LINE-UPS. 3 MASSIVE REASONS TO GET HYPED FOR EXIT! Since making a firm party pact last year, EXIT and UKF’s X-Bass night schedule takeovers are swiftly becoming the stuff of festival legend. With revelations of this year’s line-up still rumbling along all the right channels, this year the relationship is set to go next level.
Each night between July 10-13 UKF and EXIT will be home to THE biggest names in all genres of dance music: Rudimental, Adventure Club, Andy C, Gorgon City, TC, Sub Focus, Pretty Lights, Fred V & Grafix, My Nu Leng, Koven, Dub FX, Dimension, Shadow Child and Jaguar Skills are all signed, sealed and ready to deliver throughout each night at the event.
To get into the party spirit, UKF, EXIT and surprise members of this white-hot line-up will be colliding one week before the event to host three very special launch events in three of the UK’s most discerning party cities between July 2-4: London, Bristol and Brighton. No line-up announcements, just three unique events where anything can – and will – happen.
London’s Corsica Studios, Bristol Exchange and Audio Brighton: Each venue handpicked for its intimate, instant-shindig atmosphere, these events will be three one-off parties with some serious huge talent guesting the controls. And they’ll cost no more than £10.
Whether you’re heading to Serbia or not, these launch parties cannot be missed. Just take one look at the X-Bass line-up again and start speculating now!