Day 106 - 112 : Entering a State of Exit

Trip Start Mar 23, 2010
Trip End Mar 23, 2011

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Exit Village

Flag of Serbia  ,
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Well versed in the intricacies and art of attending an Australian festival, we set upon Exit - the first of two European festivals we'd present ourselves for this trip.

With high hopes in hand, the festival partly lived up to its expectations, but some of our favourite moments came largely from the long walk down from the camp to the festival entrance. Maybe that whole philosophical 'it's the journey not the destination' thing applies here - I'm not sure, all seems a bit too deep for me.

Now for the festival review:

The Arrival - Mass confusion as we arrived, with a lot of double-talk and hearsay resulting in us spending most of the morning trying to find the non-existent car-park promised on the website, which magically appeared after 3 or so hours once we got a hold of the "big man" who actually seemed to know what was going on. We then, tired and weary from the aforementioned strain, set-up 2 tents and our site, only to be told we needed to move as the area we were camping in "was not open yet" - it was subsequently open first thing the next morning. 

The Music - Stand-outs for the festival in no particular order were LCD Sound System, Royksopp, Boys Noize, Moderat, Royksopp, Lvis-1990, Royksopp and Busy P. Chemical the headliners, were good, clean and efficient but played a subduded set (in-line with the new album) and then there was fucking Royksopp - who blew everyone else away. Not a massive fan going into the festival, these guys were fucking amazing and were one of the few acts to get the whole place pumping.

The Venue - The castle is amazing and the city is great. It's what continues to make this festival and when you first make the descent towards the Dance Arena your spine shudders at seeing thousands of people going crazy in a moat. The effect does not subsequently wear off. Chill-out area was equally fantastic and walking through the passageways to the many, many stages is both fun and confusing (and can take a hell of a long time).

The Vibe - This is where the festival loses out unfortunately, as if I wanted to be surrounded by drunk poms roasting in the sun I'd have went to Ibiza - or stayed in Bondi. Not enough locals, and too many spoilt brats who manage to get far too drunk before 6pm is the one pitfall of having a festival where you can literally bring anything you like into the campgrounds. Peaking way too early is never a good look. To be fair to them though, Serbia is insanely thrifty and you can buy a 2L plastic bottle of beer for around a Euro as well as 1L bottles of vodka for around 3, something I was equally keen to partake in. Additionally, you can grab yourself a quarter slice of pizza or a pastry the size of your face for around 60 cents. We did not treat our bodies well, but it cost us nothing to do so at least.

The Extra-Curricular Activities - Not much within the festival itself, but the walk from the campground down to the entrance was a reminder of Thailand in all the right ways. Hundreds of Novi Sadians line themselves up selling anything from Wodka and Pivo to Glowsticks and G-Strings (with Exit embroidery no less). It was during one of these skirmishes going down-hill that we were introduced to Rakija and our three new friends Savas, Boris and Jasmina - the guys we would end up enjoying spending our time with most.

The Summary - Whilst it was fun, I'd be weary of making the trek back to the festival without a good crew in hand. Unfortunately too few locals, too many drunken kids, and as one Exit veteran told us, "it seems to have lost its soul". Still, the music was great, the location amazing and definitely a worthwhile experience.
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