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EXIT Voted Best European Festival: Serbia’s Dance/Techno Festival Takes the Award in London

Published by Jude Catalli

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The UK Festival Awards has awarded Exit the title of Best European Festival after an International public vote.

Exit, which was held in the Petrovaradin fortress at Novi Sad in Serbia during July this year, defeated stiff competition to win including Benicassim in Spain and Pukkelpop in Belgium. This was the fourth annual UK Festival Awards, although the category for Best European event was newly added.

The Serbian festival is a relative newcomer to the scene yet when the range and diversity of their line-up, along with the quality of the performers, is considered it seems unsurprising that they pipped their European rivals in the award race.

The prize was accepted by Ivan Milivioev, Production Manager, and Konstantin Polzovic, Head Associate, at the ceremony held at London’s Koko Club in November. Around eight hundred guests were present and included representatives from the major British and Europan festivals. One of the first to congratulate the Exit team was John Giddins, organiser of the Isle of Wight festival and best known as a promoter of The Rolling Stones.

Exit hosts 24 stages in total with music from a wide variety of genres that ranges from acoustic and Latin to experimental electro. However, it is from the dance music industry that many of the biggest names hail, no doubt attracted by Eastern Europe’s reputation for both producing and enjoying quality techno and dance.

This year saw The Prodigy, Groove Armada, Basement Jaxx and Pendulum grace the main stage and their success at the awards should guarantee headliners with similar pedigree in the future.

In addition, a huge array of DJs including Trentmöller, Eric Prydz and Roger Sanchez performed every night in the ‘Dance Arena.’ This is the name given to a large part of the fortress’ (now drained) moat in which the second biggest stage is installed, providing not just a huge space in which the festival-goers can enjoy their favourite acts but also a unique setting. The original stones that line the moat are excellent for acoustics and the lowered position of the stage helps to prevent sound contamination from other rigs so that the beats can be fully appreciated.

Adding to this achievement, the New Year has seen The Guardian list the festival in Novi Sad this coming July as one of the 12 most exciting destinations and events taking place in next year, describing Exit as “one of the most attractive festivals in Europe.”

With the weight of this recent public acclaim behind them, the organisers are sure to produce another great event this summer.

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