My Top Tips for EXIT Festival in Serbia
Where you need to be July 10-14 - a Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad
EXIT is a relatively small festival - great news, as it means it's easy to get around and there are plenty of toilets for all. The festival starts at around 3pm, but I never got there before 9pm - it's an all nighter festival and one of the worst things you can do is to peak too soon, but if you're more hardcore than me you go ahead.
Our days were spent on the City Beach, with all the other festivalgoers and all the ridiculously hot Serbian women. Not what you need to see after drinking your body weight in beer the night before. City Beach has DJs pumping music and water sports all day long up the Danube. There are also a few pretty sweet restaurants around there offering steak dinners for the least I've ever paid.
Drinking at EXIT
Back to the festival and I can assure you you'll love the quirkiness, especially if you indulge in a little raki on the walk there. The locally produced spirit drink will get you in the mood for a rave, if it doesn't make sure you knock back a few jagermeisters from the street sellers before you go in as the only alcohol available in there is wine or beer, and you can't take any booze in.
When you get there you'll find a token system for the beer tents so you'll need to change your money before you get the rounds in. By the last day I literally could not stomach another Tuborg, neither could anyone else - people were just giving their vouchers away.
Dancing at EXIT
The dance arena was incredible. It was shaped like a huge bowl so everyone could see the main stage with the calmer kids at the back and the crazy moshers up at the front. The layout of the fortress meant there were a few naturally formed smaller spaces where lesser-known artists could still create an atmosphere and in the audience we could feel the music pumping through our tired bodies. That was another great aspect of EXIT actually, the fortress walls meant the sound was cushioned and you didn't lose the volume like you sometimes do at other outdoor festivals.
Eating at EXIT
There were plenty of food options at EXIT, not that I tried any, too busy raving. I might've splashed out on a pick n mix on the way home one day from what I remember but that's about it. As I've said, the food in Novi Sad was incredible. Tasty and cheap - just what we needed.
Sleeping at EXIT
Tried and tested tip for you: book a cheap apartment in Novi Sad for a few hours sleep every day, the camp site is too hot for even a wink.
Another tip for you: don't bother trying to sneak any drugs in. We pretty much got strip-searched, plus the Serbian drug laws have tightened in recent years and are now super strict.
Getting to EXIT
Getting to Novi Sad was easy on the bus from Zadar, and exploring on foot was simple too. When we'd had enough the taxis were cheap, although reportedly obscenely hiked for the festival.
EXIT is a great value festival and if you book early and in a group it can be even cheaper. When you're there food and drink is much cheaper than at home and you're pretty much guaranteed sun - in fact, I need to get booking for next year.
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About the Author: Victoria Philpott
Victoria is the content and community manager at gapyear.com. She's travelled through Europe extensively, dropping in on a few festivals and picking up work as she went. She's an advocate of slow travel and has worked at camp in America for two summers before releasing the pressure in the clubs of Cancun. She's toured Australia, explored the Serengeti and backpacked through Morocco. A wise man once told her, 'In the pursuit of seeing everything, we see nothing', and she tries to recite this to tame her wanderlust, but it's not working.