Our experience at Exit Festival, the first international music event after the Covid-19 crisis
Photo credit: EXIT Photo Team
In 8-11 July 2021, the TimisoaraAzi.ro team was at Novi Sad, where the first major music event took place after the Covid-19 crisis, which has paralysed the entire music world for more than a year. In what follows we will briefly describe our experience at Exit Festival, as accredited press team, but also as audience and fans of the movement.
This year’s headliners were DJ Snake, Amelie Lens, David Guetta, Paul Van Dyk, Robin Schulz, Solomun, Charlotte De Witte, Roni Size, Maceo Plex, Sabaton and many more. The surprise of the third evening was the appearance of the MTS Dance Arena artist, Nina Kraviz. Even though she had announced a week earlier she couldn’t take part at the event because of health reasons, Nina took the stage and thrilled her fans for several hours until sunrise.
The festival officially started on July 8, but the organisers suggested to collect the access wristbands starting from July 5, in order to avoid queues.
Taking into consideration the pandemic context, the access in the festival was allowed by showing a vaccination certificate, a negative PCR test or proof of disease in the last six months.
The event took place in a picturesque place, on the shores of the Danube, right inside the Petrovaradin Fortress. In the immediate proximity, the remains of a bridge stuck in the Danube teaches us a history lesson that happened relatively recent. In 1999, NATO air bombing destroyed, among others, the Petrovaradin Bridge, a symbol of Novi Sad.
But let’s take a look ahead and not forget that Novi Sad will be european capital of culture in 2022, a year before Timisoara also gets this title. Inevitably, we tended to compare the two cities from this point of view. Unfortunately for us, Voivodina is ahead of us because of one simple, yet sad reason: Timisoara simply does not have an event of this scale!
Back to Exit 2021, the 20th edition had no less than 14 stages and a full schedule each day. The Main Stage had a capacity of over 35.000 people, MTS Dance Arena was the techno-focused stage, No Sleep Novi Sad proposed a unique location reached by a LED-lit tunnel.
The other stages are called Silent Disco, Gaia Trance, Reggae Stage, Urban Bug, Visa Fusion, Explosive Pub, Aqua Viva LATINO, Gang Beats, X-Bass, AS FM Stage and Pachamama World Chill-Inn.
Photo credit: EXIT Photo Team
Like any festival of this kind, on the premises there were set up souvenir areas, food courts and bars. The payment was exclusively done with a card that could be acquired in the Visa Fast Line, card on which money could be added in cash (dinars) or by card (Visa).
All the relevant information and updates were found on the EXIT 2.0 mobile app (iOS or Android). The application was very useful – it contained the whole line-up, the performances on each stage, the map of the festival and even a chat where people who where coming to the festival from all over the world could talk.
While the nights were dedicated to music, the days were for relaxation and exploration. In this way we had the opportunity to get to know the city. The architectural style and atmosphere are familiar to the people living in the west of Romania, because the ambience is similar to the one in Banat.
The central zone has many pedestrian areas filled with bars and cafes. The locals are friendly, welcoming hosts, ready to help you if you need it and, as far as we could tell, there are plenty of English speakers.
The easiest way to get to Novi Sad from Timisoara is through the Jimbolia border point. The distance is approximately 150 km and the car drive takes between two hours and two hours and a half.
The city has a lot of attractions, from cafes, restaurants and museums, to parks and swimming areas. Petroland, the biggest aquapark in Serbia, is situated 20 km from Novi Sad.
Finally, this was our first reconnection with the big festivals after the pandemic. It was an event we fully enjoyed together with thousands of other people who came from all over the world. It was also a good opportunity to visit one of the most beautiful cities „next door”. And last but not least – an example for Timisoara that our city can also reach this level, if there is enough motivation.