Exit Festival Review

Exit Festival 2012 (published on 14 September 2012 on http://www.wirelessmag.co.uk)

For four days in July Novi Sad becomes the heart beat of Serbia, with Exit Festival drawing big names in the world of music. This year the party under the sun attracted industry giants such as Duran Duran, New Order, Plan B and Guns N’ Roses, as well as an assortment of dance, house and dubstep’s leading acts.

Deep in the stunningly beautiful Petrovaradin fortress, the festival spans across a number of stages, stretches through an underground labyrinth of bars and clubs before spilling out onto the streets. With the beer flowing and the music pumping, the main stage set the tone over the four nights, attracting party goers to stay until the sun came up.

Duran Duran hit things off with an energetic and polished act. Even if their cover of Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood did make them sound like a best of the 80’s tribute, the buzz from the fans certainly made for a high point in the boys careers, sparking Simon Le Bon to say “the show in Novi Sad at Exit Festival is as good as it gets. What a crowd!”

The following night New Order cranked things up a notch with their dance floor classics. Although insanely talented bassist, Peter Hook was absent following his departure from the band in 2007, they still managed to put in an impressive, if not slightly predictable performance. Blue Monday was an instant crowd pleaser, and previous band Hercules And Love Affair couldn’t resist being invited back on stage to join in the dancing. As expected, Bernard Sumner paid his respect to the late, great Ian Curtis by playing Joy Division’s Transmission and all time favourite, Love Will Tear Us Apart. Not satisfied with relaying the back catalogue of his former bands number ones however, Sumner made the songs his own by adding a twist of electro inspired rhythm.

Plan B was a refreshing touch as he took to the stage on the Saturday night. True to his hip hop roots, Plan B was joined by S-FX who accompanied him with an amusing beat box section. With an injection of soul and a charming delivery the crowd were truly entertained.

After dominating the line up announcements, Guns N’ Roses proved that there is no discernible connection between how large a band name is printed on posters and the quality of their performance. Axel Rose’s diva tendencies left a fanatical crowd boiling over for a full 45 minutes before staggering on stage looking like the poster boy for frazzled 80’s coke heads. The rest of the band put in a solid musical effort, but after Axel’s slaughter of Welcome to the Jungle the atmosphere dried up and turned stale.

But the festivities didn’t stop there. The assortment of stages transformed Exit into a banquet of genres and sounds, with plenty for everyone to gorge their inner music lover with. The Reggae stage supplied smooth vibes into the early hours of the morning, whilst the Fusion Stage churned out a high energy assortment ranging from the hardcore metal Hate Breed to Buraka Som Sistema, who tantalised with their inspired mix of African drum beats and electro waves. A favourite amongst most was the Dance Arena, which blasted out electrifying tunes along with a Mardi Gras cast of dancers, stilt walkers and even 15 ft fire breathing robots. And if that isn’t enough to satisfy your appetite then the zip-line, silent disco, peep show and beach parties should all do the trick.

To help plan your Exit Festival trip next year, visit http://www.intoexit.com. To complete the true party experience be sure to check out Hotel Milka. With it’s roof parties, cocktail bar and a selection of aircon rooms, it’s well worth a ponder and is bookable exclusively through the Into Exit website.

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