Serbia’s Exit Festival celebrated its fifteenth birthday this summer with its biggest ever year. When John Newman and Manu Chao headlined on Saturday night there were 52,000 people inside the Petrovaradin Fort in Novi Sad, breaking the event’s previous attendance record set back in 2007. This year’s festival was a particularly memorable one for its founder Dušan Kovačević, who proposed to his girlfriend onstage midway through Capital Cities’ covers-filled set on Sunday night. The main stage also witnessed an exemplary greatest hits performance from Faithless, Motörhead’s Lemmy growling his way through ‘Ace of Spades’ and a Hudson Mohawke set whose basslines threatened to shake the very foundations of the 18th Century fortress.
The festival’s famed dance arena, which runs past 8am each day, drew crowds equal to the main stage. The weekend saw huge sets from the likes of Hardwell and Oliver Heldens on Friday night, Martin Garrix, MK and local hero Marko Nastić on Saturday night and Leftfield live and Dixon on Sunday night. The wildest party of the festival though was saved for Simian Mobile Disco and Roman Flügel’s back-to-back set at sunrise on Monday morning. They were joined by dancers dressed as roman centurions as they gave Exit 2015 a euphoric send-off. You won’t find many better dance arenas in world music – believe us, we’ve looked.
For Mixmag, September 2015.