Exit festival 07 – 10 of July 2016.
My impressions are not yet totally shrugged but I don’t have any more time to calculate it… All in all, my most sincere and subjective impression is that I had a phenomenal time in EXIT.
Real picture this year’s EXIT Festival is that the lineup was bombing commercial as on Main Stage where were all the artist which you can hear on almost every radio station but also on Dance Arena which was also seriously pumped in by commercial wave. To be honest, I really don’t have anything against commercial music, is a musical direction and it should be on the festival like any other…but…for all these years I have expected that EXIT should gain on musical width but as it looks like to me it is squeezing. For example, the lineup of our dearest Dance Arena is crazy, the very top of world’s DJ list, big names that all local clubbers crave for but local party organizers don’t have the budget to book them. I was also looking forward to some of the names but the point of my objection, the point is that those names are also in some way “commercial” because those are the top names that all clubbers recognize, so there isn’t any broadening of horizons and representing something not maybe new but maybe something a bit different to the young crowed which is possessing nowadays dance floor. Totally honestly saying, I count on big, leading festivals such is EXIT, that one of his purpose, also, is musical education of youngsters, especially now on the shift of generations and hordes of young people visit this year’s festival. Second thing on which I also deeply object is Dance Arena’s timetable. Here is the example, on the first night until 4 AM we could hear only the highest level of commercial songs among others “How deep is your love” and after 4 AM were James Zabiela, Solomund and TTP so I rely don’t get it, that kind of mixing of totally different musical directions and I because of that a lot of people who wanted to listen to those last acts, just had skipped the whole night. Whit those kind of things festival loses as the crowd as the money. Also, look at this, there were slots of just one hour such had Zabiela and TTP reunion which was very hyped up, but for what, for a slot of one hour for thee of them ??? That is a pure marketing trick if you ask me and they haven’t look back to the crowed, pure lovers of that music and what the performance of TTP reunion maybe means to them. I am feeling very very sorry because for, according to my opinion everything is going in some not cool direction in which I also include constantly switching of the people inside teams and not any people, very quality workers. If I look at the big picture, all these things really do harm to the festival and key people inside of it or just don’t pay attention to that or unfortunately they are just not live up to this kind of issues.
I have said all the bad thing in the very beginning, so now, it’s party tiiiiimeeeee…
Why do I mostly always have a great fun? First of all, I have a sincere wish for that and second of all, I avoid all the things that can disrupt me in that like for example that bad timetable, so I visited Dance Arena only in the moments when I was interested in a particular performance. I will point out only my highlights, because all the things that I didn’t like I have listened for only a few minutes and than run to some other stage. Because of the organization of the official Exit after parties in which I was involved I missed almost the whole performance of James Zabiela, I had time to hear only the beginning and it sounded regularly, just like him, but after he told me that it was very hard for him to play after that much commercial performers.
We were all looking forward to TTP reunion triple b2b set and I had only the time to hear the beginning and the end and considering that they haven’t played together for a very long time and that during that time they have gowned and changed muscly. They sounded good but the feedback from the crowd was crazy, everybody were full of positive energy and smiles.
Solomun’s set was the one that I had a chance to listen for the whole one and as I previously wrote about his performances, there is no mistake with him, he is so good in estimating the crowed so he shoots right at the center and this time was also like that. Claps and creams were coming from a dance floor and he also had a good time.
Second night I bounced to Dance Arena to hear Maceo Plex who was just as I have expected. I am not a big fan of his music and I was a little bit afraid that he will go to commercial, but he didn’t so probably because of that also, I was very happy.
Saturday was a night of definitive turnover and I can freely say that for many people it was a highlight of this year’s Dance Arena performances. Come by chance, because of the cancelation of Robin Schultz and Hot Since 82, Marko Milosavljević and Kristijan Molnar were called to close that morning with b2b set. Honestly I believe that like us, the two of them also had no idea how are they going to sound because they have never had played together before. But, out of a blast, they fit into perfectly but without deviation from their own styles . It was really extraordinary and the videos will show you everything.
The last night was very important for me, first of all because of the new live act performance of Richie Hawtin, which he had only presented it to 1 month earlier to the cowed of Sonar Festival, before us. From lot of people I heard that he was too flat for them and I get that, his music always had a special crowed and I am the one from it and for me it was everything but flat J)) But the real picture is that he, whit this new live act, again had pushed the limits which is the thing that stands him out, techno, proper minimal techno connected with a really spectacular visual. Everything together for me, it was really beyond.
I skipped Dave Clarke because I never liked his music, for me it never had so much sense but tha act I really couldn’t miss was famous Nina Kravitz. I was disappointed and for me, her set didn’t have some sense, at one point she came close to commercial trance and I know that was a track from 1995. but it was all mixed up. Some of my friends think that she was great. And at the end, great Marco Carola had the privilege to close the great Dance Arena and the whole dance floor and stage was dancing to his well known dancing techno with here and there inserted a super famous hits.
New VIP area… Here, on our domestic field, the need for VIP area is spreading like a virus so the VIP areas of all winter season parties were totally full, also Barutana in the beginning of this season gain her VIP and EXIT decided to transfer that area which was on the left side of the stage on the top of the hill just across the stage. At first I thought that, that is a stupid idea because of the distance from the stage, I thought that from that spot you can’t see anything and that will lose the vibe, but I was very wrong. Every time that I bounced there, for all 4 nights, VIP are was full and fill with crazy positive energy, also the sound system was incredibly good and whole area was covered with very subtle blue light, so, really, everything was top. There is one thing that I found so funny, but that is so us, so in our culture, VIP area was divided in 3 parts, platinum, gold and the regular one, so it’s not only that you are VIP it is the question, which of the VIP’s are you :)) But when I look on it all together, it really was great and beyond my original expectations.
Urban Bug stage, was my safe house and whenever I don’t know where to go I hit the road to this cozy stage. Basically Urban Bug can accommodate around 200 souls but there was always somewhere around three times more and two or three time I was literally barely wriggle through the crowed. This year’s lineup was made of triple b2b sets and of course, like every year, with a an accent on local and regional DJs. I would feel very stupid if I would single out some of the sets, because every single minute on that stage the music was great, with the techno, tech house, house, progressive or other electronic musical styles. This stage has his own, very faithful crowed which only gets bigger every year. I can only say, urban Bug rocked it !
From the beginning of my EXITs, No Sleep Novi Sad has always been one of my favorite stages, it had a different name but that location is just perfect. This year it had very interesting concept in which every night was presented one of the famous European underground clubs such are Nitsa from Barcelona, Tresor from Berlin, Concrete from Paris and Grelle Forrele from Vienna united with Drugstore from Belgrade. First three nights I managed to catch free moment and check out the performers and my whole impression is that on non stop on that stage was rolling super cool techno music. Within the first evening and representing the Nitsa club I have listened to Tijana T and Rebolledo, second, Tresor night I heard Moritz Von Oswald and third night of the Concrete club I have listened to Tommy Four Seven and Francois X. This stage was a definite representative of underground techno sound, not just by its music but also from the very look of the stage with a sci fi owl staring into the crowed from the top of it. Also the location is perfect, it is just by the Dance Arena but the most important thing that gave the stage that bold underground taste was the crowd who was raving every night for the whole time, that is what ejected me to the sky, just standing in the middle of them gave me an incredible boost.
The after parties… One day before the EXIT started it was decided that there are going to be official EXIT after parties and I was called to help with the organization. It was intense, especially the first night because how to promote it on the spot, also which DJs should we call and very special thing how to bring a good crowed because that is one of the essences of a good after party. Location could not be better, place called Bastion, which was divided by one wall of Dance Arena so practically everything was on the fortress, 10 minutes one from another. First one went with a little less people but shortly everyone heard about it and the next three ones went perfectly. One of the special things, beside that Bastion looks like you are somewhere on the seaside, it had the VOID sound system brought especially for this occasion and beside Funktion One it belongs to the one of the best sound systems in the world and it really is, all the time I was hearing comments such “woow, what a sound”. Regarding the lineup, for 4 days we achieved to collect lot of great local names and that was not so hard because, to be honest, I don’t know who prefers the after parties more, the clubbers or the DJs. Here I would really like to say Thank You to all the people who supported it and with their vibe make it unforgettable. Next year we are going to kick it even harder.
So here I am, came to the very end of my review and the one thing I really want to point out with bold words is that my biggest impression is that EXIT is made by the people and their energy. No matter of lineup, timetable and other things that weren’t on the spot, the energy was on the highest level on the fortress for the whole time, especially on Dance Arena and because of that my final impression is the most positive one. Than You all my very dear and beautiful people with who I worked with or dancing or laughing, you made EXIT extraordinary.