Heading to a festival isn’t just about the party; it’s also about the culture of the place it’s held at. For Beats Travel we’re equal parts music lovers and travellers so no hallowed dance floor can be fully appreciated until we know what makes the ground its on so special.
Rocking up to a festival in Australia you will always find recognition to the indigenous elders, who owned the land historically. Burning Man honours a ‘leave no trace’ mantra to preserve the desert, and Exit Festival takes place in the pretty magical Petrovardian Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia.
The magic of Exit Festival is pretty epic, but the history of the land the Dance Arena resides on is also pretty special. First up it is protected by the Republic of Serbia, which would indicate they also hold Exit Festival in high regard. The festival originated as a student organisation trying to bring a war torn country together to unite for something filled with the idea of love, so in turn the government shows support of this event year in, year out. With many governments trying to oppose festivals in some countries (particularly Australia at the moment) it’s the type of situation that fills music lovers with hope.
Once referred to as the ‘Gibraltar of the Danube’, construction of the fortress took close to 100 years, so its safe to say it hasn’t just been slapped together. As is expected of a fortress, the walls hold their share of mysteries. Rumour has it that in the time of Napoleons invasion treasures from the Vienna Court were hidden within the fortress, no one knows if the treasures are still hidden or not. People have spun rumours of the ‘Peti’, a beast brought in by Turkish Special Forces, through to a cryptic maze of underground tunnels, and of course there has been many a ghost sightings. Who knows what you might find if you wander off in the wee hours of Exit, with no destination. Be wary of the Peti, who knows what that could even be.
The true purpose of giving you a history lessons, is to emphasise the sheer size, and beauty of the Petrovaradin Fortress. You will see medieval style architecture all over Europe; you may, or may not, care after the third cathedral and 7th castle. But what you won’t get to do at any of these others is get to rave til sun up within its walls, watching the sun set and rise in an array of colours around you (or maybe you will, depends on how deep your desire to dance goes). You will never see a monument filled with tens of thousands of people all with the same mission, the mission to dance, party, and fall in love with music time and time again.