SERBIA: Major music festival EXIT has been named the winner of the Yourope Award for Best European Festival at the UK Festival Awards 2007, held at Koko in London recently. The event, held near Novi Sad and counting Studio Berar among its key PA suppliers, has been widely acclaimed for the sound quality of its Dance Arena, writes David Davies.
"We were so pleased to be nominated in the first place and never expected to win," said Ivan Milivojev from EXIT, which beat off competition from Benicassim (Spain), Lowlands (Netherlands), Pukkelpop (Belgium) and Roskilde (Denmark) to take the award. "We are really surprised and very grateful for all the votes and support from the UK people."
An event with important underlying political and social objectives - including to promote "togetherness and cultural diversity" - EXIT takes place within the walls of the 17th century Petrovaradin Fortress and affords impressive views over Serbia's second-largest city, Novi Sad. The event's Dance Arena, in particular, has been the subject of considerable acclaim, with major name DJs such as Dave Clarke and John Digweed praising the venue's powerful, high quality sound.
"One of the best festival gigs that I have ever done," said Digweed. "Amazing venue, thumping sound system and great crowd."
"The setting was amazing with the sun coming up, and the sound system was intense (as opposed to in tents, which would normally be the case at a festival, but I digress_). I was so happy that I could finally be a part of this and would like to thank everyone that came along," said Clarke, sometimes referred to as 'the baron of techno'.
The principal PA supplier for the two key stages (Main Stage, Dance Arena) is prominent regional PA and staging company Studio Berar, with other stages supplied by a number of smaller Serbian companies.
"A special emphasis is put on the quality of the sound, and one of the major reasons - apart from the quality equipment - for the crowd enjoyment is the segmented fortress whose ditches and ramparts prevent the mixing of sounds from more than 20 stages and sound systems," Milivojev, who is EXIT's production manager, tells PSN-e. "This creates a unique experience for each festival-goer."
The dates have already been set for the 2008 edition of EXIT (July 10th to 13th), with the bill due to be announced in April.