“The echo of this moment will reverberate for centuries,” declared Aubrey Marcus as he opened this year’s gathering at the Petrovaradin Fortress, kicking off four unforgettable nights of festival magic. A multidimensional journey of music, spirituality, and cosmic experience reached the boundaries of the Universe – quite literally, as the festival opened from space for the first time ever. The stars aligned for the most powerful and remarkable edition of the EXIT festival to date, marked by a heartwarming reunion with the band The Prodigy, two all-female concepts featuring Nina Kraviz, Indira Paganotto, Amelie Lens, Senida, Mimi Mercedez, Sajsi MC, and others, as well as the 50th-anniversary celebration of hip-hop with the greatest rap group of all time, Wu-Tang Clan. Over 200,000 shining stars bathed the Petrovaradin Fortress in their glow, united in messages of love and freedom!
From July 6 to 9, EXIT Universe completed a full cosmic circle, opening at the Pachamama powered by Rosa stage with meditative music, an ancient cacao ceremony in the spirit of the Ada Divine Awakening festival, and the youngest member of the EXIT family, Atina Ljubav Kovačević. This journey took us from the empowering performance of Vylana Marcus at the mts Dance Arena to the first extraterrestrial festival opening at the Gorki List Main Stage, ending with a magical finale at the mts Dance Arena, featuring a beautiful sunrise, emotional melodies, and tribal percussions delivered by Keinemusik.
The high-frequency energy of love and freedom throughout the four festival nights undeniably touched everyone – visitors and world-renowned music stars alike. “We can help build a better world that will exist for our children and our children’s children, a world of peace, love, dance, and joy. We have the opportunity to build that world together,” said motivational speaker and philanthropist Aubrey Marcus in his opening address. The Prodigy then delivered a powerful message, opening their performance with the iconic song “Breathe,“ reminding the local audience of their first encounter and the debut live performance of this song in Serbia in 1995, and that they have returned to their favorite festival, their spiritual home. “Exit always represents, but last night was next level,” they posted on their official Instagram after the performance. That same night, the all-female concept at the mts Dance Arena spontaneously united the two most influential women in electronic music – Nina Kraviz and Indira Paganotto met in EXIT’s electronic music temple, where they ended up sharing the decks in an eclectic B2B set!
On the second festival night, Skrillex surprised tens of thousands of fans at the Gorki List Main Stage, letting them know he was on “home ground” and opening his set with the iconic 1959 local hit “Zvižduk u 8“ by Yugoslav music legend Đorđe Marjanović. Simultaneously, a crowd euphorically danced to Eric Prydz at the mts Dance Arena at a show that was a decade in the making!
The fairytale, full of surprises and positive impressions, continued into Saturday night. Hitmaker Alesso shared his excitement on Instagram: “Wow, what an honor to headline this legendary festival!” Vintage Culture received special treatment and a birthday cake at the mts Dance Arena, while colorful duo Sofi Tukker, captivated by the festival’s atmosphere and location, expressed a desire to stay until the very end. Senidah, dazed by the energy, roamed various stages, eventually settling down at Gioli & Assia’s performance at the mts Dance Arena!
On Sunday, endless hordes of people poured over the Varadin Bridge to secure the best spot in front of the Gorki List Main Stage for the performance of the greatest hip-hop group of all time, Wu-Tang Clan, who blew everyone away with their rhymes, accompanied by a live band. “EXIT was amazing; we hope to come back,” they said. Another star-crossed meeting occurred backstage, where RZA, the mastermind behind this iconic New York crew, and Bege Fank, each after their own performance, decided to unwind with a game of chess while members of the band signed Smoke Mardeljano’s tattoo! “The connection is hip-hop; everyone loves it, knows it, understands it, lives it, and breathes it,” concluded the members of Onyx, another group leading the celebration of half a century of this culture. “We’re performing after the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Can it get more exciting?” said Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike just before they took to the stage.
An extraordinary closing set was staged in EXIT’s electronic music temple by the Keinemusik collective – Adam Port, &Me, and Rampa warmed the audience with emotional melodies and tribal percussions. EXIT’s founder and director Dušan Kovačević, who welcomed the finale at the mts Dance Arena with his son and father, described the dawn over this stage as “the most magical moment in electronic music”!
Claptone, Chase & Status, Hot Since 82, Viagra Boys, Epica, CamelPhat, Burak Yeter, Mahmut Orhan, Mind Against, Agents Of Time, The Toasters, Cockney Rejects, and more than a thousand performers and over 200,000 visitors interwove, rallied together, and sent a collective message of love and freedom into the universe – from EXIT Universe, in a four-day moment whose echo will resound for centuries!
For more news about techno, click here.