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Exit Festival

international news _ 6th June, 2006

Thousands Of Brits Invade Serbia's Exit

Text by Jonty Skrufff (Skrufff.com)

Exit Festival organiser Paxton Talbot chatted to Skrufff this week about Serbia's upcoming annual music event and revealed that over 3,000 Brits have so far bought tickets for the 80,000 capacity gig.

"We'd actually like to cap it at 5,000," said Paxton, "We could take more, but it's importance to have a balance of people at the event as many are travelling from other parts of Europe and the world and there is a limited capacity given the fact that the main venue is in the fortress."

Revellers attending this year's 4 night event (headlined by the Pet Shop Boys, Morrissey and Kelis plus DJs Dave Clarke, Steve Lawler, Layo & Bushwacka') should prepare for hot weather, Paxton advised, though cautioned that rain might also be an issue.

"The in joke at the moment is that the Brits bring the rain," he laughed. "Two years ago we had about 200 and it rained for an afternoon, last year there were a 1,000 and it rained for two days, and this year there's at least 3,000 coming, so we're praying to the rain gods."

Paxton also stressed that recent political uncertainty in Serbia will have no affect on the event, not least because of it's location in Novi Sad, long been one the region's most cosmopolitan and peaceful cities.

"Foreigners are welcomed because their arrival adds to the dynamic of the region, the more dynamic the region, the happier the locals seem to be," he said.

"Exit also benefits the local economy as well and for the population who aren't really into festivals this is an important boost. People in this region have a reluctance to engage in politics unless they have to; they're as disappointed with their system as we are with ours," he said.

He also stressed that images of Serbia as a war-torn dangerous country are wrong, arguing 'its all hype generated by media moguls and bureaucrats, warmongers and crisis junkies'.

"Serbia's a fantastic cosmopolitan and historic country with a warm welcome and Serbians have a dry and ironic sense of humour. It's a shame they've been tarred with this brush. There are problems but at a grass roots level they're virtually insignificant," said Paxton.

The Exit Festival will be held on July 6-9

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