EXIT has not only participated in these discussions through panels and other platforms but has also been a catalyst for change. This year, the festival sends a clear message – dedicating a large portion of the program to female performers! The number of booked female musicians has significantly increased, and in 2023, they are celebrated with not one, but two awe-inspiring, all-female concepts both on the largest and the most vibrant stage! On the first day of the festival, Thursday, July 6, a constellation of today’s brightest techno stars will shine at mts Dance Arena, including Nina Kraviz, Amelie Lens, Indira Paganotto, Tijana T, Vylana, Lanna, and Miju. Then, on Saturday, July 8, Gorki List Main Stage will light up with a tribute to hip-hop featuring Senidah, Mimi Mercedez, Sajsi MC, and Kejt!
While every EXIT Festival is memorable, this one will kick off with an event for the history books, featuring a mix of local and international stars from the electronic music scene on mts Dance Arena. The lineup includes Nina Kraviz, a fan-favorite techno titan. Even though she’s a global superstar, she’s long been more than just a guest at Petrovaradin Fortress – she’s part of the EXIT family. This was demonstrated when she, against all odds, traveled halfway around the world under challenging conditions to take her place at the DJ booth at EXIT’s temple of electronic music.
The fact that women rule the techno scene is no secret, nor is it a secret that Amelie Lens, with her powerful presence and kinetic rhythm, has reshaped this landscape. While 2017 might seem like a distant memory for the Belgian artist, given the active and professionally successful period that followed, she vividly recalls the boost and fan support she received during her first performance in this part of Europe at EXIT’s Sea Dance Festival.
Indira Paganotto has been in high demand in recent years, and she joins this all-female day, further solidifying her status as part of the EXIT family! She recently brought her blend of psychedelia and techno to the fifth-anniversary edition of Sea Star Festival, an occasion that was particularly special for someone else – the youngest member of EXIT Universe, Lanna, who had the opportunity to “close” this Adriatic festival. She is a wunderkind of electronic music with an already impressive resume who deservedly became the first member of EXIT Echocystem, Music & Talent Office. She’s already lived up to the trust placed in her, and her rise is being watched with great anticipation.
Tijana T has been involved with EXIT since its inception and is known for engaging in various aspects of promotion and organization before fully committing to DJing and embarking on a perpetual world tour. Each of her returns is more exciting than the last, as she brings new experiences from the world’s biggest stages.
These ladies, who are, above all, masters of their craft, know that EXIT team and the audience respect them. Thus, this all-female day is not a gimmick but a natural progression of events. While only women may be at the decks of mts Dance Arena on that night, the program will be anything but monotonous. Miju brings a queer electro spectrum of electronic music, while Vylana is sure to enchant with the ethereal spirit of Ada Divine Awakening Festival.
This year, EXIT Festival celebrates the milestone anniversary of a genre that has dramatically transformed over fifty years. Hip-hop can now wear makeup, confidently straddle the line between heels and sweatpants, or don short skirts if it so chooses. The Balkan scene is still evolving, but it is diverse, and it’s clear who stands at its pinnacle. Senidah, with her new album, just demonstrated her versatility across different genres, but she’ll always wear the crown of trap queen. In a short time, she’s become one of the commercially most successful artists in the region, remaining true to her roots in R’n’B and street culture.
Always ready to surprise and often, first and foremost, entertain, Mimi Mercedez is sure to put on a brilliant show. Her witty lyrics quickly made her an unassailable force in the local scene, gaining respect for a “flow” as fresh and authentic as it is rooted in classic rap. Also holding the mic on Saturday, July 8, will be Sajsi MC, who, whether rapping about New Belgrade blocks or female empowerment, has been educating and showing alternatives to several generations! R’n’B will be a great overture to that evening, so the rising star Kejt has been invited. You might know her from the female anthem “Eva,“ which she performs with Sajsi herself, or possibly from her role in the TV series “Folk.”
Since its inception in 2000, EXIT Festival has grown and evolved, and this year it has reached the scale of EXIT Universe, set to take place from July 6 to 9 at Petrovaradin Fortress. Beyond the all-female concept reserved for mts Dance Arena on the first festival day and Gorki List Main Stage on Saturday, July 8, EXIT is bringing, with the support of Gorki List, a lineup featuring The Prodigy, Wu-Tang Clan, Skrillex, Alesso, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Onyx, Epica, Viagra Boys, Sofi Tukker, Eric Prydz, Hot Since 82, Keinemusik, and hundreds of other performers across over 40 festival stages and zones.
Tickets can be found here.
Written by: Vojkan Bećir