These values are deeply woven into the core of the EXIT Festival and EXIT Foundation. Aside from the many projects that the foundation works on throughout the year, various socially responsible activities will be presented at the festival from 7th to 10th July. Some of them have been seen at the Petrovaradin Fortress for the last several years, some will be presented for the first time, and most of them share the crucial topic of mental health, which is the focus of this year’s edition of the EXIT Festival.
OPENS State of EXIT Zone
The OPENS State of EXIT Zone is one of the most frequented locations at the festival and a kind of “small fair of non-governmental organisations” at the heart of the Fortress. This year, at the OPENS State of EXIT zone, there will be more than 20 civil sector organisations from the entire region, whose programmes draw attention primarily to the importance of mental health through interactive and creative content, while promoting togetherness and other relevant topics to young people. The motto of this year’s EXIT – “Together. Always!“ says that the EXIT community is connected through good energy, acceptance of diversity, tolerance, love, understanding, and music, and the goal is for the OPENS State of EXIT zone to present these values by showcasing the local and regional non-governmental sector, especially emphasising the importance of the mental health of young people and the support they should receive from all parts of society.
Mental Health messages all over the festival
“Compassion will save the world“, “Understanding is an act of love“, “Be gentle with yourself“, “Whatever the question, love is the answer“, and “Be considerate to yourself and others“ are just a few of the messages that will be presented at the mini-exhibition throughout the Petrovaradin Fortress, and which EXIT will use to remind festival visitors that they are in a place ruled by tolerance, love, and peace. Following the overarching theme of this year’s edition, the exhibition will be another way to show visitors the importance of togetherness and the preservation of mental health.
Aside from all of the above, it is worth mentioning that, in addition to the fact that the EXIT organisation has worked to promote the importance of youth mental health for years, several psychotherapists are on duty in the organisation’s team during the festival days, there to help anyone through challenging moments.
Cooperation with Centar Srce (Heart Centre) to provide visitors with professional psychological support
Over the last few years, many people have suffered from anxiety, depression, loneliness, and other similar difficulties, and the crucial topic of mental health has gained even more importance. Because of this, but also in the name of long-term cooperation with Centar Srce, psychological support for visitors will be offered in several locations this year — in the EXIT camp, at Foodland, and in the OPENS State of EXIT zone of the festival. The goal is to provide festival visitors with a place to rest, a confidential conversation, and assistance in any urgent mental-health-related issue.
World Music Balkans (WOMBA) conference and showcase
World Music Balkans (WOMBA), a new music platform created by the EXIT Foundation, will be premiered at the eponymous conference and showcase event. The three-day WOMBA conference will gather more than 100 delegates from the music industry on various panels from 8th to 10th July, while the ten winners of the MOST music competition from six countries in the region will perform as part of the showcase on Exit’s Pachamama stage – Almir Mešković and Daniel Lazar Duo, Divanhana, Naked, Oranitza, Dina e Mel, Flying Nomads, Lenhart Tapes and Tijana Stanković, Perija, Shkodra Elektronike and E.U.E.R.P.I.
The platform was created within the project “MOST – The Bridge for Balkan Music“, supported by the Creative Europe Programme. The EXIT Foundation, along with Hangvető, Piranha Arts, Songlines, and six other partners from Europe, is an important partner of the MOST music project, with which it builds bridges connecting the Balkans with the global music market, focusing on authentic Balkan traditional music fused with other musical genres and subgenres, through the creation of connections, experiences and exchange spaces. The platform is also supported by the Foundation “Novi Sad – Evropska prestonica kulture“ (“Novi Sad — European Capital of Culture”) within the “Tvrđava mira“ (“Fortress of Peace”) programme and the City of Novi Sad – Council in charge for Culture.
Performances by the HEMI Music Awards finalists
At this year’s EXIT Festival, the audience will have a chance to see and hear the performances of some of the finalists of this year’s HEMI Music Awards at the Visa Fusion Stage – ZULU 3.4 (North Macedonia), ZIMBRU (Romania) and KOIKOI (Serbia) – while semi-finalists, band Vizelj (Serbia), will perform as guests.
HEMI Music Awards (HMA) is a programme co-funded by Creative Europe, intended for talented artists who want to grow an international career and reach new markets and audiences. HMA is organised by the Hub for the Exchange of Music Innovation (HEMI), a European initiative aimed at supporting artists and people employed in the music industry from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, North Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia. More information is available at hemimusichub.com.
“Stars for kids“ Campaign
The EXIT Foundation will continue its traditional campaign of collecting merch and other items from performers for humanitarian purposes, called “Stars for kids“. Some of the most prominent participants and donors have included David Guetta, Skrillex, Motorhead and Killers, and they will be joined by this year’s EXIT Festival headliners.
This year, in addition to long-term partners Heineken and Ekostar Pak, with the message “Plastic can be collected responsibly,” Green EXIT is joined by Ball Packaging and Recan Foundation with the platform “Every can counts.” Three recycling stations will be set up at the EXIT festival: near the Academy, in the Chill zone (near the No Sleep Novi Sad stage) and in the Explosive pit. Also, rewards are planned to motivate visitors to bring discarded glasses, cans, and packaging.
The Recan Foundation will participate in the EXIT Festival, partnering with Heineken Serbia, with its famous Pixelata, Lotus, recycling backpacks for can collection and the latest activation, a digital system for counting collected cans that will be donated.
The foundation, dedicated to promoting can recycling and education on the importance of environmental protection for years, will continue its mission in an innovative and creative way. A special surprise from the Recan Foundation and the EXIT Foundation awaits visitors to the VIP and VIP Gold sections at the Main Stage — draft beer will be served in a limited number of aluminium glasses which are nearly 100% recyclable and a true representation of circular packaging — the latest trend in America, which is also beginning to find its way into Europe.
Take a train to EXIT!
In cooperation with Srbija Voz, from 7th to 11th July, special departure times will be introduced on the Belgrade-Novi Sad train line, with a 5% discount! In addition to the 30+ regular daily departures, available to passengers from 5:30 a.m. to 11: p.m., special departures will be available to festival-goers, from Belgrade to Novi Sad at 11:00 p.m., 12:00 a.m., and 1:00 a.m. from the Belgrade Central Station, and from Novi Sad to Belgrade at 1:30 a.m., 2:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m., and 4:30 a.m.
All trains will stop at the Petrovaradin railway station, near the fortress, as well as the stations in Novi Beograd, Zemun, Batajnica, Nova Pazova, Stara Pazova, Inđija, Beška, Sremski Karlovci and Novi Sad, making it possible for all visitors from these locations to get to and from the festival by train.