Summer music festival EXIT, one of the top ten music festivals in Europe and an award-winner which is held at the Petrovaradin Fortress in the city of Novi Sad, Serbia, will have a Croatian version next year. Held in Umag on May 26 and 27, Sea Star, Croatia’s EXIT Festival, has already confirmed The Prodigy, Urban & 4, and Kolektiv for the 2017 lineup.
The Croatian edition of the award-winning festival, which since 2000 has been held at the Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad, was announced on Wednesday in Zagreb by Director of EXIT Festival Dusan Kovacevic, reports Jutarnji List on 14 December 2016.
Kovacevic pointed out that this is a festival that is different from other big European festivals since it originated as a movement against the then regime of Slobodan Milosevic – it was the movement for freedom and democracy in Serbia. “Today the festival celebrates its social mission of reconciliation, communication and tolerance,” Kovacevic said, adding that the Umag festival will also hold these values.
The expansion of the festival network in Croatia is part of the regional connectivity which EXIT began in 2014 with Sea Dance Festival in Budva, and in 2015 with Revolution Festival in the Romanian city of Timisoara.
Festival tourism is one of the main branches of global tourism, said Kovacevic, including that EXIT Novi Sad each year brings approximately 15 million euros, and so far so the local economy has “invested” more than 150 million euros, while the Montenegrin economy “poured in” around 20 million euros for the Sea Dance festival after first year.
“The promotional effects are even more and more. CNN estimated that at the annual level the value of EXIT is higher than $ 70 million dollars,” he added.
Musician Damir Urban of Urban & 4 who opens the festival program in Umag, has said that the value of this event goes far beyond music. At EXIT, Urban has already performed seven or eight times, and has said that “over the years, these EXIT values become our mission. Music can do a lot more than you think, the music is not the only fun.”
Priceless tourist event
The Sea Star festival is the result of cooperation between EXIT’s team, the city of Umag, and the Istraturist company in the field of creative industries and festival tourism, which, as noted Istrian mayor Valter Flego, continues the already existing strong economic and cultural ties that Vojvodina and Istria cherished for decades.
He noted that the region is the “most touristic” region in Croatia, where it generates about 30 percent of the total tourist traffic. “The importance of tourism for our county is clear. We want the tourist offer from one year to build and I think that EXIT festival is a great event, and a great motive for the arrival of guests in Umag in the preseason,” said Flego, adding that he believes the festival will be a long-term sustainable project that will grow from year to year.
6 stages, more than 70 artists
The festival will take place on 26 and 27 May 2017, and the organizers have announced two other days of the program – 25 and May 28 – conceived as a sort of “warm-up” and “after party”.
The central festival program will have six stages to host more than 70 artists, some of which are so far confirmed like Urban & 4, and The Prodigy and Kolektiv as headliners for the first day.
The summer music festival EXIT is a multiple winner of European and UK Festival Awards. EXIT has won the best European festival, as well as the most prestigious European tourism award “The Best European Destinations” (2016).
The strongest international media regularly ranks EXIT among the world’s top, and this year EXIT was named one of the world’s best festivals in the opinion of international media such as CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian, Vogue, The Daily Mail, Ministry of Sound and others. EXIT, in the eighth consecutive year, was voted among the top ten best festivals in Europe and was also voted best major festival, the main category of the prestigious European Festival Awards.
As 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love in 1967”, both festivals will be dedicated to the celebration of this important milestone in world history when the San Francisco hippie revolution forever changed the world in the struggle for peace, freedom of speech, human rights, and social, racial and gender equality.
The next release of EXIT will take place in Novi Sad from 6 to 9 July 2017, and Sea Star festival will mark the beginning of the Umag summer season in 2017.