Exit – symbol of victory over the pandemic or unwise move?

The 20th Exit Festival in Novi Sad ended at dawn on Monday.

The first major music event in Europe since the start of the pandemic took place under specific conditions and with entry restrictions. The festival organisers claim that thanks to checks that were carried out, there was no risk of the virus spreading. If this is indeed the case, it remains to be seen the statistical data in 7 days that will show whether the number of infected has increased.

Europe has not seen such scenes for almost a year and a half. At the Petrovaradin fortress, the first major music festival in Europe since the start of the pandemic was held. Around 300 artists performed on 20 stages, and for most of them, the performance at the Exit was the first after a long break.

“It’s great that the festival is back. We remembered what it was like almost 20 years ago, and the kind of energy that was present back then. It’s time to come back and relive it,” said DJ Ronnie Size.

After a long break, these were the first concerts open to the public, and EXIT-goers came from more than 70 countries. “We have been waiting for this for a long time, for almost a year and a half, and after all, we are now free to enjoy the festival,” Altun from Azerbaijan told the N1 TV.

When asked whether he was scared of the coronavirus, Exit-goer Erhon from Cyprus said: “No, I am vaccinated, I received both doses. If you get the virus then you are out of luck.”

“No masks, no pandemic, no coronavirus,” Altun added.

In four days, 180,000 people officially went through the festival gates. In order to buy a ticket, they had to have a green digital certificate, i.e. a certificate that they had been vaccinated or had already had the virus and recovered. For everyone else, Exit provided free rapid antigen tests.

“In the coming days, we will have official information on how many people were vaccinated, how many people had the green certificate and how many people were tested in the laboratories and at the grounds of Novi Sad Fair. It is worth mentioning that of 14,000 people who got tested at the Novi Sad Fair, less than 10 tested were positive to the coronavirus,” said Milica Dragomirović, PR executive of Exit.

Is Exit a symbol of victory over the pandemic or, on the contrary, an opportunity for the pandemic to break out again? The organisers explain that the procedures applied were based on scientific research that had been carried out throughout Europe in recent months.

“We think that the direction we have taken with this whole organisation will become a case study for the festival industry,” says Sanjin Đukić from Exit.

Dozens of music festivals in Europe will take place in July, August and September. Dozens, however, have been cancelled due to the virus scare. Some of the biggest ones have been moved to 2022, such as Szigetfest in Hungary and Tomorrowland in Belgium.

(N1, 12.07.2021)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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