As for me, this is my first EXIT festival. Yes, I'm an 21-year-old EXIT virgin.
You hear a lot of things about manifestations like these: the boose, the drugs and the sheer stupidity of some of the people frequenting them. What can I say, it's all true up to a point. Every gathering like it knows the same problem. But I'm not here to talk about that. No, I'm here to talk about the MUSIC.
But first things first. How did poor little innocent me end up in a place like this? That is easy - I didn't tell my parents when I signed up to be a volunteer at the festival. OK, it wasn't all that bad. I didn't tell them at first because I didn't know if my application would get through, and then again if my interview was successful. Basically, it was up until three weeks to its beginning that I was in the dark and thus so were they. It REALLY was a surprise for them! There were words, warnings and then encouragements about my decision, but they took it pretty well regardless. It wasn't any help that I applied to work at the bar i.e. the root of all alcoholic evil. How will you deal with the drunkards and junkies? What if there is violence? These were the questions that dogged my every step if not by my parents' words than definitely by their looks and expression. There was comfort in the knowledge that I would be staying at a family friend as opposed to the EXIT village were visitors from out of town - and from out of country - could get a camping space if they don't have lodgings at a house or hotel. And so everything was set for my arrival at Novi Sad.
Everything was a revelation - duh, it was my first time - and I probably went around looking like a wide-eyed little girl at Christmas whose parents took her to the toy store and told her that she could get whatever she wants. Before my shift started at 11PM - yes, I was second shift - me and my new-foud friend Milica went tho see Skindread, who has a great mix of metal, punk and reggae, and The Gossip, with its soul and punk concoction, were a great beginning to my night. You've all probably heard about The Gossip, but probably - if not definitely - about Skindred. Here's a sample (one of my favourites):
And before the last song the singer asked us to take off our shirts or something else from our body and hold it above our heads. There we were, Milica and I, suddenly in a crowd of bare-chested guys, and even some shirtless girls (BUT with bathing suits underneath)! We both looked at each other and took from our bags our volunteer shirts and raised them surreptitiously in the air. And then the music started playing and we started jumping and waving our shirts round and round singing - or better yet shouting - along. It was ridiculous. It was funny. It was fun. It was AWESOME!
The rest of the night - and some part of the morning - was spent in the bar behind the counter. While we (the girls) were taking orders and giving the drinks to the customers, the guys were pouring beer and handing us whatever was needed. We started our work during rush hour when the most popular bands - and the most visited - were playing. That was the end of The Gossip's performance and the entire 2 hours Duran Duran were on stage. We had a great spot for viewing the show from our vantage point and were near the speekers so we heard everything loud and clear. Next were Sub Focus & MC ID:
They were FANTASTIC! I'll definitely be following their careers! At the time when our energy was wavering they were the best cure. We were dancing and singing and working and basically having a good time. MistaJam was last in the lineup and was the only thing keeping us on our feet when morning broke. Everything was over at about 6 AM but we wrapped up at something close to 6.45 AM and went our separate ways along with the last of the festival visitors. I went by bus but the last leg of the journey was on foot. I am the first one to admit that it wasn't graceful. Even more, I walked like an old lady - all weak in the knees and slow. But, I somehow managed to go home, and after a quick face-wash I was comatose as soon as my head hit the pillow.
As I am writing this the clock tells me that I have 45 more minutes until I leave for the festival. Milica and I are going a little earlier to see some other stages before work. Stand by for more about my time at the EXIT festival after my loooong sleep tomorrow:)