Exit Festival Day 3 Grandmaster Flash

Day three sees us properly settling into the relaxed festival/holiday vibe as we rise late, once again have a “food surprise” for breakfast and then spend a large part of the afternoon playing cards and listening to Spotify. (Our apartment is helpfully equipped with both a computer and high-speed internet.) If there’s a better invention than Spotify, I’d like to know – we spend hours of our time in Novi Sad listening to carefully crafted playlists featuring some of the best music of the last few decades (courtesy of my friends) and chart pop music mixed in with a bit of hair metal (courtesy of me).

Late in the afternoon, we decide to do something a little more productive and take a walk up to the bus and train stations in Novi Sad (which are next to each other) to book tickets for our onward journeys on Monday. The walk takes us about 20-25 minutes from our flat and in true holiday mode, we decide to break it up by stopping for ice cream, cake and coffee at a café.

Four bus tickets to Zagreb from a friendly lady at the ticket office later (plus one train ticket to Budapest for one of our group – I know now that the Serbian for train is “voz” as opposed to “vlak” in Croatian) we make the walk back home. It’s that time of the day where we decide dinner is appropriate, so head to a pizza place – Caribic Pizzeria (Maksima Gorkog) – also recommended in our little Novi Sad guide.

Exit Festival Day 3
Pizza for everyone!

Judging by the number of people turning up to collect giant pizza boxes throughout our dinner, it’s one of Novi Sad’s favourite pizza joints. We feast on three huge pizzas – one vegetarian, one with kulen (spicy salami) and one with prsut (prosciutto) – and then even have enough left over to take home with us, which the waiter helpfully packages up for us.

Now, day three of the Exit Festival was a huge night for us – probably the best out of the four. We turn up just at the tail-end of Patti Smith’s set; much like Korn I don’t really know many of her songs, so she doesn’t really hold too much interest for me. Next on the Main Stage were Kraftwerk, which we all decide we only have a vague interest in, and at this point it might be better to try another one of the stages!

We decide to head to the Fusion Stage and catch a full set from a Finnish all-girl group called The Stalingrad Cowgirls who are very…spirited. But very fun indeed!

The Stalingrad Cowgirls, Exit Festival 2009
The Stalingrad Cowgirls on the Fusion Stage, 11th July 2009 – together with person with giant hat (on left)

As we make our way towards the Main Stage area after their set, we stumble across something magical. So magical that there’s queues to get in, and it’s the only event at the Exit Festival where burly security guards are on hand to control the crowds of people.

What was it? It’s Silent Disco.You’ve probably heard of the idea; it’s essentially a disco where instead of normal speakers, everyone wears headphones to listen to what the DJ is playing. What you’re left with is a large group of people in a silent room, singing along and cheering to what sounds like nothing. Absolutely masses of fun, though the real highlight was the DJ himself – a not too young chap called DJ OD. His comical ramblings of how his girlfriend had just left and that next time, he’d get a Serbian girl for sure kept us amused.

But a funny Dutch DJ wasn’t a match for what was to happen on the main stage. We hot-footed it there for the next act, only to be met with what seemed like every other Exit Festival-er (I later read 45,000 were there that night) to see Moby. Now, say what you will about him, you can’t have escaped to notice his songs – after all, they’ve been used in practically every single advert, Leonardo Di Caprio movie and Formula 1 programme since the turn of the century. Well, nearly. An excellent set, he really got the crowd going ever so slightly mental.

Moby, Exit Festival 2009
Moby under the moonlight, 11th July 2009

But then came what was without doubt our personal highlight of the festival: the legendary Grandmaster Flash, performing a 2-hour set (probably the longest we saw anyone do at the Festival) starting at 2am. For a 50-something-year-old to have so much more energy than the audience that was mostly made up of 20-somethings is pretty impressive.

Grandmaster Flash, Exit Festival 2009
Grandmaster Flash gets the crowd going, 11th July 2009

And I think the Grandmaster nearly broke us; all that whooping, cheering and hollering and jumping up and down left us with sore throats and dodgy knees. And this time, we really did go home as the sun was coming up.

Next: Exit Festival Day 4