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Radio 1's Last Exit To Serbia

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Saturday, January 29, 2005
Britain's top music station Radio 1 confirmed this week that they're teaming up with Serbia's Exit Festival, broadcasting live from the Novi Sad event this July.

Exit's International Director Paxton Talbot told Skrufff he's delighted about the link-up, declaring "we feel very privileged to be working with Radio 1 and are looking forward to having them out as our very special guests."

The presence of Radio 1 at the four night music festival is likely to boost both Exit's and Serbia's international profile dramatically, contrasting sharply with the economic and cultural isolation the former Yugoslavian country suffered from, following the wars that swept across the Balkans in the 90s.

As recently as 1999, NATO cruise missiles destroyed the bridges linking Novi Sad with the old fortress town where almost all the sound stages are set, though five years on (most of) the bridges have been repaired and the Serbian nationalist administration of the time well and truly ousted.

"The BBC was one of the only stations being picked up during the Milosevic regime, albeit through the underground student network and internet, so there has been an affiliation there for a while now," Paxton continued.

"Because of politicians, people in Serbia been stuck on the sidelines of Europe for such a long time that they'll hardly believe the BBC is coming out there. When they realise it's actually happening there's going to be one hell of a party," he predicted.

"We're looking forward to delivering a series of unique quality shows that will capture the energy and warmth of the event and its audience, featuring Radio One favourites along side pioneers, superstar DJs and emerging talent," he added.

(Serbia's State Of Exit 04: "What makes Exit so important is the fact that there's nothing else substantial in Serbia that challenges the past or offers local people a viable reason to think things could be better. When the artists visit they love it because it's a great gig though most don't even realise that they're helping to make history . . .")