EXIT Festival took place last weekend with a reported 180k turnout – but was it an event to be “united as one”, or simply a risk too far?

So last weekend, a huge festival went ahead. Some 180,000 people, it’s been reported, were at the EXIT Festival in Serbia. The dance music press are reporting on the event in much the same way as they always do – in the most uncritical way possible. Heaven forebid they upset someone with a bit of money to spend on an advertising campaign, eh?

Anyway, there’s still a pandemic on. The UK had over 36,000 new cases on Tuesday, for example – and that’ll increase further once England’s reckless relaxation goes ahead next week. Other countries are doing their utmost to keep the virus to minimal levels, but it’s still out there.

For what it’s worth, Mixmag reported that EXIT founder Dusan Kovacevic said “I knew this year’s event was more than just a festival, it was a movement of people, ready to do whatever it takes to keep human connections at the forefront of our existence. The ones that didn’t mind coming despite all uncertainties, cancellations and travel, PCR tests and other obstacles. They felt the same superstrong need we had all this time – a need for us to be together no matter what, united as one by the power of music and life.”.

Yet I cannot help but think a decision to hold a 180k strong event, with lots of international travellers, at this time was pretty irresponsible. Was this an event all about the romantic notion of unity, or was this just a super spreader event dressed up as a festival?

I should find out in the next two weeks roughly whether my belief was right or wrong on this one…