Exit Not For Sale

The Exit Web site defiantly boasts that the Serbian festival is not for sale, and it’s looking odds-on that this year’s event will be run by the same team that has built it up to be among the most highly regarded in the Balkan region.

The events of the last month have meant there have been times when Exit hasn’t been looking "toward a brighter future," as one U.K. trade magazine recently reported, but staring down the barrel of a gun.

After Novi Sad District Court (Okruzni sud Novi Sad) judge Vera Krstin told both sides of an argument about the ownership of the event to go away for a week and try to sort it out for themselves, current festival chiefs and Exit founders Bojan Boskovic and Ivan Milivojev have reached an agreement with Dusan Kovacevic – another Exit founder – that should ensure this year’s event will go ahead as advertised.

There are no details of the wording of the agreement, which was expected to be signed the week ending February 16th. But it’s understood that both sides will be involved in the decision-making processes, and will turn to arbitration rather than revert to legal action in the event of any disagreements.

Both sides have also agreed not to make any public statement until the agreement has been hammered out and signed.

At least for a while, the deal looks to have scuppered Belgrade promoter Maxa Catvoic’s bid to buy the event for 5 percent of total income per year – guaranteed to be no lower than euro 200,000 – over a five-year period.

Kovacevic was said to be in favour of that deal but Boskovic and Milivojev are set against it. They argue that Exit, which was founded in 2000 to celebrate the end of Slobodan Milosevic’s political regime, has grown out of the Serbian youths need to live, work and have as much fun as other youths anywhere in the world.

They contend that any attempt to make it a purely commercial event would be a betrayal of the audience and all people who’ve worked on it for seven years.