Serbia Gets Dance Fest

Belgrade has a new hardcore dance fest that will debut at the city’s Kalemegdan fortress Sept. 15.

Warriors’ Dance Festival is being co-produced by Exit Festival international booker Ivan Milivojev and John Fairs, manager of UK electro dance stars The Prodigy, an act with a special affinity for Belgrade.

In 1995, it was the first international act to visit Belgrade as the Balkan wars drew to a close, prompting the local authority to afford the band the honour of “the freedom of the city.”

Ten years after its groundbreaking show in 1995, The Prodigy returned to Belgrade and pulled a crowd of 9,000.

Its popularity in Serbia was three times as strong as in such neighbouring countries as Croatia and Macedonia. In Zagreb and Skopje, there were 3,000 at each show.

In 2007 its appearance at Exit Festival went down so well that the crowd voted The Prodigy its No. 1 choice to play the festival’s anniversary bash in 2009.

Milivojev, who also heads Novi Sad-based promotion company AAA, along with some of his Exit colleagues, Fairs and The Prodigy have been planning the new festival for a couple of years and have set up a new Serbian company to see it through.

The Kalemegdan fortress site, which will be configured for 25,000, is on the confluence of the River Sava and the River Danube. In 1979 the area was designated a Monument of Culture of Exceptional Importance.

The other acts already confirmed include Skrillex, Ritam Nereda, Lollobrigida, and Petrol, plus a lineup of DJs representing the width of the dance genre.