In the past few years, all capacities of the EXIT Festival have been put in the function of a unique goal – the protection of the planet and all life on it! Our commitment to nature takes place through systematic work with stakeholders, who recognise this idea and mission as crucial, both for the EXIT Green Festival (Green EXIT) and for life on Earth. For this year’s EXIT Festival, the EXIT Foundation, in cooperation with other organizations, has had several environmental campaigns and actions.
Recycle and win
EXIT Foundation, HEINEKEN Serbia and Ekostar Pak at the EXIT Festival 2021 presented a unique eco action Go Green & Enjoy EXIT 2.0 Responsibly, within which visitors had the opportunity to contribute to a greener Festival and raise environmental awareness.
Namely, during all four days of the Festival, visitors who collected seven or 15 plastic cups, cans or PET bottles, received interesting gifts or free Heineken beer, as a reward for caring for the environment and promoting recycling. For this occasion, two recycling stations were set up: in the area between the Main Stage and the Dance Arena, and in the State of Exit zone. After each Festival night, the recycling company Ekostar, on the other hand, made sure that the collected recycling waste was recycled into new cans or new products.
This interesting action in which visitors contribute to the recycling process has been organised for the first time at a large festival in our country, following the example of the practice that already exists at some large and socially responsible festivals in Europe.
Clear ecological profile
In cooperation with the Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, the EXIT Foundation used last year, the year of the pandemic, to consult on possible sustainable models for action and business, which would gradually contribute to the reduction of environmental footprint.
We are aware that it is necessary to start gradually with setting standards for the well-being of the environment in which everyone will be involved – from contractors, artists, employees, hired staff, volunteers, all the way to the subcontractors and suppliers.
This year we kindly invited Foodland suppliers and subcontractors to join the action, so 15 subcontractors before the festival signed a statement that they will use some of the environmental solutions in their services during the EXIT festival 2021, aiming to assist GREEN EXIT .
On the first day of the Festival, after visit of the three-member jury consisting of representatives of the EU Delegation to Serbia, Brooks Hannas & Partners and the EXIT Foundation, 15 recommendations were assigned for clear environmental profile during EXIT 2021. Certificates will be awarded.
Certificate winners are: VEGEBAR, AGI PASTA, FOODZILLA, GRILLHAUSNO 51, KAFFE KA KA, MOSKVA K.K, MALI LEO (UR CACTUS CLUB), PILOT S, FRUŠKI JAZAČKI SIREVI, VEGAPČIĆ (ŽIVI 100), ZLATNI BANAT, BATO PEK, LANIN ŠMINKERAJ, MINI PANI and JUICE STORE.
Choose The Green EXIT
In agreement with Public Utility Company Čistoća Novi Sad, during the Festival, 30 blue recycling containers were set up in the busiest places at the Petrovaradin Fortress.
Performances of the winners of the HEMI music awards at EXIT
At this year’s EXIT Festival, the audience at the Fusion Stage had the opportunity to see the performances of the winners of this year’s HEMI Music Awards – Greek alternative rock band Deaf Radio (10.7) and Slovenian disco-punk band Koala Voice (11.7), and the semi-finalist of this competition, Serbian band Dogs in Kavala (9.7).
The winning bands were chosen after six exceptional months of cooperation, meetings and gatherings, six workshops, nine amazing exhibition events and 49 successful mentoring sessions within the HEMI project, in whose work the EXIT Foundation also participated. An international jury of 27 members was in charge of selecting the winner of the competition.
HEMI Music Awards (HMA) The HEMI Music Awards (HMA) is a program co-funded by Creative Europe for talented artists who want to develop an international career, and whose goal is to reach new markets and new audiences. The HMA is organizing the Hub for the Exchange of Music Innovation (HEMI), a European initiative aimed at supporting artists and people employed in the music industry from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Northern Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Serbia and Slovenia. More info at: hemimusichub.com
STATE OF EXIT ZONA
For the third year in a row, the Recan Foundation participated in the EXIT Festival, with the already famous Pixelata and recycling backpacks for can collection. This time as well, the Foundation, which has been dedicated to the promotion of can recycling and education on the importance of environmental protection for years, has continued its mission in an innovative and creative way.
“This year’s Pixelata was designed in accordance with the Exit Foundation’s slogan ‘Celebrate Life’. Pixelata is a wall made of over 2,000 used cans, six meters long and two meters high, and the used cans will be reused again to make a new work of art, a mural. All festival visitors were able to bring their used cans for Pixelata and, in a conversation with representatives of the Recan Foundation, learn more about the recycling of beverage cans and why the can is the best packaging. The bravest had the opportunity to “get their hands dirty”, and draw the Pixelata with our graffiti artists “, said Nemanja Marjanović on behalf of the Recan Foundation.
He added that Pixelata is a unique blend of art and recycling, and that it represents a remarkable work of art in the creation in which we can all participate. The visitors of the Festival have reacted marvellously in the previous years as well, and so far they have created several murals, which at the same time have delighted the audience, but also spread awareness about the importance of recycling.
A special attraction at this year’s EXIT Festival were Recan Foundation volunteers who patrolled with recycling backpacks on their backs, collecting cans. The backpacks were easily noticeable, conspicuous and branded, so that all the guests of the Festival could put empty cans in them. The cans will be recycled and will be back on store shelves again in just over a month!
The Recan Foundation for the beverage cans recycling was founded in 2005 by the “Ball Beverage Packaging Europe” can factory, as a non-profit organisation. The “Every can counts” programme is a partnership between producers of cans, beverages, the recycling industry and environmental organisations, who know how important can recycling is, and want to encourage people to recycle.
The Green Chair work group represents a synergy of seven organisations that are committed to the preservation and improvement of nature on the territory of Novi Sad. The environmental focus and green initiative is the guiding principle of the member organisations and young people who are the driving force of this mechanism. At this year’s EXIT we celebrated life, and with life also the nature! “Sit down and take the responsibility” was the name of their EXIT story!
The responsibility for nature conservation is in the hands of each individual, and that is what the Green Chair work group wants to show. In the “Green book”, which was available to all visitors during the Festival, visitors could share their visions of nature in Novi Sad, say what they want to change, share examples of good practice from countries and cities around the world, and thus participate in the fight for an even more beautiful, greener and preserved city.
This year, in the State of Exit zone, in addition to the recycling station, Pixelata and “Green Chair”, visitors could take part in the OPENS2019 activations and in the UNICEF U-report for young people. They also had the opportunity to hang out with the Young Europeans Ambassador – a group of successful young influencers from the Western Balkans who will promote European future and unity of the youth in the Western Balkans.
Promotion of responsible consumption: Heineken
In addition to recycling stations, the Festival traditionally included a zone dedicated to the promotion of responsible consumption, within which visitors could participate in activities related to this topic, this being of special significance for the company HEINEKEN Serbia.
UNICEF representatives at the EXIT Festival were volunteers (six of them), who promoted the U-Report platform, informed young people about its importance, adequately shared the knowledge and results collected, empowering young people to join the U-Report community.
Their activities were primarily based on conversations with the Festival audience, where they provided them with adequate information about the platform and mobilised them to become U-Reporters. Two volunteers performed these activities at the promo desk, two through a direct conversation with passers-by, and the other two volunteers through a quiz that the participants were filling in on a tablet. All those who became U-Reporters and successfully completed the quiz received promotional material from the volunteers (T-shirts, bandanas, USB bracelets, UNICEF bracelets).
All visitors of the EXIT Festival had the opportunity to visit the OPENS zone, try out interesting promotional campaigns, and get acquainted with the programmes and activities through conversations with OPENS ambassadors. In addition to educational and fun content, visitors could also relax in the chill corner.
OPENS ZONE aims to promote OPENS activities and programmes to all visitors of the Exit Festival. In addition to the promotion, the work on the OPENS zone includes the realisation of relocated work with young people, targeting those who do not have the opportunity to take part in everyday activities that are conducted in Novi Sad.
The following programmes were located in the OPENS zone:
- “VR” glasses
The game itself is of an interactive fun character, where through a previous discussion with volunteers, a person must spot what OPENS symbols are, find them and hear what they represent.
Photographing in the OPENS photo booth is a quick promotional activation, which animates a large number of young people in a short period of time. Young people could take their own photos and collect the photos with OPENS design.
- Two online tablet apps
a) Online evaluation where participants can evaluate their satisfaction with participation in the OPENS camper zone.
b) Online list of participants on the tablet, where participants could leave their basic data if they wanted to receive information about future OPENS programmes by e-mail, whereas at the same time indicators (gender, age, occupation of participants) would be collected through the application.
Young European Ambassadors
The Young European Ambassadors Network, made up of 60 young people from across the Western Balkans, presented itself this summer to young visitors from around the country and the world as part of the EXIT Festival, at the NGO Free Zone.
A special part of the programme dedicated to young people, OPENS Ambassadors and Young European Ambassadors were held on July 7 in front of the Youth Centre in the Chinatown. Then they presented their activities and sent a message about the importance of youth participation in society, through activism, creativity, cultural dialogue and cooperation. Representatives of the EU Delegation to Serbia, the City of Novi Sad and the EXIT Foundation also attended the presentation of these two important youth networks.
A creative walk “treasure hunt” through Novi Sad was organised, in which the participants could get better acquainted with the Capital of culture and connect through creativity and socialising.
The youth programme within the YEA Free Zone Stage included interesting content and topics for young people such as “The Future of Europe”, media literacy, youth and cultural dialogue, ecology, all done through discussions, communication via social networks, socializing and video recording. The Young European Ambassadors Network is part of the WeBalkans project of the Regional Communication Strategy for the Western Balkans, implemented by the European Commission.
Youth vaccination campaign
The campaign for the promotion of youth vaccination continued at the Festival itself. The United Festivals of Serbia, including EXIT, Lovefest, Beerfest and Arsenal, launched a vaccination campaign in May that focused on young people, the part of the population that has suffered the most in the past more than a year when it comes to bans on gatherings, socialising, holding concerts, festivals and parties. The campaign was supported by the Government of Serbia, the Cities of Belgrade and Novi Sad.
The campaign works in two directions: “I will no longer dance alone”, which is aimed at everyone who misses concerts and festivals, and “Does anyone have a better idea?”, intended for those who are not sure that vaccination is the best way out of pandemic crisis. What both directions have in common is the slogan “Vaccine is the only way to be together again”. The goal is to motivate young people to get vaccinated, protect their own health and the health of the people around them, but also give their contribution to the return to normal life as soon as possible.