One of Europe's biggest music festivals set to go ahead in August despite pandemic fears

Exit Festival 2017 (Photo: Getty images)
Exit Festival 2017 (Photo: Getty images)

Serbian officials have said one of Europe's biggest music events, the Exit Festival, can go ahead in late August because they expect the coronavirus to be under control by then.

Originally scheduled for mid-July in the northern city of Novi Sad with headliners including David Guetta, Tyga and Fatboy Slim, the fate of the festival has been up in the air ever since the pandemic took hold.

But with Serbia emerging from lockdown without suffering a major virus outbreak, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has recommended the event - which attracted 200 000 people last year - could take place in August.

"We expect the (health) situation to be completely calm by August," Brnabic said Thursday.

The organisers welcomed the "excellent news" and said there could be changes to the format of the event, whose exact dates are still not confirmed.

"If necessary, we are ready to substantially reduce the number of visitors and limit ourselves to the local and regional public," they said in a statement.

The festival, now in its 20th year, was born out of the student movement that opposed former leader Slobodan Milosevic, who was overthrown in 2000 by mass protests.

Past guests have included music royalty such as The Cure, Beastie Boys, former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant, Manu Chao and Wu-Tang Clan.