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10 unforgettable sets from the history of EXIT festival

What began as a student protest against an authoritarian government in 2000 is now one of Europe's festival crown jewels, welcoming almost 200,000 people each year. July is calling already, so we run through some of the finest electronic moments from this storied history...

Where do you start with Exit Festival? From its rawer, more intimate early years through to today's monumental offering, this award-winning gathering has always been about free expression, experimentalism and activism. Not to mention incredibly good tunes. 

2019 is set to be no different, with the dedicated Dance Arena and round-the-clock No Sleep Novi Sad stage— which last year spawned a festival of its own— just two of the highlights, with the likes of Jeff Mills, Solomun, Maceo Plex and techno's reluctant superstar Paul Kalkbrenner due to grace the hallowed ground, to name but a few. Inspired by how good it's going to be, we put our heads and this list together to celebrate some of the best DJ and live sets from previous instalments, so dive in and we'll see you in the colossal 18th Century Petrovaradin Fortress, on the banks of the Danube, in July. 

Eric Prydz b2b Adam Beyer - 2009 

A meeting of two guys now renowned for their combined impact, Beyer's driving, hook-fuelled Drumcode techno stylings and the epic sounds Prydz made a name for himself with create a genuinely powerful score that sounds totally fresh ten years on.

Carl Craig - 2018

Blinding strobes and hypnotic visuals were just two of the reasons people lost their shit in the dark to this Detroit third waver. A lesson in how to play full-throttle machine music that still has soul, it's exemplary of EXIT's ferocious post-sundown vibes. 

Anastasia Kristensen - 2018

A landmark set from a DJ Mag favourite and our May 2019 UK cover star. Kristensen, as we learned in our in-depth interview, was moments away from taking the stage at last year's EXIT festival when she recieved a phone call informing her that her father had died. Faced with the tough decision to either cancel her set or play through the shock, Kristensen chose the latter and delivered a thunderous and cathartic set of immense techno, electro and breaks, marking one of the festival's truly unforgettable sets.  

Solomun - 2018

The Diynamic label boss brings his +1 concept to EXIT in 2019. Last year he showed what he's about on a solo tip, delivering one of his melodic tech masterpieces to a captivated daytime crowd. 

Tale of Us - 2018 

From Bjork's 'Hidden Place' to the incredible Moscoman remix of 'Greece 2000', the combination of melancholic harmonies and heavy lows ends that run through everything After Life maestros Tale of Us touch were a perfect match for EXIT's dramatic setting. 

Tijana T - 2017 

A Serbian legend dropping all sorts of acid-fuelled solid onto a home crowd after dark. Two years ago Tijana T proved that even when the crowds are as big as EXIT's she still makes real connections with every head in the place. 

Hot Since 82 - 2017

Always guaranteed to get the party started, the bump and bang of the beats tech house big gun Hot Since 82 dropped sounded ideal beneath the warm rays of the summer sun, as the reactions here go to show.

Booka Shade - 2017 

Heavy on percussion, pop hooks and unifying vibes, live dance dons Book Shade were always going to make a huge impression on the EXIT crowd, moving between euphoria-tinged melodies and heads-y rollers with style and grace.

Kristijan Molnar b2b Marko Milosavljević Live - 2016

Festivals really need to shine a light on local heroes, even when the event is on the scale of EXIT. Cue a b2b from Molnar and Milosavljević, which bangs and chugs its way through an vibrant techno sound to show what the homegrown players are all about.

Dixon vs Ame - 2016 

Packed with space-age musicality, Ame and Dixon brought a wealth of engrossing sounds for this set of shared honours.

Heidi vs Kim Ann Foxman - 2014 

Combining the heady beats of Heidi with Kim Ann Foxman's timeless, soul-infused selections, this pair kept the crowd locked in for one of the finest 90-minutes of Dance Arena action anyone can remember.  

Carl Cox vs Green Velvet - 2009

Two all-time masters at whipping ravers into a frenzy with pure, unadulterated energy went head-to-head, and the result was something truly spectacular.