EXIT Festival will offer the coronavirus vaccine to international artists and festivalgoers attending the event this summer.
As well as offering 3000 free festival tickets to medical workers, the Serbian festival – which takes place at Novi Sad across 8th-11th July – has made the move ahead of the country’s plans to fully re-open on 21st June.
As a “way to aid countries that currently have vaccine shortages,” the festival has worked alongside the Serbian Ministry of Health to organise “a few thousand” vaccine doses for international artists and visitors to the festival. Further information regarding the drive is expected soon.
In a statement, Serbia’s Prime Minister Ana Brnabić said, “Serbia has been one of the global leaders in mass vaccination for months. Thanks to that, we have an ever-improving epidemiological situation and the plan is to open the country for gatherings, concerts and festivals on June 21. In this way, we show not only the care for the event industry that contributes so much to our tourism and economy, but we also fight for the mental health of young people.”
While it’s not yet clear whether there will be any limitations to the capacity of the festival (“this will be decided within state’s measures in the following weeks,” said organisers) 200,000 people attended in 2019.
Among many others, David Guetta, Paul van Dyk, Paul Kalkbrenner, Eric Prydz B2B Four Tet, and Honey Dijon feature in this year’s line-up. Last year, the festival was cancelled despite initial plans to reduce capacity by 90%.
At the time of writing, more than a fifth of the population of Serbia has received two COVID-19 vaccinations.
Elsewhere, in the UK, it has been announced that a 10,000 capacity COVID pilot festival will take place next month as part of the government’s Events Research Programme. So far, the UK Government’s Events Research Programme has seen a total of 58,000 people attend events ranging from the BRIT Awards and two large club events in Liverpool. As of 21st May 2021, just 15 COVID-19 cases had been detected from the trials.