August 10, 2022

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Scientific Study Shows No COVID Infections At EXIT Festival

EXIT Festival' temple of electronic music, the Dance Arena.EXIT Photo Team 2021EXIT Festival’ temple of electronic music, the Dance Arena.Some of the biggest names in electronic music performed there in 2021.

The scientific results around the impact of EXIT Festival 2021 in Serbia, which welcomed between 42,000 and 48,000 people per day, July 8-11, are in, and they show that “not one person tested positive for Covid-19.”

According to festival founder and CEO Dušan Kovačević, the results prove that the live events sector has been “treated unfairly in the past, and that there are no longer any arguments and justifications that can allow gatherings at sporting events, in cafes or shopping malls, and not at concerts and festivals.”

The scientific study – conducted by the Health Centre Novi Sad and the association Project Lab, under the leadership of epidemiologist Marija Milić MD – divided a total of 345 visitors into two groups – vaccinated and those who entered the festival with a negative test. 

They were tested before entering the festival, when only one person was positive and thus not allowed to enter the site, Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad.

Testing was repeated after seven days, July 15-17, and the results show no one positive coronavirus infections in either group.

EXIT had made sure that each guest entering the site was either vaccinated, had recovered from coronavirus or tested negatively just before the event. Serbia has the so-called Digital Green Certificate by which people can record their coronavirus status on an app as proof. More details on access restrictions below.

Another convincing proof that there was no mass spread of the virus at Exit, according to promoters, is the fact that “even 10 days after the start of the festival there was no significant deterioration of the epidemiological situation in Novi Sad, and also that the daily statistics of the virus in the period from July 8-19 in the city did not differ from the averages in the rest of the country.”

Last but not least, out of almost 20,000 foreigners who visited EXIT, and who in most cases needed a PCR test to return to their respective countries, only one visitor tested positive.

The results follow similar results from scientific studies conducted all over Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and, particularly Spain. They all shown that, with the stated limitations, concerts and festivals post a low risk for the transfer of coronavirus. 

The promoters of EXIT Festival believe, that “these results are expected to be one of the key arguments in the struggle to bring back major events worldwide.”

Said Kovačević, “Research from EXIT proves that even during a pandemic, a means and a model can be found according to which even the largest events can take place completely safely. This research is our contribution to the struggle of the entire music industry for far better treatment in Europe and other countries than has been the case so far.

“We have proven that we have been treated unfairly in the past, and that there are no longer any arguments and justifications that can allow gatherings at sporting events, in cafes or shopping malls, and not at concerts and festivals. I call on our entire industry to, just like we have fought and won in Serbia, join forces and fight for the fair treatment of our industry on the international level.”

Veselin Boja, the director of the Novi Sad Health Centre, added, “With rigorous entry control, such research results were expected. It will take some time to get the final analysis results, but it can already be said, both based on research and the daily number of newly infected people in Novi Sad, that the EXIT Festival was not a place of mass infection with the virus.”

Access restriction measures at EXIT Festival 2021 were applied rigorously, over 16,111 checks of visitors with a Digital Green Certificate were performed, of which as many as 95% were immunized by vaccination. 

For all those who did not have a valid Digital Green Certificate, free testing was organized. In five days, 18,336 people were tested, and only 10 or 0.0% of those tested were positive and not allowed to enter the festival. Medical staff were also on hand to take care of their medical conditions. 

Visitors from abroad were checked in accordance with the documentation with which they entered the country, which in most cases was a PCR test.