Serbia may just be the wildest party you've never heard of. With a welcoming attitude and a feisty heart, this Balkan country is a perfect getaway for those looking for an adventure that's off the tourist trail.
Its festival scene is pretty great too, with EXIT and Lovefest leading the way here. The former has established itself as one of Europe's most famous festivals, while the latter has over ten years experience in bringing the finest in house and techno to its beautiful lakeside setting.
We caught up with Lovefest CEO Zlatana Pavlovic to find out a little more about Serbia's music scene, where to spend a weekend, and the dishes we should definitely try.
What's the music scene like in Serbia? What genres are most popular?
The festival scene in Serbia became really rich and wide during the past years, and is really open to a lot of different electronic genres even though it is, compared to others, very small. We have a few electronic festivals, but a lot of famous underground clubs that are recognised and in Europe.
In every month of the year we have one or two worldwide names coming here and playing in places for 10,000 people or more. When it comes to that, we can be compared with Germany or Italy for sure. So, for a small territory located in the Balkans, our scene is really alive.
Where are the best festivals and parties in Serbia?
Well this question is a bit tricky, because you would probably expect me to say at Lovefest. Lovefest is really one of the biggest festivals in Serbia and in the region too. We just won the award for the best regional music festival, so I will have to be a little bit unfair and say it – Lovefest.
Besides the festival as our main event, Lovefest has parties in Belgrade throughout the year. With these parties we are striving to be as diverse as we can in order to attract different audiences – but to also stay in the limits of the quality that we are nourishing through these years. This year will be our 13th year!
Where are the best places to head for a long weekend?
Well, that's definitely Vrnjačka Banja. When you Google it, you'll see that everything is located in one small place. But when you come here you'll discover the magical place, with a lot of green trees, parks, smiling people and in the middle of the park, right next to the lake, is Lovefest.
I am proud that for over a decade now the festival has become really famous among DJs not just for gigs, but for the location itself. So I will be more than happy to see you all here on the first weekend in August.
What should be top of our list of dishes to try? Any local drinks we have to have?
Like every other country, Serbia has a lot of unique national drinks and dishes that you need to try. But all of them have one thing in common – when you taste it, you would like to eat it over and over and forever. When it comes to recommendations, on the top of the list should be something that we call Ćevapi – a dish made from minced meat and a lot of jams and sauces.
The must-try drink is Rakija, which is often described as Serbian Brandy. It can be made from various types of fruit, honey, etc. It's very strong, but also a good starter for a three-night festival – Lovefest artists can confirm that.
What else should we know about Serbia?
Well there are really a lot of facts that you should know about Serbia. It is a territory with a rich history, amazing places, but the most important thing is its people. Hospitality is always our top priority and we enjoy it. We really like to share incites of our culture, food, beverages, nightlife, etc. After experiencing Serbia, you will definitely come back home with a lot of good memories and new friendships.