Held at one of the best festival venues in the world, Petrocardin Fortress in Novi Sad, Serbia – EXIT was proclaimed ‘Best Major European festival’ at the EU Festival Awards 2014. Started as a student movement fighting for peace and democracy in Serbia, the inaugural was held over the span of 100 days in the summer of 2000. The clear-cut political component and the festival’s ties with forces pushing for the regime change were very clear to all that attended, and everyone was encouraged to get involved. The festival ended a couple of days before the September 24, 2000 Federal Presidential election, which ended up becoming the first step in the government’s overthrow and the start of a new chapter for the country.
The slogan of the festival was: ‘Exit out of ten years of madness’, a reference to the Miloševi? regime. Social responsibility still plays a large part in the festival activities. Led by a nonprofit, State of Exit Foundation dedicates its work to key topics in social involvement: national branding, regional connection through creative industries, as well as promoting positive examples to the youth.
Today, the festival is home to thousands of prideful Serbians who come back year after year not only to enjoy the amazing music, but to remember what the festival stands for and welcome the foreigners with open arms.