In 2001, Exit festival moved from the streets of Novi Sad to Petrovaradin Castle, and non-government organizations and businesses became involved in the festival's organization. Slowly, the political aspect of Exit gave way to business as the festival grew more commercial with tickets, big sponsors, big budgets and international music stars.
In the beginning, the festival hosted domestic rock bands and international DJs like Bob Sinclair, Tony Allen and David Morales. Gradually, artists from the former Yugoslavia region were included and, in 2003, the festival started hosting some of the world's most popular bands.
The list of performers included among others Tricky, Moloko, Stereo MC's, Iggy and the Stooges, The White Stripes, Massive Attack, Asian Dub Foundation, Peaches, Cypress Hill, Apocalyptica, Garbage and Ian Brown. Meanwhile, the number of foreign visitors rose to 150,000 people due to coverage by international media.
The year 2006 was a landmark in the development of the festival: it boasted a concert program with 22 stages and over 600 performers, including Billy Idol, Pet Shop Boys, Morrissey, Franz Ferdinand, The Cult, The Cardigans, and David Guetta. The festival was opened by EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, who spoke of the importance of visa facilitation for people from the Western Balkans.
At the end of 2007, Exit festival received its first major acknowledgment at the UK Festival Awards: it was declared the Best European Festival. The award was issued in association with Yourope -- an association gathering 40 of Europe's biggest music festivals.
In 2009, the mains stars include: Moby, Patti Smith, Lilly Allen, Madness, The Prodigy, Arctic Monkeys, Manic Street Preachers, Kraftwerk, Korn, Eric Prydz, CHase & Status and many others.