The Exodus Collective are largely recognised as one of the UK's leading examples of a DIY community, providing practical and challenging `downside-up' solutions to social exclusion. Their free community dance events (see free party), social housing projects and city farm have gained recognition and high praise from all around the world.
The effective start of the Exodus free party scene began on 5 June 1992 when Spokesman Glenn Jenkins, DJ Hazad and friends, using equipment reclaimed from a skip, promoted a free party in the woods near Dunstable through word of mouth in local pubs. Raising money through donations at the first and subsequent parties, and reinvesting in equipment, the size of both sound system and attendance grew rapidly from an original 150 to 10,000 by the end of 1992.
They put on free parties most weekends in the grounds of their collective home and then put on larger parties which attracted thousands, every few weeks, in various locations including quarries, woods and other beautiful country spots. Usually following the line of Jungle or Drum and Bass at night and then Techno once the sun had risen, Exodus spearheaded the UK dance music scene for over a decade. Many arrived at the parties in convoy, assembling in an industrial estate and then moving slowly into an empty warehouse or onto open land. The convoy was led by military-type vehicles, including army-type lorries and even a small reconnaissance tank. Local police, largely following a containment or management strategy, allowed Exodus marshals to take over road traffic management in order to avoid traffic chaos.
- McKay, George(ed) (1998) DiY culture: party & protest in Nineties Britain, article eight 'Tossed in the fire and they never got burned: the Exodus Collective' by Tim Malyon
- Wainwright, Hilary (2003) Reclaim the state: experiments in popular democracy