Exmouth Festival 2016

14th May 2016

Ranked number four in a Telegraph poll, naming ‘17 brilliant things to do during the May bank holidays’, Exmouth Festival missed out on the top spot to guided walking tours around London, graded number one in the poll.

Carla Hiley, arts manager for Exmouth Town Council, said the national acclaim for the Exmouth Festival was thanks to the support from the community.

She said the backing from the town had thrust the festival into the limelight, putting it on ‘the radar’ nationally, above other larger established events.

Ms Hiley said the free festival, this year boasting a performance by ‘legendary’ ska band Bad Manners, appearing at the festival as part of their 40th anniversary tour, helped catapult the annual event ahead of a host of popular activities and attractions, such as Legoland Windsor, Salisbury International Arts Festival and Leeds Indie Food Festival.

She said: “I think it’s where it is on the poll because it’s been going for 20 years and the way it has been built up over the years by the community and goodwill.

“The fact it’s free in this climate is quite astonishing. You don’t usually get to see artists like Bad Manners without paying for a ticket.”

Ms Hiley said other festivals across the country benefited from multi-cash handouts often running into thousands of pounds; the Exmouth Festival was only possible thanks to year-round fundraising and support from the town, and help from the Arts Council.

Speaking about the poll position, Ms Hiley added: “It does show it’s not all down to money, it’s down to community. Exmouth Festival is about community.”

Exmouth ranked fourth after events to Spot Angry Birds at Madame Tussauds and Celebrate London Fire Brigade’s 150th anniversary.

While the town narrowly missed out on the top spot, it beat off competition from the internationally-acclaimed Hay Festival, and also Brighton multi-arts Fringe Festival - billed as England’s largest arts festival.

Brighton, with 3,622 performances, 743 events and more than 171 free events, was ranked number nine; Celebrate the Bard at the Hay Festival, including a celebratory concert dedicated to the 100th birthday of author Roald Dahl, came in at number 16.

For details of the Exmouth Festival 2016 programme, go to www.exmouthfestival.org.uk