Organisers announce ‘big changes’ for Exmouth Festival in a bid to safeguard the event’s survival and keep costs down

Multiple venues will be used to host the 2023 Exmouth Festival in a bid to ensure its survival, keep costs down, and the event free.

Festival organisers have announced ‘big changes’ for the 2023 event, revealing a change of venue away from the Imperial Recreation Ground in favour of ‘multiple locations’ around Exmouth.

Organisers Exmouth Town Council said the festival’s survival depended on the event being ‘more flexible’.

Businesses interested in hosting festival acts, workshops, or events are being sought ahead of the July 28-31, 2023, celebration.

Festival organisers said the move away from the current Imperial Recreation Ground site had been driven by increasing set-up and organisational costs.

A spokesperson for Exmouth Festival said: “The festival is leaving the Imperial Recreation Ground as its main site, and events will instead take place in multiple locations across Exmouth.

“By bringing the festival into the town centre, organisers are hoping to create a festival that is unique to Exmouth, with most events and activities remaining free to access.

“Exmouth Festival is also looking for local businesses who might be interested in hosting festival activity.”

Identifying multiple locations around the town were made by festival organisers Exmouth Town Council, ‘following a period of reflection’.

The festival spokesperson said: “Costs of delivering the festival, and the infrastructure needed on the Imperial Recreation Ground, have risen significantly over the last three years.

“It became clear that changes needed to be made to ensure the festival’s future.

“Moving forwards, the annual event will be more flexible and made up of multiple smaller events.

“This will allow the organisers to utilise a variety of funding streams and involve more of the community in its design and delivery.”


Enjoying the 2022 Exmouth Festival.
Photo: with permission.

Charlie Tapp, arts manager at the town council, said the ‘evolution’ of the festival was the result of public feedback.

Charlie said: “It was clear from the feedback we received that the public really valued the free nature of the festival.

“Ticketing the event didn’t feel like the right way forwards at this time, and this would have been the only way to keep the scale of event we’ve delivered since 2016.

“It has been a difficult decision, but we’ve made the choice to deliver an event that is accessible to everyone in our community.”

Charlie added: “There has also been high demand for a more varied arts programme, and requests to celebrate the community roots the festival grew from.

“It is our hope that this new model for the festival will ensure its sustainability moving forwards, and that there will be something on offer for everyone.”

Festival organisers are inviting performers, artists, community groups and businesses to get involved in the 2023 event.

  • For more information, and to register, see here.

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