Exeter Respect 2018 is on Saturday 30 June & Sunday 1 July!



Exeter Respect is the city’s annual celebration of diversity where we use the performing and creative arts to engage the wider community in saying no to racism and all forms of prejudice. The Respect ethos is a simple one: racism and prejudice often spring from fear, and fear is often based on ignorance, so let’s overcome ignorance by getting to know one another and sharing not shunning our cultures. One of the best ways to get to know someone is to enjoy yourself with them, hence our celebratory event and adoption of the old Commission for Racial Equality slogan: All Different, All Equal!

The first Exeter Respect festival took place in 1997 and there has been a celebration virtually every year since then. From 2003 to 2008 Exeter Respect’s biggest event was at Exeter Phoenix Arts Centre, but from 2009 to the present day our focus has been a giant two day free festival in Belmont Park, with a footfall of around 20,000 people every year.

On 9 October 2013 Exeter Respect became a Community Interest Company (Exeter Respect CIC). This decision was taken in order to give more structure and credibility to the organisation of the festival. We are committed to keeping entry to the Respect in the park festival free so no-one is excluded from our celebration of diversity.


We would like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone involved in Exeter Respect 2017. The management team and volunteers worked tirelessly to create an amazing weekend which was attended by so many people! Massive thanks to all of the artists and performers for their time and energy; to the stall holders who shared their cultures and customs, to all of those behind the scenes setting up and taking down and everyone who came and enjoyed themselves. We look forward to seeing you in 2018!


Welcome to the 20th Anniversary of Exeter Respect Festival 2017

Dedicated to the fallen and injured in the Manchester Attack, Councillor Paul Bull and Martin Hodge.

On behalf of the Board Exeter Respect CIC and the organising committee of Exeter Respect Festival 2017 we would like to congratulate all of our communities for their understanding of cultural diversity. We have made the decision that this year’s festival will be a dedication to the fallen and injured in the Manchester attack, to the memory of Councillor Paul Bull and Phonic FM DJ Martin Hodge, who helped to run the Exeter Respect Radio show: A tribute to them will be featured on the wall.

“All Different – All Equal”.

We would like to thank our main sponsor this year, Exeter City Council, for their funding, as well as South West & Devon Unison, Exeter University, Devon Contract Waste, Devon County Council, Police and Crime Commissioner, Exeter College, PRS for Music and Waitrose.
Thank you to all voluntary organisations, including Exeter Community Initiatives, St. Sidwell’s Community Centre, Newtown Association, Devon Multilingual CIC, Devon Faith Forum & Belief, Barnfield Theatre and Exeter Phoenix for their support and resources. Our appreciation to all our volunteers, who are the backbone of the festival.
We are honoured to have people coming from everywhere in Devon to Exeter specifically to be part of the Festival. Exeter Respect Festival is unique, its message has not changed since it was started in 1997. It is the biggest annual celebration of diversity, equality and human rights in the South West.
Every year, Exeter Respect Festival creates a large cultural community hub. It has provided a place for people to network, to empower and to connect with each other, by browsing through the stalls, by attending the different workshops, listening to the words of many organisations who wished to campaign and share their services with the public. The Festival has become the platform for artists to share their creativity with voices of celebration from every corner, a melting pot of all nationalities and ethnicities coming together to say,

“no to all forms of prejudice, discrimination and racism”.


The increasing number of festival-goers is a sign of Respect’s success. An ongoing challenge is how to keep the event safe and enjoyable for everyone who comes along.

Due to the capacity limits of Belmont Park and a number of issues related to the consumption of alcohol in 2013, this year we took the tough decision to make the festival alcohol-free. We made this decision in consultation with the public and the Exeter Safety Advisory Group, which includes Exeter City Council and the Police.

We know that some people may be disappointed but hope that people who prefer to drink will understand the reasons. In the spirit of the festival, we hope people will respect this decision and refrain from bringing alcohol into the park.

Sam Kinsella from Ripple Effect, a recovery project for people in recovery from addiction said, “Exeter Respect is a family friendly open community event. The decision to free this from alcohol will create a safe environment. Ripple sees the impact of drugs and alcohol in young people and families and we support this decision. It is vital to have events where our community can be seen enjoying activities without the use of alcohol”.

We look forward to seeing everyone soon!