Exeter Respect 2019 is on Saturday 8th June & Sunday 9th June!



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 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.


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!


The 21st Anniversary of Exeter Respect Festival is dedicated to those who have spent their lives campaigning for justice & human rights, regardless of their background, colour, gender or creed. The board of Exeter Respect CIC and its organising committee wish to thank and congratulate all our communities for their support and their understanding of cultural diversity, coming together as one community, one voice, to say ‘no to prejudice, no to hate crime against humanity’.

Exeter Respect Festival 2018 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Representation of People’s Act. It is also the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) and the 25th Anniversary of the death of young Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered in London. His absence makes him present at the heart of Equality Legislation.

Exeter Respect Festival 2018 is a fertile ground for communities to sow their seeds with love and harmony.

Exeter Respect is honoured to have visitors coming from Devon and beyond to enjoy the Festival which has remained alcohol free since 2014. Exeter Respect Festival is unique, its message has not changed since it started in 1997, it is the biggest annual celebration of diversity, equality and human rights in the South West.

The Festival has become a platform for artists to share their creativity with voices of celebration, the programme is packed with distinguished artists including Gary Stewart’s Graceland who will be recreating Paul Simon’s South African inspired Graceland album and Radio 2 regulars Sound of the Siren, a foot stomping, heart-rending, crowd engaging female folk rock duo whose music is full of passion, soul and conviction.

The line across four areas up is completed by a wide variety of performers, artists, singers, choirs, bands and musicians from across Exeter and Devon, reflecting our wealth of musical diversity and culture.

On Saturday night Exeter Phoenix hosts Wildwood Kin for Respect’s after-party, whilst the Corn Exchange holds the first Exe Respect Factor which brings young people together showcasing their talent. The finale of the festival takes place on Sunday evening at the Globe Inn.

Exeter Respect has stalls from all cultural backgrounds sharing their faiths and cultural heritage, many offering a taste of food from their country of origin, plus plenty of activities for children of all ages.

Exeter Respect Festival 2018: one voice, one community, united, hand in hand, shoulder to shoulder, a melting pot of all nationalities and ethnicities coming together to say NO to all forms of prejudice, discrimination and racism.