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.


On Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th June Exeter will spring to life once again in the beautiful grounds of Belmont Park to the sounds of world music & dance at The Respect Festival in Belmont Park. Now part of ‘Exeter Live Better’, the family friendly festival celebrates it’s 22nd year with a theme of ethnic diversity marking 25 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa. However, lest we forget the victims of Christchurch New Zealand, we dedicate Exeter Respect Festival 2019 to their memory; may their souls rest in peace. Please join us in signing the memorial wall at the festival.
Over the weekend there will be food, workshops, stalls, arts & crafts, campaigns, activities & displays from many diverse cultural backgrounds, faiths & beliefs. There will be plenty of music & dance spread across the festival’s five stages with everything from breakdancing to Bollywood to belly dancing; rock, funk & pop to
jazz, folk & soul.
The children’s area hosts storytelling, a bouncy castle, lots of family based activities and this year we will be presenting The Windrush Stage, hosted by Pre-school Newtown Community on Saturday & One Thousand and One Stories on Sunday.
Saturday will see an appearance by 8 piece vocal harmony group The South African Cultural Gospel UK. Sunday’s headliner is the energetic & colourful Indian Bhangra outfit RVSP.
On Saturday evening young singing star Asanda Jezile will headline our After Show party at the Exeter Phoenix. Asanda first appeared on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ where she amazed the judges & then became a star of Young Eurovision in 2017.
Exeter Respect is working in partnership with Exeter College, Exeter University, The Institute of Arabic & Islamic Studies, Space Devon Youth Service, Exeter Community Initiatives, Exeter Phoenix, Barnfield Theatre, Newtown Community Pre-School, St.Sidwell’s Community Centre. Organisations supporting the festival include Exeter Live Better, Exeter City Council, Devon County Council, Phonic.fm, South West & Devon Unison, Multilingual Devon, Devon Waste Contract, Waitrose, Devon & Somerset Fire Services, Devon Police Constabulary & Cornwall, Police Commissioner Office, West Devon Emergency Group, Young Devon & RAMM.
There will be a small entrance charge to the festival this year, just £2 per day & under 16s free. The festival is an alcohol free zone.
Anyone wishing to be involved, should apply through our contact page here.

All Different All Equal
Dr Suaad Genem-George
Managing Director / Chair


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!