5 things to love about Exeter’s Indie scene

Exeter’s Indie scene has a strong history and has come to be well known throughout the South West. Indie comes from ‘independent’. It’s about not investing in the latest trend or the new big label. Rather, it is about doing something because you like it, not because society suggests you should. Yes, there may be a culture and an expectation that now comes with the brand and genre of Indie, but at its core the values are simple. These values can be seen across Exeter in a number of ways. Indie music is what probably comes to your mind first, but in this city there is so much more. So whether you’re new to the area, or know the city well, here are 5 things to love about Exeter’s Indie scene by local photographer Spencer Cobby.


The Music

Despite being a small city, Exeter offers its residents some great live music. Spots like The Cavern are famous for their Indie and Punk nights. You can also check out the longest running open-mic night in the city at The Angel Bar on a Wednesday evening for some musical delights.

5 things to love about Exeter’s Indie scene, Exploring Exeter 2019

Image: theangelbar.co.uk

New artists can regularly be found playing their setlist on stages around Exeter and Devon. There’s diversity to be found in these events and after a few online searches, you are sure to find something you’ll enjoy. Find a friend and get yourself along to a night near you in the next month or two.


The Food

5 things to love about Exeter’s Indie scene, Exploring Exeter 2019

Image: Spencer Cobby Photography

One of the marks of a thriving city is the presence of independent eateries. And whilst Exeter has, in the past, been accused of having one of the most ‘cloned’ high streets in the UK, dotted around the city are some exceptional places to eat.

We shan’t list all of them, but to whet your appetite, here are a some of our favourites:

  • The Flat, Fore Street – an Italian restaurant serving an exclusively vegetarian and vegan menu. For more information, read this glowing review from Spencer Cobby Photography.
  • Red Panda – a new addition to Gandy Street, just off the High Street. This takeaway restaurant (only 8 seats inside) offers delicious, healthy Asian street food at prices that won’t break the bank. They cater for all allergies and dietary requirements too. A hidden gem!
  • @Angela’s – established over 10 years ago and found in the Indie ‘West Quarter’ of Exeter. This delightful fine dining restaurant is a well-kept secret with an outstanding reputation. Sourcing local produce and presented with warmth and a welcoming atmosphere, this is definitely somewhere to explore on a special occasion.
  • Rendezvous, found in the city’s Southernhay Quarter, is both wine bar and restaurant. It boasts an extensive wine list and impressive locally sourced menu, in an intimate, warm setting.


The Events

This city often heralded as the “glorious gateway to the South West”, is host to numerous events throughout the year.

Whether a local summer festival like the three-day Exeter Food and Drink Festival, or something more low-key like the Fore Street Flea Market, Exeter’s events are fun and varied – and most importantly, independent. A breadth of people attend them, from uni students to locals, so you will definitely find some friendly faces in the crowd.

Exeter Northcott Theatre boasts an incredible schedule of live performances throughout the year – theatre, dance, comedy and music, and events for the whole family too.

Exeter Phoenix prides itself on being a vibrant ‘multi-artform’ venue, on a quest to resourcing and supporting the city in all things creative. It is host to an eclectic variety of artists and performers and is at the forefront of the arts scene in Exeter.

Have a look at a notice board in a nearby café or Post Office or check out our website to find out what’s going on in your local area.


The Clothes

Indie is all about avoiding mainstream brands. Second-hand stores and local clothing shops provide various alternative options. All of these are an easy find in Exeter. Stroll down the high street and you’ll not only see the big brands but also smaller stores and little-known labels. Shops like The Real McCoy allow you to create a timeless Indie outfit from pre-loved items.

Exeter’s Indie scene has a strong history, whether you’re new to the area, or know the city well, here are 5 things to love about Exeter’s Indie scene. Exploring Exeter 2019

Image: The Real McCoy

On Fore Street, ethical shop, Sancho’s, sells ethical clothing and gifts, all from independent, sustainable brands. Here you can even purchase a beanie that was hand-knitted just 100 metres down the road from the shop.

These local enterprises have made a name for themselves in Exeter. After a short conversation with anyone who has lived here for a couple of years, you’ll quickly learn what to look out for.

It’s Local

Exeter prides itself on producing great quality products and services that are local and independent. The Indie scene appreciates what is “good”, not necessarily what is “on trend”. Quality, “good”, products are abundant in Exeter.

Throughout the city you can find artisans selling their wares and independent businesses offering their services.  These all contribute to the Indie scene and are yet another thing to love. Check out Colville Leather, Camper Coffee, The Roots Foundation and Peachy Tipi for a starting point on finding these local gems.

Exeter’s Indie scene has a strong history, whether you’re new to the area, or know the city well, here are 5 things to love about Exeter’s Indie scene. Exploring Exeter 2019

Image: Peachy Tipi

Small but vibrant

Don’t discount the vibrant atmosphere that Exeter’s Indie scene displays because of its size. It is, of course, small, but with that comes a tighter community. It is built on common values and a love for living an independent life. Few cities have what Exeter’s Indie scene gives to many.

Not only does Exeter host outstanding Indie music acts, but it also promotes independent business and holds exciting events. This isn’t a complete list either, there are always more Indie nights being added to local clubs and bars and new independent restaurants and shops opening all the time. Don’t be afraid to ask around and get involved – you may just find something you love!


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