3 Festivals in Exeter that you won’t want to miss this October

I’m more than a bit excited about October in Exeter, we have been completely spoilt for festivals!

For arts lovers and visionaries we have Lost weekend. For foodies: Powderham Food Festival and in celebration of the anniversary of women’s suffrage The Southbank’s WOW (Women of the World Festival) is happening in venues across the city.

More details below, get involved!


Saturday​ ​14​ ​​​ ​​–​ ​Sunday​ ​15​ ​October​: WOW​ ​-​ ​Women​ ​of​ ​the World​ ​​festival​.

Featuring​ ​prominent​ ​activists,​ ​speakers,​ ​business​ ​women,​ ​artists,​ ​sports​ ​people​ ​and campaigners​ ​including​ ​​Liz​ ​Carr,​ ​Grace​ ​Savage,​ ​Leyla​ ​Hussein,​ ​Ciara​ ​Eastell,​ ​Maggie Whitehouse,​ ​Ben​ ​Bradshaw​ ​MP,​ ​Alix​ ​Fox,​ ​Michelle​ ​Ryan,​ ​Lucy​ ​Siegle,​ ​Natalie​ ​Fee, Emma​ ​Dabiri​​ ​​and​ ​many​ ​more.

Southbank Centre’s ​WOW – Women of the World Festival​, which celebrates and recognises the achievements of women and girls and takes a frank look at what stops them from achieving their potential, comes to Exeter for the first time next month on 14 – 15 October. Supported by Spirit of 2012, Southbank Centre is expanding its global WOW network of festivals to create nine new ​WOW​s in five cities across the UK to mark the centenary of female suffrage in 2018. Exeter is the first city in the South West to host one of these ​WOW​s, and will produce the festival here for the next two years. Events take place at RAMM​ ​-​ ​Royal​ ​Albert​ ​Memorial​ ​Museum,​ ​Exeter​ ​Phoenix​ ​and​ ​Exeter​ ​Library.

​Music, dance,​ ​theatre,​ ​performance,​ ​poetry​ ​and​ ​comedy​ ​all​ ​feature​ ​heavily​ ​throughout​ ​the​ ​festival. WOW​ ​​also​ ​creates​ ​a​ ​safe​ ​space​ ​for​ ​the​ ​discussion​ ​of​ ​hard-hitting​ ​issues​ ​which​ ​affect​ ​women and​ ​girls,​ ​not​ ​just​ ​on​ ​a​ ​local​ ​level,​ ​but​ ​nationally​ ​and​ ​internationally​ ​as​ ​well.​ ​Subjects including​ ​domestic​ ​abuse,​ ​consent,​ ​alcohol,​ ​Brexit​ ​and​ ​men​ ​and​ ​feminism​ ​are​ ​all​ ​explored. South​ ​West​ ​organisations​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Rape​ ​Crisis​ ​Devon,​ ​Co-Labs,​ ​The​ ​Blurt​ ​Foundation, Dreadnought​ ​SW,​ ​Splitz​ ​and​ ​Diverse​ ​City​ ​are​ ​taking​ ​part,​ ​as​ ​well​ ​as​ ​activists​ ​and​ ​national speakers.

Highlights​ ​from​ ​the​ ​​WOW​ ​​Exeter​ ​2017​ ​programme​ ​include:

  • Actor,​ ​comedian​ ​and​ ​disability​ ​activist​ ​​Liz​ ​Carr​ ​​joins​ ​panels​ ​on​ ​intersectionality​ ​and disability​ ​activism​ ​and​ ​shares​ ​her​ ​story​ ​in​ ​conversation​ ​with​ ​Artistic​ ​Director​ ​of Southbank​ ​Centre​ ​London,​ ​​Jude​ ​Kelly;

  • Journalist​ ​and​ ​“sexpert”​ ​​Alix​ ​Fox​​ ​chairs​ ​a​ ​panel​ ​of​ ​academics​ ​discussing​ ​the​ ​arrival on​ ​the​ ​market​ ​of​ ​sex​ ​robots​ ​and​ ​virtual​ ​reality​ ​porn;

  • Exeter​ ​MP​ ​​Ben​ ​Bradshaw​ ​​will​ ​be​ ​joined​ ​by​ ​a​ ​panel​ ​of​ ​leading​ ​politicians​ ​in discussing​ ​what​ ​impact​ ​Brexit​ ​might​ ​have​ ​on​ ​women​ ​in​ ​the​ ​UK;

  • Founder​ ​of​ ​​Daughters​ ​of​ ​Eve​ ​​Leyla​ ​Hussein​ w​​ ill​ ​be​ ​joined​ ​by​ ​nobel​ ​peace​ ​prize nominee​ ​​Scilla​ ​Elworthy​ ​​on​ ​a​ ​panel​ ​discussing​ ​International​ ​Activism;

  • Lynne​ ​Parker​ ​​will​ ​be​ ​running​ ​a​ ​comedy​ ​workshop​ ​followed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​South​ ​West​ ​heat of​ ​this​ ​year’s​ ​​Funny​ ​Women​ ​​competition,​ ​hosted​ ​by​ ​vicar​ ​and​ ​comedian​ M​​ aggie Whitehouse​;

  • 4​ ​X​ ​UK​ ​beat​ ​boxing​ ​champion​ ​​Grace​ ​Savage​ ​​will​ ​be​ ​hosting​ ​a​ ​beat​ ​boxing​ ​workshop followed​ ​by​ ​a​ ​performance​ ​from​ ​her​ ​latest​ ​album;

  • Bristol-based​ ​founder​ ​of​ ​the​ ​​Refill​ ​Campaign​ ​​Natalie​ ​Fee​,​ ​social​ ​historian​ ​and broadcaster​ ​​Emma​ ​Dabiri​ ​​and​ ​Guardian​ ​columnist​ ​​Lucy​ ​Siegle​ ​​will​ ​be​ ​joined​ ​by​ ​a panel​ ​of​ ​women​ ​fighting​ ​to​ ​look​ ​after​ ​our​ ​planet;

  • Various​ ​workshops​ ​such​ ​as​ ​the​ ​​RockFit​,​ ​​Self​ ​Defence,​ ​Life​ ​Drawing​​ ​and​ ​​Under​ ​10 Feminist​ ​Corner​​ ​and​ ​many​ ​more.

Ticket​ ​booking:

Day​ ​passes​ ​can​ ​be​ ​purchased​ ​at​ ​£10​ ​full​ ​price,​ ​£8​ ​concessions.

Weekend​ ​passes​ ​can​ ​be​ ​purchased​ ​at​ ​£16,​ ​£12.50​ ​concessions.
To​ ​book​ ​call​ ​the​ ​Exeter​ ​Phoenix​ ​on​ ​01392​ ​667080​ ​or​ ​buy​ ​online.​ 

Head here for more information.


6 Oct 2017 – 8 Oct 2017: Lost weekend

A 3-day festival for Exeter of music, art, ideas and technology.

Lost Weekend is a citywide collaboration between: The MET office, TEDxExeter, Kaleider, The Pheonix, The Cavern and Exeter City Council and there is LOADS happening!

Councillor Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Culture says:

This October great music, playable art, thought provoking ideas and the latest in technology will come together in the heart of the city for a brand new festival. We have managed to join up locations and talent across the city for the first time for what should be a wonderful weekend of discovery and enjoyment.Creating good things to see and do in the city isn’t something people expect the council to be doing. Here in Exeter, we know how important it is.I would like to thank everyone who has worked so hard in this first year to help organise what we hope will become an annual major event enjoyed and celebrated by thousands of people… We invite you to lose yourself in this Lost Weekend.”


Lost Weekend’s Box Office is at Exeter Phoenix, tickets for all shows, with the exception of the TEDxExeterSalon, may be booked in person or via their website.

The TEDxExeterSalon can only be booked direct, please see the information on the TEDxExeter website or in the Lost Weekend Programme.

Exeter Phoenix’s Box Office is open from 10am – 8pm and can be contacted by phone on 01392 667080.

More information here.


7-8th October Powderham Castle – Powderham Food Festival

Set amid the spectacular grounds of Powderham Castle, home to Lord and Lady Devon, Powderham Food Festival is a magnet for foodies of all ages. So, with nature’s autumnal larder full to brimming with delicious fruits and vegetables, what better time to shine a light on fresh, wholesome and delicious food that the whole family can get excited about.


At the food festival you will find:


  • Exeter Cookery School stage: Chefs confirmed so far this year are Richard Hunt (TV chef, consultant chef & founder of Devon Scone Company), Richard Valder (head chef and co-owner of @Angela’s Restaurant), Paul Greenhead (chef and co-owner of Café Catalan), Rachel Pinnock (Exeter Cookery School) and Nila Ross-Patel (Exeter Cookery School tutor), with more chefs yet to be revealed.

  • Theatre of Fire and Smoke will also be back at Powderham Food Festival to delight its loyal following. 

And if that was not all, there will be over 100 local food and drinks producers and craft stalls to explore and give you plenty to keep your tummies happy. The festival will be a fantastic family and foodie day out for all to enjoy – so make sure you put the date in your diary for the must-visit Autumn Food Festival at Powderham Castle!

OPENING TIMES: 10.30am – 5pm Saturday 7th & Sunday 8th October 2017

VENUE: Powderham Castle, Kenton, Exeter, Devon, EX6 8JQ

Online Advance Ticket Prices: Adults – £6.50 each, Children (under 16) – £1.50 each, Infants (3 and under) – Free, Family (2 adults and up to 3 Children) – £15.00. Click here  to buy tickets.



We would love to hear what you think of the festivals that you make it to! 

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