Exmouth Festival 2017 is go!
- Credit: Archant
This year’s Exmouth Festival is now well into its stride.
Now celebrating its 21st year, the festival has emerged as one of the South West’s most important – and impressive – free community events.
A freewheeling fiesta of fabulous fun for all the family, it offers homegrown talent a brilliant opportunity to shine brightly in the spotlight.
It also allows the town to thoroughly immerse itself in all that’s best in local arts.
Good weather brought the crowds out on Friday afternoon and evening.
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The good weather continued on the Saturday, with crowds particularly enjoying sets by Mr Tea and the Minions and Talisman.
Here’s a selection of pictures taken from the first festival’s first few days.
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They were taken at a variety of venues.
These included the Imperial Recreation Ground, the Bicton Inn and Exmouth Ceramic Group’s exhibition at Meeting Street.
On Sunday evening, the big headliners came into town. A huge crowd - perhaps as large as 6,000 people - filled the Imperial Rec’ Ground and enjoyed sets by Joey the Lips and 1980s punk princess Toyah Willcox.
Joey the Lips put on a solid show of singalong dancefloor fillers.
More poppy than their soul roots of some years back, the switch to more accessible material - with songs by Queen and Lulu - has done them no harm. The crowd - particularly the youngsters up the front - loved it.
Toyah Willcox bounded on stage an hour later.
Her band sounded very tight as she blasted through a solid set of her hits - such as Thunder In the Mountains and Obselete - and 1980s covers, such as Martha and the Muffins’ Echo Beach.
Toyah was clearly delighted by the warm reception she got from the huge crowd, declaring that ‘Exmouth was cool’.
It was a memorable night indeed.
Monday afternoon felt a little muted after the bigger bands and large crowds of the night before.
A number of the afternoon’s eclectic folk acts - many of which require a more intimate setting - seemed a little lost on the huge stage and found it difficult to engage with the audience.
Nevertheless it was good to hear The Exmouth Shanty Men in fine voice, celebrating their tenth anniversary.
Belshazzar’s Feast may have been a little mournful for some, but had a fine line in dry humour and offered some superb musicianship.
Meanwhile Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman delivered some beautiful original numbers that pulled at the heartstrings.
Folk-rockers Mad Dog Mcrea livened up the proceedings later in the evening and went down well with the crowd.
And thus ended the four days on the Imperial Rec’ Ground.
The Exmouth Festival is now entering its second phase, shifting to the Manor Gardens for a number of more intimate concerts. Bring it on...