Exeter, Devon UK • Jul 23, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Arts & Lit Exefest: the Guild’s own Festival of Arts

Exefest: the Guild’s own Festival of Arts

Online News Editor Shagnick Bhattacharya shares his experience of the Guild's 2024 Exefest
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Cèilidh dancers (Scots Music via Flickr)

While the city’s main Exeter Fest for this year in May got cancelled due to a lack of funds, the uni’s Students’ Guild delivered by organising the ExeFest 2024 from the 24th to the 26th of May. This wonderful event was three days of music and performance over the weekend – the perfect way to celebrate the end of exams! 

First held in 2017, and then cancelled the next year due to a lack of sufficient funds before returning as an annual tradition, the ExeFest showcases many societies as well as independent artists on a stage bursting with music and theatre. Committed to “bringing Edinburgh Fringe vibes to Exeter to celebrate the end of exams”, the events included an acapella showcase, performances from Footlights, a Cèilidh, as well as huge collaborative performances with the uni’s Jazz and Funk society’s Small Band and Big Band, and Soul Choir. 

… bringing Edinburgh Fringe vibes to Exeter to celebrate the end of exams.

Exeter Students’ Guild

The event began on Friday, the 24th, with an exhibition from the Photography society in the Forum, which was followed by an Edinburgh Fringe society showcase at Roborough Studios near the Mary Harris Chapel where you could get a sneak preview of some of the performances that student groups are taking to the Edinburgh Fringe in August this year, and a Mural Painting event at Cornwall House – the best thing to come out of which, in my opinion, is a cute mural of our lovely celebrity of a campus cat, Napoleon! The Mural Painting event continued for the next two days of the ExeFest too. 

The day also included a few more events within the Devonshire House: including Acapella performances, an Open Mic, and a Cèilidh – which is a kind of traditional Scottish and Irish social gathering involving Gaelic folk music and dancing. The day ended with the Footlights’ performance of the hit comedy musical, Made in Dagenham, at the Frank Oliver recital hall in Kay House, which ran the next day as well. 

The second day brought with it two workshops with the Sound Gallery Studios, a professional recording studio based in Exeter Phoenix, centred around educating attendees about recording and releasing one’s music. This was followed by more of the Edinburgh Fringe showcase at Roborough studios, as well as beautiful performances from Symphonic Wind Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra at Kay House. There was also a nice Jazz and Soul event of the year at the Forum Piazza. 

The final day concluded with another recording workshop, and a Tiny Desk Style concert which was recorded and filmed live! Taking place at the Frank Oliver Recital Hall, the concert included music from Gareth Davie, the Half Cut Band, and Francesca Brown, and was the perfect end to a great ExeFest for this year! 

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