The first few Exeter Respect Festivals varied tremendously depending on which agency took a lead in supporting them. The most successful of these events took place in 1998 when Northernhay Gardens was used for an event headlined by an up-and-coming local band called Muse!


Exeter Phoenix became the core venue for Exeter Respect, supplemented by other venues as an eclectic range of paying and free events were combined into the festival culminating in a Big Weekender consisting of an Urban Night, Community Day, World Music Extravaganza and Respect Rocks event – with a separate Playday.

During this period the wide range of artists who have performed at Exeter Respect included: Asian Dub Foundation Soundsystem, Talvin Singh, Misty In Roots, Kano, Rodney P, Baka Beyond, Linton Kewsi Johnson, African Head Charge, Transglobal Underground, Skindred, Inme, Wiley, Skepta, Dreadlock Alien, Mad Professor and many more.


The success of these events meant we literally ran out of space to fit in the wide range of organisations who wanted to take part in our celebration, hence the move to one big free park event enabling us to combine high quality artistic programming and community activities in Respect In The Park.

In 2010 we added a second day to the Respect In the Park event, making it a giant free two day festival – and we have never looked back.

In 2014, the Festival became an Alcohol Free Festival and provided a great safe space in which more communities than ever before celebrated and shared their cultures.

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Photography Clive Chilvers and Tom Caro