POLTIMORE MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL: A SPECTACULAR RETURN TO A NEW ERA


Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

A new era is dawning for the Poltimore Music and Arts Festival. The Music in Devon Initiative (MIDI) and Exeter University are helping two charities, Poltimore House Trust and Friends of Poltimore House, to bring back the popular music & arts festival after a five-year break.

The 2024 Poltimore Music & Arts Festival will be held over two days on the late May bank holiday, Saturday, 25th and Sunday 26th May, when previously the festival was a one-day event.

Ticket pre-sales go live on Friday 15th March https://www.fatsoma.com/e/yay1hd0p/poltimore-festival-2024. The full line-up on two stages will be announced at 10am on March 22nd, when tickets go on sale. There will also be a wider selection of activities than in previous years.

Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

The festival will be held both in the grounds and the inside of Poltimore House, near Broadclyst, East of Exeter. It will transform the manor house, set in 13 acres of parkland, into a bohemian paradise.

Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

Visitors will be able to explore Poltimore House, discovering hidden rooms with quality entertainment, secret cinemas, chill-out lounges, markets and an indoor acoustic courtyard stage. Outside, there is the opportunity to explore the historic grounds whilst diving into main-stage performances alongside local food vendors with a variety of options for all tastes.

Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

Wander through the sacred gardens and discover wellness & healing areas, with workshops and activities to help heighten the festival experience whilst looking after the body and mind. If you’re lucky, you might even find the hidden DJ tent where you can party to your heart’s content!

Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

The festival will support essential fundraising for the repair and renovation of Poltimore House, which dates back to the 1560s. It is steeped in local history, having been in use as a hospital, college, and home to the Poltimore family. The 1646 negotiations for the peace Treaty of Exeter took place in the Great Hall, ending the English Civil War in the South West. Between the 1860s and the First World War, Poltimore House was in its heyday but was sold shortly after. Since then, the manor house has changed hands several times, which led to the rapid decline of the building. A fire that was rumoured to be arson in the 1980s caused an estimated £300,000 of damage. This left the house vulnerable to theft, vandalism and botched repairs, leading to it becoming derelict and uninhabitable.

Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

Over the last few years, the two charities have been able to carry out some restoration work from funds raised at previous festivals and events. This has made the house more welcoming to visitors as well as making the entrance hall a usable space. The 2024 Poltimore Music & Arts Festival will build on this to raise funds for renovations. This will help bring the house and grounds back into full usage as a stunning asset for locals and the wider community to enjoy a range of activities together.

Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

The Music in Devon Initiative are delighted to be involved in a new era dawning for the Poltimore Music & Arts Festival after a five-year hiatus. Like Poltimore house, the Devon music and arts landscape is being restored after a few difficult years. What better way to celebrate this than bringing the community together via a top-notch festival, crammed with the best south west local talent? We hope to help bring this amazing place back to its former glory as a space for the public to unite around. I love that the Treaty of Exeter was negotiated in the Great Hall in 1646, which created peace and a chance to rebuild after the English Civil War. What a fitting backdrop to what we are hoping to achieve with the festival!

Nick Hall, Director of MIDI
Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

To bring this popular festival back for the community and use it as a platform for fundraising to secure Poltimore House’s long-term future is exciting. In its heyday, the house and its grounds were in regular use by the community for events, recreation and their well-being. Undisturbed by the busy hum of life, the parkland was described by the Exeter Flying Post in the 1800s as exactly the sort of retreat which ‘moves the imagination, keeps the unhappy from thinking and creates the most pleasurable feelings.’ It is our hope that we can restore this breathtaking asset, help bring the community together and allow them to enjoy and be inspired by this beautiful space for decades to come.”

Carol Jobling from Friends of Poltimore House
Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

The festival was once Exeter’s only student-run festival. Students from Exeter University and MIDI’s Soundtribe will be deeply involved in volunteering and work experience across a range of essential festival activities from stage management to sound engineering, social media and marketing. The University of Exeter’s ‘Access to Internships’ scheme has funded the wages of two students to support the Poltimore Festival, where they’ll gain valuable event management experience. This will support the financial viability of this year’s event and maximise fundraising. Coaches will be organised from the Streatham Campus to give students easy access to and from the festival.

Photo Credit: Poltimore Music And Arts Festival

Darren Branch

Darren "Twig" Branch is a music enthusiast enjoying life in South Somerset, England.

Recent Posts