The Poltimore Festival is something I would never experience back in London, especially when the only festivals that exist near me involve bands that are too close to my year 9 cliché self or performers that are wannabe or try-hard hipsters. The Poltimore Festival is unique to Exeter and, guaranteed, its quirkiness couldn’t be imitated anywhere else.
First off, this amalgamation of artsy varieties is set inside an old house (the Poltimore House, of course) based in Devon, which in itself has an interesting history. It began as the home to a family of aristocrats, then it became a school for girls, then for boys, then a hospital, then a nursing home, then a fire destroyed part of it and (BREATHE) now it’s a derelict, neglected and decaying building where the precarious scaffolding and shaking floors make it all the more enchanting. It is the very history and nature of this building which makes it such an inimitable place for a festival and as I repeated ALL evening- like a fairytale.What really enticed me about this whole day was the yoga in the woods. You heard it right. Yoga. In the woods. In a secluded spacious part of the woods there laid an arrangement of purple yoga mats with a yoga teacher doing her stuff at the front. You could join in whenever you wanted- how crazy!
As much as I wanted to join in the stretchy bendy fun, I had jeans on. And not just the normal sturdy jeans, we are talking the poor quality Topshop joni jeans that rip or wear within 6 months of purchasing them. If you are wondering why I still buy them… they are comfy as hell. Also- I was too nervous to do any physical exercise (yoga IS exercise despite want you non-yoga-ees may think!) because I had to perform my poetry- for the first time! So that was exciting…
What was a little bit more electrifying was the music. One girl in particular, Daisy Vaughan = INCREDIBLE. Literally the voice of an angel. I love folk music as it is, but she brought it to a whole new level. Let’s hope she doesn’t see this because she is on my course at uni and we have never had a conversation for more than two sentences… Later on, I saw my ex-work mate Taylor sing in his band Lipstick Jumpsuit. Man, they were good. I don’t usually like that type of music as it’s a bit more garage rock than I prefer but what can I say? I felt my head bobbing and my feet tapping away.
Lastly, some creds have to be given to the art, theatre, comedy (Louisa from first dates was dressed as a some sort of sea creature!) and to be honest, just the feeling of community and togetherness in the festival. Everyone supported each other whether it was the poets, the singers or the taxi driver. Oh and Tristan- the man of the day who ran the whole bloody thing. I left simply in awe at all the eclectic talent I witnessed and the pure serenity and composure of the whole day. Despite the fact that I was slightly hungover and had the good ol’ butterflies in my stomach, i loved every minute of it. This is what Exeter is all about.
Student Journalist, Creative Writer, Poet, Traveller, Eco Warrior