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The East Devon Music Festival Launches in Exeter’s Princesshay, as the 2018 Line Up is Revealed

The East Devon Music Festival launch took place on the Bank Holiday weekend in Exeter, with shoppers and visitors treated to performances by SING Devon, while soaking up the sunshine in Princesshay Square.

There will be 10 events taking place over the two weeks of the Festival, from 16th to 30th June. Having recently enjoyed a rebrand from the Honiton Festival, this year’s event will feature an eclectic mix of UK and international classical artists, giving East Devon residents a rare opportunity to enjoy a glittering array of talent on their doorstep.

The Festival committee was on hand this weekend, in Princesshay, to hand out programmes to shoppers and provide them with more information about the impressive line up of classical musicians from around the world, including world famous violinist Tasmin Little.

The SING Devon community choir, made up of 30 members from Exeter and Plymouth, helped launch the festival with rousing performances of classical and contemporary songs.

Catering to lovers of Chopin, Debussy and Bach, the diverse programming at this year’s Festival also showcases works by twentieth century composers such as Leroy Anderson, Pamela Harrison and Richard Rogers. The festival also offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy some of East Devon’s most interesting and historic venues, such as the Deer Park Country House Hotel, Sidholme Music Room and Upottery Church.


“It’s very informal and accessible.”  says Artistic Director Tim Phillips.

“The festival is all about getting out and enjoying summer evenings of outstanding music in some of the most beautiful locations in East Devon. We welcome people from across the region, regardless of whether they are die-hard classical music fans or completely new to the genre.”

Headliner Tasmin Little is one of the most eminent and internationally acclaimed violinists of recent years. Taking centre stage at the Deer Park Hotel, on Monday 18 June in the beautiful Orangery, Tasmin will be joined by celebrated Australian pianist, Piers Lane. The two friends arrive at the festival, fresh from their highly praised 2017 sell out performance at the Menuhin Hall.

The following evening’s event at the Deer Park is set to be another highlight of the Festival, when opera stars Gareth Brynmor John and Gemma Summerfield team up with pianist Libby Burgess to perform Seasons of Life: A Journey in Song.

As its Patron, the Festival has been lucky enough to secure the mezzo soprano Sarah Walker CBE. Sarah has performed in concert halls and opera houses the world over, taking part in such landmark events as Beethoven’s Ninth, under Bernstein, at the opening of the Berlin Wall and Pavarotti’s sixtieth birthday performances at The Met. Sarah is also well known for her two Last Night of the Proms appearances as Britannia.

East Devon Music Festival Chair David Reeks says:

“We’re extremely lucky to have prestige performers and celebrities from far and wide playing in East Devon.”

“Classical music is thriving at the moment and we want to dispel misconceptions that it is elitist and stuffy by showcasing some of the most exciting performers around.”

For a full programme of the events, taking place at the East Devon Music Festival, and to buy tickets, please visit

For media enquiries, please contact Emma McLeod, Account Director, at Astley Media: / 01392 267394

About the Festival

The new East Devon Music Festival has sprung from the Honiton Festival, which was founded thirty years ago by John Dalton and Roger Hendy. The Festival is a charity and take place every two years.

The new East Devon Music Festival aims to take classical music to many more places in East Devon, with concerts in Sidmouth, Axminster, Stockland and Upottery, as well as three concerts in the lovely setting of the Deer Park Hotel, at Weston, two miles west of Honiton.


The Festival at a glance

4 Girls 4 Harps

Saturday 16 June

The Beehive, Honiton


Axminster Chamber Choir

Sunday 17 June

Church of St Michael and All Angels, Stockland


Piers Lane

Monday 18 June

Orangery, Deer Park Hotel, Weston


Tasmin Little OBE with Piers Lane

Monday 18 June

Orangery, Deer Park Hotel, Weston


Gareth Brynmor John and Gemma Summerfield with Libby Burgess

Tuesday 19 June

Orangery, Deer Park Hotel, Weston

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