Top 5 Music Venues in Exeter

Compared to neighbouring Bristol, Exeter is arguably slightly wanting in music venues. Yet what it lacks in quantity is definitely made up for in quality, and Exeter can be proud to boast a variety of diverse venues. Whether you want a chilled night with your closest friends, or to get sweaty in a raucous mosh pit, Exeter has you covered.

      5. The Lemmy

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credit: stereoboard

At the bottom of the list is the Lemmy. With a surprisingly impressive history (Thom Yorke was once a DJ here), the Lemmy can be seen as a staple of Exeter university life. Hosting a variety of gigs; from the Battle of the Bands competition to the occasional DJ (Hodor from Game of Thrones was a particular highlight), the Lemmy caters to varying tastes. However, whilst the drinks are cheap, it’s hard to escape the Lemmy’s atmosphere as a student club; it lacks the intimacy and, quite simply, the coolness of other Exeter venues. Ultimately, it is hard to fault a venue that manages to make such big-name bookings; after all, it was only a few months ago that Years and Years graced the Lemmy stage.

  1. Great Hall
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credit: polyphonic

Coming in fourth is the Great Hall. Boasting a much greater capacity than the Lemmy, the Great Hall is able to showcase the university’s more remarkable visitors. Most notable in recent months has been Muse, who returned to their home county of Devon to play to a sell-out crowd in March. Also, Catfish and the Bottlemen have recently played their powerful indie rock sounds in the venue in what was deemed to be an extremely popular show.

  1. Firehouse
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credit: jackiewatanabe

Next up is Firehouse. Potentially the most intimate venue on the list, Firehouse can be celebrated for its relaxed and cosy atmosphere. Perfect for a chilled night out, Firehouse hosts gigs on Friday and Saturday nights, with Extunes performing on Sundays. In regards to genre, Firehouse is more diverse than the venues listed above, presenting diverse sounds that range from acoustic to jazz. Accompanied by Firehouse’s legendary pizza and a jug of cider, a gig at Firehouse makes for an enjoyable evening.

  1. Phoenix
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credit: audiencefansite

Phoenix plays host to a mixture of big name artists, as well as more indie fare. Particularly popular as a venue for the likes of Our House, Thick as Thieves and Hold it Down, Phoenix always has tremendous success with its DJ nights. Whilst the main stage is especially impressive, the venue also has a number of more intimate spaces where artists can perform. The terrace at the back, for example, is always packed with revellers during house nights, as it boasts space for both a DJ and a dance floor.

  1. Cavern
exeter cavern
credit: exetercavern

Top on the list of best music venues in Exeter is Cavern. Potentially most exciting  about the venue is its remarkable legacy, with the likes of Coldplay and Muse performing here prior to reaching international success. Smaller than most venues on the list, Cavern’s snug size makes it the perfect place to enjoy the work of up and coming bands. Nights such as Indie Club and Mahatma Music act as successful showcases of music from both the UK and further afield; American bands Overcoats and Heyrocco have both stopped in during the last year. Combining fresh music with an eclectic atmosphere makes Cavern the top venue for music in Exeter.

Isabelle Kemp

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