A Clubber's Guide to Exeter

Exeter is a beautiful place. Sitting on the banks of the river Exe, at first glance Exeter may seem a middle class haven for retirees, with settings more apt for an episode of Flog It! rather than an awesome night out. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find hidden gems alongside well-established venues and events. Powered by the huge student population in what is essentially a small city, Exeter combines a peaceful atmosphere with a nightlife packed full of variety. The city’s size however may be a blessing in disguise, with almost all clubbing destinations being just a small walk away.

The huge amount of students and variety on offer means that it’s easy to avoid an argument over where to go out. Clubs such as Arena, Timepiece and Mosaic stand out as the clubbing heavyweights in the city. Events such as ‘Dirty Sexy People’ on a Monday night brings a heady mix of dance anthems and commercial mashups. With naughty drinks deals and a £3 entry charger, you’re guaranteed to get your week off to a good start here. Quick tip; make sure you get down there early. As one of Exeter’s busiest night, it’s possible you may have to queue for a while. If you fancy something more glamorous, head over to Mosaic, where you can party in comfort and style, soundtracked by pseudo-dubstep, house, RnB and Hip Hop anthems. If you’d rather a good old boogie, then the aptly named Cheesy Tuesdays is for you. Doing exactly what it says on the tin, the weekly event at Arena promises to bring all your musical guilty pleasures together. For something a little different, Magic Hatstand is a must. Run by an eccentric owner and filled with confetti, glitter and deep soulful funky house, the only word to describe the night is ‘fabulous’.

Venues such as the Cellar Door and Cavern are the musical havens, bringing the city some much-needed diversity. Following the example of its bigger brother in Bristol, Exeter’s dance scene has been bubbling under the surface for a solid number of years now, attracting the most exciting names in the industry. Thanks to promoters such as Our House, Thick as Thieves, Beats and Bass and the guys over at Phoenix, Exeter is now a regular destination on the touring map for loads DJs. Hosting the likes of Artful Dodger, welsh newcomers Bodhi and one third of Magnetic Man, these guys really know their stuff and consistently put on intimate weekend parties that never fail to disappoint. What’s pleasing to see in Exeter is their continued support for live music. New student club night Kink, running alternate Wednesdays at Cavern, and Mama Stone’s spearhead the movement, dedicating themselves to unearthing the hottest musical talents from across the country.

For a more relaxed night, fuelled by cocktails, then Gandy Street is really the place to be. All Jazz heads will be interested by The Old Firehouse, an intimate setting offering up weekly Jazz nights on a Saturday. Be sure to check out bars such as Monkey Suit and 44 Below, perfect for a couple of drinks with mates or even that special someone!

By Jack Evans