About the festival

WOW Exeter took place in 2017 and 2018 as part of the 9 festivals supported by Spirit of 2012.

In 2017 the festival took place 14-15 October at Exeter Phoenix and featured diverse sessions, including an insightful conversation with Liz Carr, a supportive ‘Life Drawing for the Terrified’ workshop, a celebration of Women Leading in Farming, discussions about women and climate change and practical workshops including self-defence and singing with the WOW Choir.

In 2018 the festival took place 13-14 October. Festival topics ranged from dance workshops to discussions on Women and the Criminal Justice System, as well as practical sessions on being your own boss and how to change a tire. Talks included topics such as One In Five: Women’s Mental Health,' emphasising the need for better mental health care and broadening the conversation across generations. 'Looking to the Future: Women, The Environment, and Equality' exploring topics like Fast Fashion and sustainable energy, but the absence of a STEM representative left the discussion somewhat open-ended. The festival concluded with an LGBTQIA+ Discussion Group focused on creating queer-safe spaces and addressing issues like hate crimes and rural isolation in Exeter.

The festival programmers were Debbie Bucella and Chloe Whipple.

About the organisers

WOW Exeter was presented by Southbank Centre and supported by Spirit of 2012.

Spirit of 2012 funded nine of the UK’s regional WOW festivals across 5 cities (Bradford, Cardiff, Norwich, Perth and Exeter) from 2016-2018. Across the three years, the project trained 107 women in cultural leadership, and supported 68 young women and girls to volunteer as ‘WOWsers’, shaping the festivals themselves. 650 people took part as facilitators, artists and speakers, and more than 9,000 people attended the events.

Spirit of 2012 is a funding charity, established by the Big Lottery Fund with a £47m endowment from the National Lottery. Spirit funds projects that bring people together – to learn something new, do something different, or experience something unique – and that leave behind a social legacy of increased wellbeing at an individual level, as well as happier and more connected communities.

Find out more

Find out more about Spirit of 2012's work with WOW here.

Discover more WOWs from around the World

WOW Festivals and events have taken place in more than 30 locations, reaching five million people on six continents since WOW was founded in 2010.