The East Devon region is not only full of incredible attractions and natural landmarks, it also has a full event programme and plenty to look forward to in 2024. Here’s some of the events you should have on your radar for the coming year.
MarchBack to Top of List
The Budleigh Salterton spring weekend is a great way to kick off a year of incredible events and to get you excited for the main festival in September. Next year’s Spring weekend is running 1st – 2nd March, with the programme being announced soon.
Taking place every May, the Sidmouth Jazz and Blues Festival is one of the first big events of the year and features four days of live music across the town of Sidmouth.
The dates for 2024 have yet to be confirmed but watch this space!
A festival like no other, Sidmouth Sea Fest is an annual coastal community celebration that promotes the region’s fishing heritage. The new dates haven’t been confirmed for 2024, but there will be news in the New Year.
JuneBack to Top of List
One of the biggest events in Ottery St Mary, Pixie Day is an annual celebration of the day the town’s pixies were forced into exile by the human residents. The legend says that they rebelled on hearing the church bells and invaded, capturing the bell ringers and imprisoning them in a cave by the river known as Pixie Parlour. Every year, the town’s children re-enact this event, capturing the local bell ringers and taking them to Pixie Parlour. Today, the event also includes food, drink and other festivities, so make sure to visit in June, the next one is still TBC!
Right at the end of June and into July, Budleigh Music Festival is returning with its programme of classical music by the coast. Starting on 28th June, the annual event is a celebration of classical music, featuring both emerging and established artists.
JulyBack to Top of List
This region is full of traditional events and in July, you can enjoy one of Honiton’s longest running events and has taken place every year since around the 13th Century. Honiton’s Hot Pennies Day takes place on the first Tuesday after 19th July and harks back to the days when the local gentry would throw hot pennies to the poor and enjoy them getting burned. Today the event only features warmed pennies and is a way to raise funds for local causes.
Also taking place in Honiton in July is their annual Market Charter Day. Comprising of a traditional Honiton street market with local produce as well as a classic car show, entertainment, a dog show and much more. This year’s event was at the end of the month, and it is likely it will take place again at the same time next year.
AugustBack to Top of List
East Devon is the place to celebrate the summer season. The Sidmouth Folk Festival takes place at the beginning of August every year, with 2024’s event taking place on 2nd August. Next year’s event will make the festival’s 70th anniversary and we’re sure it will be something very special indeed. With a week long programme with music, workshops and other activities, the Folk Festival is a must visit event.
The Honiton Show, one of the biggest agricultural shows in the area will be returning on 8th August 2024. More details of stall holders and events will be coming soon.
If you like live music, Beautiful Days will also be taking place in the region in August. Located at Escot Park in Ottery St Mary, Beautiful Days will run for two days over 16th – 18th August. Previous headliners included Primal Scream, The Proclaimers and more, so make sure to get your tickets booked. 2024’s festival is on sale now with the line up being released in the New Year.
One of the biggest events in the region is the Sidmouth Regatta and Air Show which takes place over the August Bank Holiday every year. It brings thousands of people to the town every year and the hotels and guesthouses get booked up very quickly, so make sure to get in there first. The line up usually includes greats like the Red Arrows, with a full display programme released nearer the time.
SeptemberBack to Top of List
Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival holds two events a year, a smaller one in March, which we mentioned above and its larger festival in September. The main festival will take place from 18th – 22nd September 2024 and though we don’t yet know what delights are in store, with previous line ups including authors like Tom Holland, Natalie Haynes, David Baddiel, Lisa Jewel and Kate Mosse, this is a must for literature lovers. Keep your eyes peeled for the latest updates!
Another event in September is Sidmouth Walking Festival, which gives you an opportunity to explore Sidmouth and the wider East Devon area. With walks across the area, you can join walks led by an experienced local guide all bookable through the TIC in Sidmouth. The event usually takes place towards the end of September, with the latest dates to be announced shortly.
OctoberBack to Top of List
Arranged to coincide with Ada Lovelace Day, Sidmouth’s Science Festival grows every year. It takes place in October and runs across a week where you can take part in demonstrations and workshops, as well as panels with visiting scientists and open days at various local science institutions like the Norman Lockyer Observatory.
NovemberBack to Top of List
Remember, remember the fifth of November for it is the date for the annual Ottery Tar Barrels event! No one is really sure where the tradition came from, but Ottery is one of the last places in the UK to still host a tar barrel event, in which flaming tar barrels are carried through the town to raise money for local causes. It really is something that has to be seen to be believed!