Exeter is many things but culturally diverse isn’t one of them – or so I thought. Belmont Park, usually a quiet spot enjoyed by local families, students and the odd cider casualty, was transformed into a teeming enclosure of multi-cultural brilliance on Saturday 4th July. It was refreshing to be amongst a mini greatest hits of global sights, sounds and tastes. And all here in a small Devon city.

I joined the queue for the curried goat, rice and beans, finding room later for a lip-smacking savoury snack box sold by the Exeter Hindu Temple. Pints of flat, tangy cider provided the perfect liquid bridge between courses (westcountry culture at its finest). Stalls promoting various causes and beliefs were everywhere but I honed in on some soothing African instrumentals in the Acoustic Cafe tent before heading to the impressive World Big Top for a storming stew of Cuban funk, soul and butt-shaking rhythms from Wara http://www.myspace.com/waralondon.

Beatific expressions could be seen everywhere as people jiggled about in the marquees and sprawled outside on the sun-drenched parkland. Proof positive that there’s an appreciation and need for diverse music and cultural events within the county’s capital.

Respect festival<