Cultural Exchanges Festival returning with a strong celeb line-up


Credit: Tony Graves

The celebs have been greenlit, the performances have been finalised and the spotlight is set.

The annual De Montfort University Cultural Exchanges Festival will begin 27 February until 3 March and as ever the pressure looms over the third-year Arts and Festivals Management students responsible for its organisation.

Director of Cultural Exchanges, Tony Graves, 61, said: “This will be the Universities 16th Cultural Exchanges Festival.

“The students themselves have been working exceptionally well to try and ensure that it is as good as its predecessors.”

Celebrities making an appearance in the festival’s line-up include Kanya King, founder of the MOBO awards (pictured right). Leicester-born Nina Stibbe, best-selling author of Love, Nina. Martin Bell, respected ex-journalist from British television and finally Wayne Hemingway, a globally acclaimed fashion designer responsible for the 80’s label ‘Red or Dead’.

Many of the events planned for the Cultural Exchanges Festival are free entry to DMU students and the public, with certain admission fees being applied to the more high-profile events.

Tony said: “Funding for the festival is provided by the De Montfort University but the students are tasked with where the budget goes and how they can stretch what they have.

“They start out nervous but as the event develops they become transformed by it.”

The festival will be kick-started by its official Welcome To Leicester Poetry Launch event that will be taking place between 6pm-8pm on February 27 and takes place in the Clephan Building in room 3.01

The students responsible for the festival management will also be holding an official celebratory launch party that will be taking place at The Font today (February 24) between 6pm-9pm, where everyone is invited to join in the fun.

To join the guestlist for the launch party and to notify the students that you will be attending, or to simply find out more about the Cultural Exchanges Festival call, 0116 250 6229 or visit the official website

By Jason Cowlishaw

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