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Exeter is the capital of Devon, and with that status you would think that bands would be queuing up to play at WestPoint Arena, especially as the only other place in the area is in Plymouth. But there is one major reason why big bands don't come very often, and here's my story to tell you why...
By the 1st of November 2003 I was buzzing. I was going to watch the Steriophonics in concert near my home town in Devon on the 12th of the month. I had never been to WestPoint arena and I heard mixed views from my friends who had been. The worst being that if it rains outside, it rains inside. I thought that they were joking!
Exeter arena is basically a multi purpose cow shed. Everything from the Devon county show to Swanlake on ice is performed in there. It has a maximum capacity of 7,500, but I wouldn't like to be there when they try that!
It's situated about a mile away from the M5 with a bus route running past it, but no train links. Parking is in a field, a generally wet and muddy field, and although it's free, it's a long way from the actual arena. There is always a long traffic jam on the main road before and after an event which could mean missing the first song if you don’t come early.
For the Steriophonics concert I paid £19.50 for a standing ticket. Which was slightly less than average for the tour, but there was a less than average atmosphere too.
We walked in and headed straight for the bar - built in a side shed, of the main cow shed! It was busy, the queuing system was not working and at £10 for 3 bottles of alcopop it was expensive! The choice was limited, Alcopop, fizzy, water or larger- no shots of anything, no bitter, and no wine. No food was available either, not even plain crisps!
I was brave - I wore a Wales rugby top to the gig in support of my favorite Welsh band. This was brave because we'd lost to England the night before! A few Welsh travelers complimented me in my taste of clothing, but most were too excited to notice!
By the time Kelly was on the stage my party had pushed our way to the edge of the shed and had a clear side on view of the stage. Now clearly visible, and with his Welsh eyes glistening, Kelly was, naturally, brilliant. My eyes only occasionally flickered away from his, just to make sure no one around me was offended by my over excited singing or flouncing dancing. That was until I felt something strange fall on my back “…If you had yourself a flying giraffe…” No surely not? Not in my favorite song? “…with a window…” It was rain; or rather some kind of secondhand rain, which fell in mud covered globules from the roof.
Despite the incredible talent, of an incredible band, my night had been ruined by rusty rain.
GOOD POINTS OF WESTPOINT ARENA It is the only place to hold concerts within a 50 mile radius. Security, there are guards at ever entrance and scattered throughout the crowds.
BAD POINTS OF WESTPOINT ARENA The muddy rain, which makes for a depressed, disgusted and wet audience. The walk back to the car – a long way. The time it takes to get in, or out, of the car park. The small capacity. The distinct smell of cows that lingers after every Devon County Show.
i have seen oasis, manic street preachers and chris de burgh here. its not that bad and if you are local then you know about the parking and traffic probs. to be fair most people get there early so they can get a good standing point
eve6kicksass 04.02.2004 04:14
A fine op there...Chris xxx
smileybabe 04.02.2004 00:33
Good enough review but please be aware of spelling mistakes. Can be off-putting:0)