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About the festival

Cultural Exchanges is a diverse week of interactive discussions, performances and talks at DMU showcasing an eclectic programme of guests. The festival and its programme represent the culture and creativity of De Montfort University, the city of Leicester and contemporary society in order to bring together cultures and industries. It is hosted by the faculty of Arts, Design and Humanities, and is run by students on the Arts and Festivals Management BA (Hons) degree students.

Initially a one-off event to celebrate the opening of the new Humanities Clephan Building in 2000, its success led it to become an annual fixture.

Now in its 19th year, the festival has a growing regional and national profile and has established itself as a key event within the cultural calendar for Leicestershire and the East Midlands.

The week-long festival takes place in February/March each year and:

  • It offers over 50 events.
  • It attracts audiences upwards of 3,000.
  • It offers a wide range of discussions, talks, performances and workshops.
  • Most of the events are free in keeping with our aim of reaching people who would not normally come through our doors.
  • 40% of the audience are from outside the university.

Sponsorship and partners

  • UNITE Student accommodation is our sole festival sponsor. They have generously provided support since 2014. 
  • Sponsors have included Leicestershire and Rutland Life and Skylink, secured by the students.
  • Selected events have been programmed in collaboration with Arts Council England.
  • We have had partnership with Channel 4 (4 Talent) who have previously broadcast podcasts events from the festival such as Mark Thomas, Sue Townsend, Katharine Whitehorn and Grayson Perry.