It’s a mighty shame to see the Cellar Door close. Whilst I’ll attempt to avoid the insertion of clichéd quotes or platitudes into this reflection (there’ll be no “Cellar we hardly knew ye” etc.), I can’t help feeling gutted when the news broke a few days ago. Judging by the barrage of eulogistic updates across social media, it seems I wasn’t alone. When the Cellar Door closes on July 15th, Exeter nightlife will be without one of its best alternative options – a hole that may not be filled adequately in the near future.
For the student population, Cellar Door Tuesday had steadily become one of the staples of the average term-time week, forming the locus of the House Music boom that has defined the last two years. With Thick As Thieves, Beats & Bass, and EXIT consistently hosting successful events at the quayside club, some rather impressive names have graced the Cellar Door decks over the course of my time at Exeter – Artwork, Mac + Pasteman, Duke Dumont and Ben Pearce being select examples. Whilst Tuesday was undoubtedly the focal point of the club’s reputation, it’s also worth noting that the club and the adjacent Revelry branched out into different territory – The Dream, an immersive take on Shakespeare which ran this February proving to be an apt example.
Yet the closure could put this eclectic nature of the Exeter experience in jeopardy. Whilst Thick As Thieves and Beats & Bass will undoubtedly carry into the new academic year, the loss of this infamous venue might be an open wound to the Exeter scene for years to come. With the Cavern and the sporadic Phoenix being the only venues that offer an antidote to a more generic clubbing experience, there will be a real gap come Freshers’ Week. All we can do now is thank the previous management of the Cellar for creating such a unique experience in Exeter, and wish them the best of luck in any future endeavors. Let’s hope that the notorious black door hasn’t slammed shut for good.