Top Exeter indie venue reaches appeal target after major fire damage

Coldplay, Muse and Biffy Clyro have played Exeter Cavern

The owners of leading indie venue Cavern in Exeter have successfully reached their appeal target after the club was severely damaged by a fire on Tuesday.

The 220-capacity Cavern hosted early gigs by the likes of Muse, Biffy Clyro, Royal Blood and Mumford And Sons, with Coldplay also playing an early show at the venue in Chris Martin’s hometown.

Long a regular start for promising bands at the start of their careers, the Cavern celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 with a gig by Frank Turner.

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The Cavern was closed for redecoration when it was damaged by a fire on Tuesday night (September 6). It’s believed the fire was caused by an electrical fault. Owners Dave Goodchild and Pippa Wragg-Smith said they were fortunate that most of the building is brick and concrete, which prevented the fire from spreading further. It still took fire officers four hours before the blaze was extinguished at around 2am on Wednesday.

Goodchild and Wragg-Smith estimated they’d need £3,000 over their budget to fully repair the damage. A fan of the venue, Bob D’Mello, set up a Just Giving page to help towards the repairs.

D’Mello said: “The Cavern has helped us out at different times in our lives. Now is the time to help them. The premier music venue in the UK, let’s get together and show our appreciation for Dave, Pippa and the whole Exeter music scene by giving as much as we can.”

By Friday, the appeal target had easily been reached, with nearly £6,500 contributed by donors.

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