There have been annual music festivals in the town since 2005 when 25 residents, led by Roger and Brenda Bowen, decided to form a committee to decide the format and frequency of concerts. Many of this original body had retired here from cities and towns where cultural life flowed. They had been missing the buzz and excitement of live classical music and other cultural activities often readily available on their doorstep. Could the small town of Budleigh sustain a festival of 8 or 9 full classical music evening concerts and the expense of employing the artists to deliver such programmes? The answer has been emphatically positive with most concerts fully sold out.