Brighton & Hove
Creativity and culture are Brighton’s cornerstones; beyond the sun, sea, and pebbled beach lies the real heart of Brighton, which beats to the drum of the artists and performers who ensure the present day is enriched with artistry.
Every year in May, Brighton attracts visitors and artists from around the globe who want to participate in the annual kaleidoscope of arts and culture, otherwise known as Brighton Festival, which creates a stage of boundless creativity for international icons and local trailblazers alike.
The festival is renowned for painting a rich tapestry stitched from visual arts, dance, theatre, music, comedy, literature and providing a platform for critical discussions on societal and global issues.
The integral addition to the cultural calendar has become one of the leading innovative arts festivals in Europe. Beyond paying homage to its history, Brighton Festival, with its inspiring, eclectic, and inclusive spirit, shapes and adds vibrant colour to the future of the arts.
In 2024, Brighton Festival will take place across Brighton & Hove from Saturday, the 4th of May to Saturday, the 26th of May. The 2024 festival programme is still under wraps as the program directors are hard at work enlisting help from the local community and booking prestigious household names.
In 2023, the festival program consisted of photo exhibitions from Reuben Bastienne Lewis, an immersive sound installation which gave attendees a taste of jungle paradise, a political talk from Rafael Behr, a performance from the Mercury Prize winner Arlo Parks, acrobatic performances, an author talk from Jaqueline Wilson, and plenty more.
History and Legacy
Brighton Festival’s inaugural event took place in 1967; the festival was established by local luminaries and leaders to provide a platform for innovative performers and artists and to celebrate the culture of Brighton & Hove after recognising the potential in the burgeoning local art scene.
Over the decades, Brighton Festival, which takes place every May, has seen countless transformative moments through its line-ups of world-renowned performers, notable artists, and famous guest directors. In 2009, the visual artist Kapoor was the appointed artistic director; the following year, the privilege fell upon Brian Eno, and more recently, Kae Kempest improved the inclusivity of the festival in 2017.
Some of the biggest achievements of Brighton Festival include the Children’s Parade, which showcases the creativity of the younger generations and has become the biggest of its ilk in Europe. The festival is also revered as one which sets the standard in community engagement by ensuring artistic participation is accessible to all.
Ticketing and Booking
To book tickets for festival events, visit the official Brighton Festival website and explore the What’s On listings. Alternatively, you can call the ticket line from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Monday – Sunday on 01273 709 709 or visit the ticket office at the Church Street Entrance to the Brighton Dome from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m., seven days a week.
The £10 Festival Standby scheme allows under 26s, over 60s or claimants to certain benefits to acquire £10 tickets from the venue just before the show for many events. These tickets are also available to festival members, festival artists, and anyone in possession of a pay-it-forward voucher. To find out more about how you can ‘pay it forward’ when purchasing any tickets, read about the scheme here.
If you have any ticket enquiries, forward them to email@example.com.
Venues which participate in Brighton Festival include:
· Adur Recreation Ground
· All Saints Church
· Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts (ACCA)
· Brighton CCA: Dorset Place
· Brighton Dome Concert Hall
· Brighton Dome Corn Exchange
· Brighton Dome Founders Room
· Brighton Dome Studio Theatre
· Brighton Girls
· Concorde 2
· Friends Meeting House
· Ironworks Studios
· Jubilee Square
· Latest Music Bar
· New Road
· Phoenix Art Space
· Queens Square
· Royal Pavillion Gardens
· Sallis Benney Theatre
· St Peter’s Square South
· The Crew Club
· The Dance Space
· The Hope & Ruin
· The Old Market
· The Prince Albert
· The Spire
· Theatre Royal Brighton
· Valley Gardens North
Festival accessibility is of paramount importance to the program curators at Brighton Festival. Year after year, the festival increases the number of performances that are accessible to a wider audience.
For more accessibility information, view the official websites of the venues you are interested in attending, or send access enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best way to enjoy Brighton Festival is to forget being a bystander and immerse yourself in the multi-art project by getting involved with one of the many participatory events and engagement activities. The festival prides itself on inclusivity and the directors are careful to consider every need when they are creating their programs. For the past five years, Brighton Festival has partnered with Our Place to celebrate creativity, produce art projects, and work in partnership with the community.
Workshops, which celebrate diversity and culminate in locally curated exhibitions of art are open to community groups and schools across Brighton through Our Place. In the past, there have also been photography masterclasses for budding amateur photographers, resulting in a photographic exhibition and a self-generated magazine.
Brighton Festival also invites people to participate in artist panels, celebrate culture and diversity by hosting parades, get involved with meet-and-greets, and get involved as an artist or performer. For more information on how Brighton Festival curates its programs and books talent, join the artist mailing list.
Plan Your Visit
Whether you are travelling by car, coach, train, or bus, Brighton boasts plenty of options for travelling to, from, and around the city with its great transport links and car parking spaces.
The train to Brighton takes just over an hour from London, and from the train station, it will only take you ten minutes to stroll into the cultural heart of Brighton where most of the participating venues in Brighton Festival are located.
Brighton’s main coach station, Pool Valley Coach Station is also just ten minutes away from the centre; it regularly receives services from London Victoria, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, and Stanstead Airport.
For festival-goers arriving by car, it is a 90-minute drive from London in good traffic conditions; when you arrive, use Brighton’s Parkopedia, which will provide you with real-time information on parking spaces.
As Brighton Festival attracts tens of thousands of visitors each year, it is advisable to book your accommodation in advance to secure accommodation you will be happy to bed down in. Check out our accommodation guides for the best variety of accommodation options in Brighton and book a cute, cosy, or artsy trip.
To make the most of the multi-arts festival, explore the What’s On page to acquaint yourself with all the billings, and be sure to check out the other cultural delights Brighton & Hove has to offer, such as its vast network of museums and art galleries. Of course, no trip to Brighton is complete without frequenting the top independent restaurants, coffee shops and stores.
Sponsors and Supporters
The current supporters of Brighton Festival include:
· Moda Living
· Mayo Wynne Baxter Solicitors
· University of Sussex
· Brighton College Prep School
· Brighton Girls
The Corporate Supporters of Brighton Festival include:
· Brighton Gin
· Echo Video
· Gemini Print
· Grandad Digital
· Ground Up Media
· One Digital
· Steinway and Sons
· Terre a Terre