Brighton Fringe

Brighton Fringe
Brighton Fringe is an annual arts festival that takes place in the city of Brighton, England. It is the largest arts festival in England and one of the largest festivals of its kind in the world. Held every May, it aims to entertain, educate and stimulate a diverse range of people through a diverse range of art forms.

A fringe festival is an open access arts festival focused on performing arts that are experimental in style or subject matter. Most fringe festivals do not use a jury selection process, relying on a lottery system or the first come, first served principle instead. The world’s first fringe festival was Edinburgh Festival Fringe established as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival.

Similarly, Brighton Fringe was created as an open access program within the curated Brighton Festival, running alongside the festival since its inception in 1967. Brighton Fringe established itself as a limited company and registered charity in 2006, becoming fully independent from Brighton Festival both financially and in terms of programming.

Brighton Fringe runs over four weeks in May and early June and features several hundred performers. More than half of them are based in Brighton and Hove because one of the festival’s main goals is to promote local talent. The rest of the participants come from all over the UK and abroad.

Brighton Fringe imposes no selection criteria on participants, giving both established and up-and-coming performers an opportunity to try out new works and take risks. All one has to do participate is register and pay the participation fee. Many performers see the festival as an opportunity for their act to be picked by promoters.

Since 2011, Brighton Fringe has been running its Professional Development Program designed to help artists develop professionally. The program features a range of workshops and mentoring programs.

The festival is constantly expanding, offering more shows and attracting more performers and spectators each year. For example, the 2015 edition featured over 780 shows in 174 venues and drew over 400,000 attendees. Shows take place at various venues, from large theaters and concert halls to public parks and private houses. The organizers try to make the shows as affordable as possible so most tickets don’t cost much, and over 150 events are free of charge.

Brighton Fringe Festival

Photo: Peter Williams




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