Brighton Festival

Brighton Festival
Brighton Festival is an annual curated arts festival held in Brighton and Hove, England each May. Attracting over 500,000 attendees every year, it is one of the largest and most established cultural festivals in the United Kingdom.

Brighton Festival was founded in 1967. Its main goal was to stimulate townsfolk and visitors into taking a new look at the arts. Over the years, it has grown to become the largest arts festival in England and one of the most significant events of its kind in the UK.

The festival is known for its pioneering spirit and ambitious and daring program. For example, the inaugural festival included the first ever exhibition of concrete poetry in the United Kingdom and featured performances by Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Yehudi Menuhin, The Pink Floyd, and The Who.

Today Brighton Festival is considered one of the leading arts festivals in Europe. It attracts the most exciting performers from all over the country and abroad as well as helps to promote local artists and brings fresh, challenging new work to the city of Brighton. The festival focuses on innovative projects and modern and contemporary arts.

Brighton Festival opens with the traditional Children’s Parade featuring almost 5,000 participants from local schools and community groups. It is one of the largest parades of its kind in Europe. The program of the festival includes traditional theater, experimental theater, music, literature, fine arts, dance, circus, film, and other forms of art. Numerous performances and exhibitions take place in a variety of venues across Brighton.

The program of the festival is divided into several sections for attendees to navigate easier. They include Art & Film, Books & Debate, 26 Letters, Circus, Classical Music, Contemporary Music, Dance, Theater, Comedy, Family, Outdoor, and Lunchtimes. Of course, one event can belong to several sections at once, for example, a dance or theater performance which takes place outdoors.

Since 2009, Brighton Festival has featured guest artistic directors. Past guest directors include sculptor Anish Kapoor, musician and composer Brian Eno, politician and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, actress and political activist Vanessa Redgrave, novelist and poet Michael Rosen, dancer and choreographer Hofesh Shechter, author and playwright Ali Smith, performance artist and musician Laurie Anderson, poet and playwright Kate Tempest.

Brighton Festival

Photo: Jordan Hughes




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