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Ideas / Album / Brighton Festival
Brighton Festival and Brighton Festival Fringe

The Brighton Festival is a 3-week arts festival held each year in May in and around Brighton (on the south coast of England, about one hour from London by train).

In 2011 the dates of the Brighton Festival are Saturday 7 - Sunday 29 May

The pictures below were taken during the first day of the 2007 festival.


The opening event in each year's Brighton Festival is a Children's Parade from Sydney Street (in the North Laine area of the city) to Madeira Drive (by the sea). Thousands of local children and community groups take part (the parade takes over an hour to pass). Each year there is a theme: in 2007 this was inventors and inventions.

The Mayor of Brighton opens the parade ...

... and dances along with this band

Doctor Who emerges
from his tardis in Brighton ...

... but is pursued by his enemies:
the daleks ...

... and Frankenstein is another
monster not far behind

The board game

Who invented time?
("tempus fugit" is Latin for "time flies")

The x-ray machine: its invention
has been of great benefit to medicine

The music will set you alight
as the streets turn red

A red hot student of the
School of Rock

Oh no - Wallace is wearing
the wrong trousers ...

... taking Gromit
for a walk ...

... controlled by a penguin
disguised as a chicken

The invention of the teabag
is celebrated

This yellow submarine doesn't look out of place
in Brighton's brightly coloured North Laine area

One of the samba bands
during the parade ...

... and after reaching the end point,
near Brighton Pier


The main part of the Brighton Festival is a series of events by established artists, performers and writers. The programme includes theatre, dance, music (mainly classical and jazz), opera, debate and book or poetry discussions/readings. In most cases it is necessary to buy tickets in advance.


The Brighton Festival Fringe is a series of performances by newer or less established artists, or those whose type of act is not covered by the main festival. Over 200 different venues are used across the city. On most days you can choose from between 20 and 60 different acts. The main categories are: cabaret, classical music, comedy, dance and physical theatre, film, kids, literature, music, nightlife, theatre and musicals, events, tours, and workshops. The fringe is a good place to discover new talent or to visit a type of show you haven't seen before. Most of the performances are not too expensive, and many of them offer reduced prices to students.

Reserve your seats from the ticket office in
New Road, online, by phone or at the venue

Underbelly: a special festival fringe venue
set up in Old Steine

The photos below were taken at Fringe City - a free event on the first day which introduced some of the artists who will appear at the festival fringe.

There are a range of performers
on the streets, such as this juggler

Maddie (right) interviews people who are taking part
in the festival - in her bath!

A girl is taught a traditional Native American dance
by The Spirit of Native America

Mephistopheles Smith:
losing his angel's wings

Momma Cherri: combines soul singing
and food in her Brighton restaurant

Eklektika: performance art created
by local choreographers

The Kitsch Kittens (Sindy and Barbie) perform
hits by girl groups of the 1950s/60s

A member of London-based group Ruff Diamond (right)
dances carnival-style with a member of the crowd

Play Passion:
giving a new meaning to the word swing

Andy Barron:
roots reggae

Southern Suspects:
British hip hop artists


Official festival websites/publications
Free guides are published for the main festival and for the festival fringe (these can be found in tourist information offices or can be downloaded from the websites). These are usually available from the last week of March.
Brighton Festival:
Brighton Festival Fringe:
Brighton Marina:

Festival media
BBC Southern Counties:
The Argus (Brighton local newspaper):

Artists' websites
The websites of the some of the artists/organisations featured on this page:
The Spirit of Native America:
Mephistopheles Smith:
Momma Cherri's Big House (restaurant):
Eklektika (Brighton Dance Network):
The Kitsch Kittens:
Southern Suspects:

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Visitor guide to Brighton: Travel/Tours/England/Brighton
Visitor guide to Lewes: Travel/Tours/England/Lewes
Visitor guide to Eastbourne: Travel/Tours/England/Eastbourne

Events in May: Ideas/Events/May
Edinburgh festival (in August): Ideas/Events/August

Photos from other annual festivals in the UK: Ideas/Album

Wallace and Gromit: Britain/Films/WallaceAndGromit
British music: Britain/Music

Home page: Home

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