Brighton Festival 2016Counting down to our 50th
Festival this May

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In Pictures: Brighton Festival 2016

The 50th Brighton Festival is almost over, so we're taking a look back at the pictures from some of the shows and events we've loved the most. 

Picking out these images put a grin on our faces, and we hope it makes you smile too! 

Why not have a look through some more photos from this year's festival and re-live something special?

Photo credits: Victor Frankowski, Adam Weatherley, John Hunter

Interview: Dr Blighty projection mapping expert Paul Wigfield

We shine a light on the technology behind the Dr Blighty projections with Paul Wigfield, director of QED, the company behind the projection mapping that's enabled the beautiful and poignant transformation of the Royal Pavilion this Brighton Festival. 

How did you get involved in the project and what is your role?

I've been discussing this with the Festival over the past two years as it seemed a fitting way to mark its 50th anniversary. Our role was to produce and deliver the entire project.

It’s quite an ask - what did you think of the brief?

Our brief was to produce something spectacular for the Festival, but really it was the building itself that defined the brief, challenging us to tell the story of its role as a WW1 Indian military hospital.

What are the challenges of projecting onto a building of that scale?

The building is big, but by no means overwhelming - it's the immense amount of intricate detail that's the biggest challenge.

We therefore decided to cover every feature from every possible angle in order to project both onto and behind all the columns, as well as onto the onions and other architectural features. This enabled the content creators Novak to design uninterrupted continuous material that flows across all surfaces.

It's hard enough to project onto a large building from so many different angles, but even harder to create a digital canvas for something so heavily featured that still enables a story to be told and which can be appreciated by a large audience from all viewing angles.

It is a truly pioneering projection mapping project of the most intricate detail and quality, and we've had to deploy 500,000 lumens of projection power to enable it to happen before nightfall.

What does video mapping actually entail? Can you take us through the process in layman’s terms?

It's a lengthy and detailed process, however the concept and workflow is relatively simple. We first laser scanned the Pavilion and the surrounding environment and built a 3D model from the data. We then created a UV map of the building for the creatives to use as a content template. The UV map is essentially a flattened out 2D template that divides the building into the specific sections. It's like a jigsaw puzzle where all the individual pieces are sent to each projector and reassembled when projected back onto the building to create a completely seamless image.

Here we are sending 22 individual synchronised HD outputs from the media server in order to achieve coverage required. We knew it would require a large number of feeds but we didn't know quite how many until we pre-visualised the building with test content.

How did you feel when you saw it realised?

Absolutely amazing. I managed to resist the temptation to see it before the opening night as I wanted to fully experience and enjoy it from the perspective of a member of the audience. It's the culmination of many months of hard work and of many years waiting for the opportunity to arise.

We simply had to do justice to the Royal Pavilion, to honour the WW1 commemorations and to celebrate 50 years of the Brighton Festival, so we put all our resources and skills behind it.

Find out more about all the Dr Blighty events


Dr Blighty is a Nutkhut production co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW: WW1 Centenary Art Commissions, Brighton Festival, and Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. Supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, QED, and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.


In Photos: Dr Blighty Pavilion Projections

Dr Blighty projections light up Brighton's Royal Pavilion from 9.30pm every day until Sat 28 May.

This major outdoor event in the Royal Pavilion Garden inspired by the story of the thousands of Indian soldiers who were treated in the temporary military hospital housed in Brighton Pavilion.

Dr Blighty is a Nutkhut production co-commissioned by Brighton Festival, Royal Pavilion & Brighton Museums & 1418 NOW : WW1 Centenary Art Commissions.

Photos: Victor Frankowski

Discover more about Dr Blighty events and see what everyone's been saying about the whole project below...


Festival Hot Seat... Antahkarna

Gauri Sharma Tripathi is the acclaimed Indian choreographer bringing Antahkarna and the free outdoor dance show Bodyline to Brighton Festival. In this Festival Hot Seat she tells us about the shows and the traditional Kathak form of dance.

Can you tell us what your show is about?

The tradition of storytelling is rediscovered through the Kathak vocabulary in Antahkarna. The piece probes the questioning voices of the past and present, vacillating between the sensuous, the spiritual, stillness and the nomadic.

The expression of love and devotion, from flesh and blood to the abstract presence of the almighty, is present in Vyom. In Timelapse we see a dialogue between the body and the soul, until all dissolves and what remains is dance. Throughout, contrasting attitudes of harmony and discordance are communicated through the various tones of Kathak.

The three episodes, Vyom, Vyuha and Timelapse, permeate into the realms of our innermost core by embarking on an adventurous inner journey — a journey that begins with innovation, expressions and improvisations.

‘Katha Kahe So Kathik Kahai’ He who tells a story is a Kathak.

Where did the idea and inspiration come from?

Kathak is the major classical dance form of northern India. It is derived from the dance dramas of ancient India — ‘Kathak’ means ‘to tell a story’. When patronage shifted from the temples to the royal courts, the emphasis shifted from the telling of religious stories to entertainment. Today, the story-telling aspect of Kathak is usually of secondary importance; the dance is primarily an abstract exploration of rhythm and movement.

Why do you think it’s an important story to tell?

In the words of Martha Graham, ‘dance is the hidden language of the soul’. For me, dance is where happiness comes from. All trials and tribulations are knotted together; thus we need the constant unearthing of ourselves to grow, finding a fleeting moment when we feel elated and alive.

What sort of person is going to love this show?

The versatility, heritage, and reachability of the Kathak form communicates to one and all. Let’s celebrate dance and the festivities together.

What does Brighton Festival mean to you? Do you have a favourite Festival moment?

The excitement of being part of history being made, with 50 years of the Brighton festival itself is a landmark moment. I am really happy to be participating with a traditional Kathak solo, and my favourite being Bodyline performed on the 25th as well. You see the myriad dimensions in which the Kathak dance vocabulary transforms the proscenium space to the outdoor crossroads for Bodyline.

Find out more about Bodyline and Antahkarna

Discover what's going on in Dr Blighty week

In the last week of Brighton Festival the Pavilion Gardens will be filled with a dreamlike environment of immersive installations, ambient soundscapes and theatrical interludes examining the legacy of the Indian soldiers who were wounded in WW1 and treated in Brighton. 


Dr Blighty

In Dr Blighty, performing arts company Nutkhut commemorates the 2300 Indian soldiers who were treated at the Royal Pavilion Estate, particularly focusing on the letters they wrote home. 

The title of the show is significant - Blighty, taken from the Urdu, ‘vilayat’ (specifically Europe or Britain) and ‘vilayati’ (Britain, English, Home), spread widely during World War 1. The term became an accepted reference to England, but also had a deep signficance for the south Asian soldiers.

Many of the soldiers believed the rumour that their King-Emperor George V had given up his own palace for them to be treated in, although in reality the royals had sold the Pavilion long before WW1.

Those soldiers who were illiterate conveyed their messages and letters to scribes at the hospital, who censored criticism of the war in Europe.

From Tue 24 - Sat 28 May (2pm – 10pm), Pavilion Gardens will host a variety of audio and visual experiences and acted performances reflecting on these histories.

This will include a stunning visual projection onto the front of the Pavilion itself at nighttime, telling the story of Dr Blighty.

This map shows the locations and some of the timings of events. 

Nutkhut have worked with Brighton locals to create some of the soundscapes that you'll be able to experience as you wander around the gardens. You can get a glimpse into this process in the video below:


Dr Blighty: Diya-making sessions

Come along to one of the drop in diya making sessions at Brighton Dome Café-bar throughout the Festival and make your very own decorated clay pot for the final installation of Dr Blighty.

You can watch this video from Nutkhut on how to make a diya.


Dr Blighty: Commemorations

On Sun 29 May (4pm) in a special event thousands of diyas will be laid down to memorialize the soldiers' stay in the city. 

A blue plaque will also be unveiled honouring Subedar Mir Dast, who was awarded the Victoria Cross by King George V, organised by Davinder Dhillon, from the Chattri Group.

Dr Blighty: The Concerts

Philharmonia Orchestra

Debashish Bhattacharya

In a special concert incorporating readings from letters and diaries of Indian servicemen, the Philharmonia will play alongside Indian violinist Kala Ramnath, Sat 28 May (7.30pm).

They will perform some of the best loved English music of the Edwardian era by Vaughan Williams and Butterworth as well as Kala Ramnath's The Seasons of India.

You can listen to Kala Ramnath performing with the London Symphony Orchestra string section to get a taste of this incredible meeting of East and West.


Afterwards (Sat 28 May, 10.15pm), slide guitar virtuoso Debashish Bhattacharya will perform a traditional raga concert alongside tabla player Gurdain Rayatt. Bhattacharya is one of the greats of world music and recently won a Songlines Music Awards 2016 winner (Asia & South Pacific) - this late night concert is not to be missed. 

Book now for Philharmonia Orchestra and Debashish Bhattacharya

Philharmonia Orchestra ticket holders enjoy £5 off the ticket price for the Debashish Bhattacharya concert when booked together over the phone or in person.


Dr Blighty is a production by Nutkhut and is part of 14-18 NOW, the UK's arts programme for the First World War Centenary. It is further co-commissioned by Brighton Festival and Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, QED, and by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Fat Boy Slim, Prince Regent, and the Palace Pier among those celebrated in the Children’s Parade 2016

Celebrating the great and the good of Brighton, 20,000 people packed the streets today Sat 7 May as the 50th Brighton Festival launched with the Children’s Parade

The theme for the 2016 Children’s Parade, the largest of its kind in Europe, which is jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky and supported by local businesses Class of their Own and Riverford, was ‘Brighton celebrates’, and around 5,000 children from 67 schools and community groups from across the region took part.

Participants took inspiration from the people, places, ideas and innovations that shape the city’s unique character and identity. Featuring in the parade were three Fat Boy Slims, Prince Regent on his throne, Duke of York’s Cinema, the Palace Pier, Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, David Bowie, Beach Huts, Afternoon tea at The Grand, and dozens of other iconic Brighton figures and landmarks.

Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky and supported by local businesses Class of their Own and Riverford, the annual Children’s Parade officially launches Brighton Festival and has delighted participants and spectators for over 25 years.

Previous themes have seen children dress up as everything from letters of the alphabet and Brighton street names to books, mermaids and even slices of cake for the annual Children’s Parade.

One of the most spectacular community events in the UK, Same Sky spends six months working behind the scenes to create the event, with creative teams instructing teaching staff how to teach dance and parade chants, run free masterclasses, help develop design ideas and encourage imagination to flow.

John Varah, Artistic Director, Same Sky says: ‘It is great to see Brighton and Hove's schools once again embracing the themes of the parade with amazing imagination and ingenuity. The theme “Brighton celebrates” has brought to life sections celebrating the people, places and ideas that have made the city so exiting, innovative and funky. We are all looking forward to the next 50 years and hope the Children's Parade will continue to thrill and astound. We had The Prince Regent, Fat Boy Slim and Rudyard Kipling brushing shoulders with the I360 and the West Pier whilst traveling through a flutter of starlings and taking Tea at the Grand only here can all these ideas coexist in the maker city where we all create, celebrate and strut our stuff.

In Pictures: Three Score Dance - Tall Tales

To celebrate the 50th Brighton Festival, Three Score Dance brought together 50 dancers aged over 50 to perform a very special dance piece on the beach. 

On a gloriously sunny day, crowds gathered on West Pier Beach to see Tall Tales, a specially commissioned piece choreographed by Lea Anderson drawing upon the history of Brighton Festival over five decades.

Enjoy these photos of the event! 

Photo credit Vic Frankowski

In Pictures: Music For Dogs

Brighton Festival plays host to the UK premiere of Laurie Anderson's unique concert for dogs this week. 


Brighton Festival played host to Guest Director Laurie Anderson’s Music for Dogs this week – a pair of concerts specially designed for the canine ear. Around 400 dogs were in attendance accompanied by their human counterparts at BOAT (Brighton Open Air Theatre).

This was the UK premiere of Music For Dogs following performances at Sydney Opera House, and again in New York’s Times Square earlier this year which made headlines around the world. The idea was initially prompted by a backstage conversation with cellist Yo-Yo Ma in which Laurie mused: 'Wouldn’t it be great if you’re playing a concert and you look out and everyone’s a dog?' 

Here is a selection of photographs from the evening.

Photo credit Vic Frankowski

In Pictures: Week 1

Brighton Festival 2016 kicked off in grand sunny style with the Children's Parade (click to see more photos) on Saturday, and we've been celebrating since then! 

Here are a few photos from the first week, from the touching Portraits in Motion to a very special canine concert in Music For Dogs. 

Photos by Vic Frankowski, Tom Oldham, John Hunter and Adam Weatherley. 

In pictures: The Children's Parade 2016

Brighton Celebrates!
A few photos from an incredible Children's Parade. What an amazing and wonderful way to mark the start of the 50th Brighton Festival.

The theme for the 2016 Children’s Parade, the largest of its kind in Europe, which is jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky and supported by local businesses Class Of Their Own and Riverford, was ‘Brighton celebrates’, and around 5,000 children from 67 schools and community groups from across the region took part.

Participants took inspiration from the people, places, ideas and innovations that shape the city’s unique character and identity. Featuring in the parade were three Fat Boy Slims, Prince Regent on his throne, Duke of York’s Cinema, the Palace Pier, Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell, David Bowie, Beach Huts, Afternoon tea at The Grand, and dozens of other iconic Brighton figures and landmarks.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone involved. Thank you all for your magnificent creations and for your enthusiasm and to Same Sky Brighton and our sponsors for making this an epic Children's Parade to remember!

Find out more about our sponsors: Riverford Brighton & Sussex and Class Of Their Own