Since closing Brighton Dome, cancelling Brighton Festival and pausing over 4,000 music lessons we normally deliver to young people across our county, we have been inundated with kind messages of support and generous gestures.
As we know, the hammer blow that COVID19 has delivered to our lives is likely to ripple for some time and is affecting every sector of our economy. Arts venues across the country are facing extremely hard times ahead, potentially financially devastating. 65% of our income disappeared over night.
Our magnificent building has been standing for over 200 years - a beacon for the community. Starting as a riding stables for Prince Regent and transforming into many guises thereafter from a place of protest and solidarity for Suffragettes, to temporary hospital in WWI, a refuge for wartime dance in World War II and even a roller-skating venue.
To now. To a place where we have provided thousands of memories to treasure. Do you remember the awe you felt when you watched your favourite musician play in such a grand and intimate setting? Did you go to one of the many Festival events in unusual settings across our city? The Victorian police cells, the Chattri, the old Co-op building, the Fire Garden, Woodvale Cemetery, Black Rock or Hollingbury Hillfort?
You may have graduated with us and have the perfect selfie with Brighton Dome as a backdrop. Or did you shed a tear when your child first performed on our stage in a classical concert, or when they nailed their Let’s Dance routine or took part in their first Children’s Parade with thousands of others?
Whatever your connection to us, we know our venue, our annual Festival and music tuition inspire lives and enable change for good. We know we need to fight hard to stay here for our community for the next 200 years. We will need the arts more than ever when we come out the other side of this.
Without you, our loyal audiences and supporters, we could not exist. You are incredibly important to us and your support will help us look forward to the future with confidence.
'This Festival brings so much pleasure to so many and is part of the cultural fabric of Brighton & Hove. I hope this relatively small amount helps artists and organisers during these unprecedented times. Good luck! I am looking forward to next year's Festival more than ever!' Brighton Festival Ticket Booker and Donor