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Did you know that we run a comprehensive outreach arts programme in order to encourage participation?

During the festival we deliver:

- The Children's Parade, the annual grand opening of the Brighton Festival which involves nearly 5,000 children from over 80 schools.

- Adopt an Author, a project which links children from local schools with well-known authors in order to promote literacy and the love of books.

- many free events during the Brighton Festival so everyone can get involved, look out for Safe House on 17 May at Hove Park and One Million on 23 & 24 May at Black Rock, Madeira Drive

Throughout the year we deliver::

- the Umbrella Club, a new project which is for children with life- shortening conditions. It allows access to the arts through the provision of free tickets and participation in the arts through workshops.

- a ground-breaking arts programme called Miss Represented which works with vulnerable young women within youth services across the city. It aims to inspire these young women to work towards a more positive life trajectory.

You can make a donation of £2 or more - It’s easy

Text BDFL14 £2 to 70070

Thank you

Video Playlist: Dance at Brighton Festival 2014

Discover Dance at Brighton Festival 2014

A plethora of Dance shows from internationally celebrated names to emerging artists are all part of Brighton Festival 2014. You can expect shows from William ForsytheWim Vandekeybus, Les Slovaks, and this year’s Guest Director, Hofesh Shechter amongst plenty of others. Why not take a moment and enjoy a taster of some of the incredible and awe inspiring shows we have in store for you:

Video Playlist: Art at Brighton Festival 2014

Discover Art at Brighton Festival 2014

Minimalism, simplicity, repetition - all themes of this year’s Brighton Festival Art programme. Do not miss work by Yinka Shonibare MBEZimounJacob DahlgrenKathy Hinde and many more. Get a glimpse into the world of the artists and their work here:

Introduction to Young City Reads & The Sleeping Army at Brighton Festival

What is Young City Reads?

Imagine sharing a book with your best friend, your teacher, your family or your bus driver. Reading a book together is a fun experience. Everyone should try it!

Children's author Francesca Simon (creator of the fantastically fiendish Horrid Henry series) invites you to join us in a citywide read of her book The Sleeping Army from now until Thu 22 May 2014.

Young City Reads is for everyone: whether you're an avid adventurer, budding bookworm or a simply terrific teacher... even Mums and Dads can join in. It doesn't matter who you are, Young City Reads is about opening up the world of words and ideas to everyone.

Collected Works CIC is the award winning reader development organisation behind Young City Reads 2014 and will be delivering the project as part of Brighton Festival this year.

Here are the people behind the organization:

Sarah Hutchings - Artistic Director

Sarah studied Theatre and Drama at University, and always knew her job would have to involve books and writers in some way. She was taught to read at home by her mum (who was a teacher) and remembers what enormous pleasure learning to read gave her. What she loves most about working on Young City Reads is being able to share that joy of reading with others.

Favourite Children’s Book(s): It was a toss up between To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee or The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. Both books were read at school and made a lasting impression.

Favourite Adult Books: The Bone People by Keri Hulme and Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban both life changing in their own way...

Young City Reads Sarah Hutchings

Vicky Tremain - Project Manager

Vicky has worked for Collected Works since Spring 2012 and runs a variety of arts projects across the city, many of them with children and young people. She also loves making music, eating peas and reading (of course!)

Favourite Children’s Author: Definitely Roald Dahl whose books taught her that she'd better be good.

Favourite Adult Authors: Too many to name them all, but favourites include: Russell Hoban, Flann O'Brien and Terry Pratchett.

When she was 16 Vicky read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and realised that sci-fi is most definitely not just for boys.

Young City Reads Vicky Tremain

Clare Hankinson - Arts Admin Assistant

Clare lives in Brighton and works for various arts organisations. She is particularly interested in working on projects that aim to engage more people in culture and the arts.

Favourite Children’s Book: Princess Smartypants by Babette Cole - because it's really funny and she loves the illustrations.

Favourite Adult Book: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. Clare likes it because although not that much happens it's all about family and the small things in life that mean so much to us.

Young City Reads Clare Hankinson

Adam Stower - Illustrator (The Sleeping Army)

Adam Stower (pictured on top of the page), the exceptionally talented illustrator behind this year’s Young City Reads title (Francesca Simon’s The Sleeping Army) has been drawing ever since he was old enough to hold a crayon.

Adam grew up in Switzerland by Lake Zurich and went to a boarding school in Norfolk during term time. He studied illustration at Norwich Art School, gaining a first class degree and went on to complete a Masters in Narrative Illustration at University of Brighton, and has lived in Brighton ever since.

Four things every Young City Reader needs to know about Adam:
His favourite author is Roald Dahl.
He has worn a beard for so long he can’t remember what his face underneath looks like.
His favourite food is freshly baked bread. Oh….and biscuits, let’s not forget the biscuits.
He’s appearing with Francesca Simon at Brighton Dome Concert Hall on Thu 22 May at 1.30pm as part of Young City Reads at Brighton Festival. Find out more information here.

Video Playlist: Film at Brighton Festival 2014

Discover Film at Brighton Festival 2014

During this year’s Brighton Festival films from different countries across the world look at the depiction of children in the cinema. Little Fugitive from America, Hugo and Josephine from Sweden, Children in the Wind from Japan and Mark Cousin’s A Story of Children and Film are just some of the highlights. We also get into the mood of all things Dark & Stormy with the original Brighton RockDown TerraceLayer Cake Tea Party and more. Here’s a little taster:

Peacock Poetry Prize asks young writers to explore the theme of ‘belonging’

The Peacock Poetry Prize - an annual creative writing competition produced by Brighton Festival and Brighton, Hove & Sussex Sixth Form College (BHASVIC) - is asking Sussex poets aged between 8 - 25 years to respond to the theme ‘belonging’.

The theme, linked to Brighton Festival Guest Director Hofesh Shechter’s new work Sun, asks budding bards to question what keeps us grounded and together, and to consider where we really belong in 2014.

Submissions will be divided into three age groups - those writers aged between 8-14 years, 14-18 years and 18-25 years old. Finalists will be invited to a special celebratory event during Brighton Festival, with some fantastic prizes up for grabs to the writers of the best entries.

‘The Peacock Poetry Prize has gone from strength to strength since we started it four years ago,’ says Pippa Smith, Head of Creative Learning at Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival.

‘The quality of work submitted is always astounding and we hope the poets pursue their dreams of making careers from their writing.’

'The idea for the prize sprang from some typically imaginative thinking within our outstanding English and Media Departments and was met with an equally enthusiastic response from the creative, dedicated staff at Brighton Festival,' said Chris Thomson, Principal at BHASVIC.

'We aim to get young people writing right across Sussex, encourage them to engage with the Festival’s theme and to look on themselves as practitioners as well as participants in this world-class arts festival on their doorstep.'

Click here to download an entry form. 

Deadline for entries: Mon 21 Apr 2014

Video Playlist: Theatre at Brighton Festival 2014

Discover Theatre at Brighton Festival 2014

Old and new stories are brought to life in a variety of exciting approaches and languages in this year's Brighton Festival Theatre programme, jam-packed with premières and exclusives. Here's a little video playlist taster to get you in the mood for May. Unmissable shows include Opus No. 7OneBonanzaTis Pity Shes a WhoreCatch 22Ida Barr's Mash UpTomorrow, The Epicene ButcherBring The HappyMuch Ado About Nothing, What Happens to Hope at the End of the Evening and plenty more... 

Video Playlist: Contemporary Music at Brighton Festival 2014

Discover Contemporary Music at Brighton Festival 2014 

Brighton Festival 2014 offers an exciting and eclectic selection of contemporary music. Here’s a little flavour of some of the goodness you can expect from this year’s line-up. Expect spectacular shows from PeachesCat PowerEmmylou HarrisGruff RyhsMartin Creed BandZara McFarlane and many more.

In Pictures: Brighton Festival 2014 Launch

On Tue 25 Feb we were delighted to launch Brighton Festival 2014. The full and fantastic Brighton Festival programme was released and Members' and Supporters joined us to get Brighton Festival off  to a smashing start. Here are a few photos to give you a flavour of the night and the fun that is yet to come this May. 

Brighton Festival Brochure 2014

The Brighton Festival 2014 brochure

Andrew Comben Brighton Festival

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival introduces Brighton Festival 2014 Guest Director Hofesh Shechter

Hedley Swain Arts Council Brighton Festival

Hedley Swaine, Area Director South East at Arts Council England takes to the stage

Members and Supporters enjoying the new Brighton Festival brochure

Brighton Festival Launch

The Launch in full swing

Guests were treated to a spectacular flash-mob by Guest Director Hofesh Shechter and his eponymous company Hofesh Shechter Company. 

Hofesh Shechter Company Brighton Festival

Hofesh Shechter Company Brighton Festival

Launch 3

All photos by Victor Frankowski

Brighton Festival reveals brochure cover for 2014

Brighton Festival - an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events – launches today and will take place in venues across the city and beyond from 3 to 25 May 2014.

This year Brighton Festival again worked with Johnson Banks to create the visual identity for 2014’s event. The image shows a black sheep on a green background with the sheep’s fur made up of tiny dancing figures.

Michael Johnson, of Johnson Banks, says: “When we were discussing the theme for the 2014 Festival, a recurring motif was a sheep. Partly because 'Sun' features cut-out sheep, carefully choreographed across the stage, and also because we felt a black sheep nicely mirrored Hofesh's outsider's view of the world we live in. Visualising a black sheep whose fur turns into dancers proved to be very difficult - luckily Chris Kasch was up to the task. Although he did say painting it gave him multiple migraines.

The sheep was painted by Chris Kasch. He is a UK based illustrator who has built an impressive and varied clientele throughout his 16 year career. He has produced work for national newspapers, magazines and well known names such as Saachi and Saachi, The Royal Mail and IBM.

The 2014 Guest Director of Brighton Festival 2014 is critically acclaimed choreographer, musician, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter. His eponymous Company are a Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival resident company, and their brand new work Sun – co-commissioned by Brighton Festival – will open the three week arts extravaganza on Saturday 3 May when it comes ‘home’ at the conclusion of its first world tour.

Brighton Festival 2014 launches with Guest Director Hofesh Shechter

Today Brighton Festival 2014 launches, with critically acclaimed choreographer, dancer, musician, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter at the helm as Guest Director.

As Guest Director, Hofesh Shechter follows in the footsteps of visual artist Anish Kapoor (2009), musician Brian Eno (2010), Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (2011), actress and human rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave (2012) and poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen (2013) in shaping the Brighton Festival programme.

Over the three-week Festival many of Hofesh Shechter’s interests and passions will be explored in a wide-ranging programme which spans music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate from a wide range of national and international companies and artists.

With Hofesh Shechter as Guest Director, this year’s programme is particularly genre defying – from the UK premiere of Opus No.7 from Russian theatre director Dmitry Krymov, to William Forsythe’s hypnotic Nowhere and Everywhere at the Same Time No.2, to a new co-commission by Yinka Shonibare MBE; called The British Library. 2014 also heralds the return of international theatre companies Berlin and Vanishing Point to Brighton and we host an eclectic mix of names across contemporary music from Peaches to Emmylou Harris. Hofesh challenges us to respond to the world’s ugly injustices in Brighton Festival co-commission Sun which “comes home” to Brighton after touring globally, whilst one of his inspirations - and fellow choreographers - Wim Vandekeybus, interrogates the misuse of power and the abuse of social media as we host the UK premiere of Ultima Vez’s Talk to the Demon.

As ever Brighton Festival kicks off with the Children’s Parade - the largest event of its kind in Europe - produced by Same Sky. Events for all the family this year include a UK premiere of Tanzfuchs Produktion’s dance extravaganza Munch! for the under 4s and the UK premiere of Zoo, Belgian choreographer Thomas Hauert’s first piece for young people which is accompanied by a prepared piano soundtrack by John Cage. Meanwhile, on film the Cinema of Childhood - curated by Mark Cousins - looks at the depiction of children in cinema, is suitable for the whole family to enjoy together.

Hofesh Shechter said, ’Brighton has a magic to it that no one can explain. Finding a place where one can develop and grow artistically is a delicate thing, an important thing. Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival have been an inspiring, energising and encouraging place for my company and me in the last 5 years. We’ve enjoyed the buzz, the lightness, energy, and the unexplainable essence of Brighton. We have resided in its cultural heart - Brighton Dome, and the pulsating artistic heart of Brighton Dome is the annual Brighton Festival. It's been a privilege to have been part of the planning for this inspiring event and I feel a rush of excitement about sharing our programme with audiences in Brighton and beyond.’

This year’s Brighton Festival holds in store 448 performances and 147 events in 34 venues across the city. In total there will be 37 premieres, exclusives and co-commissions and 26 free events.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said, ‘We’re thrilled that Hofesh Shechter is our Guest Director for Brighton Festival 2014 and to today reveal the programme of events for May. Hofesh’s instinctive understanding of Brighton and our Festival means it is particularly pertinent that he steps into the role in 2014 following a highly successful five years of working together. Hofesh’s creative vision and energy contains that rare quality and sense of adventure that sparks the imaginations of a much wider audience beyond his own discipline and encourages us all to try something new. With such an eclectic artist at the helm, Brighton Festival 2014 is set to be a very exciting one indeed and I am delighted to be welcoming so many brilliant artists to our city this Spring.’

Brighton Festival - an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, books, debate, outdoor and family events - will take place in venues across the city and beyond from 3 to 25 May 2014.

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said: ‘This year’s Brighton Festival is once again an exciting prospect as critically-acclaimed choreographer, dancer, musician and composer Hofesh Shechter takes on the role of Guest Director. His artistic vision will bring an exciting edge to this year’s programme, which spans multiple art forms. Brighton Festival very much reflects the vibrancy of Brighton & Hove itself – it is a place where artists and artistic organisations blossom and continue to flourish. Brighton Festival’s value to city and the region extends beyond entertainment and inspiration – it also provides a significant economic boost for local businesses as artists and audiences travel from near and far to become involved.’

Video: Brighton Festival 2014 teaser

Just a taste of what Hofesh Shechter and the Brighton Festival team have in store for 2014.

Filmed and produced by Fat Sand Productions. 

Nowhere & Everywhere at the Same Time No.2

For the duration of Brighton Festival 2014, Circus Street Market was transformed into a dancing installation by American choreographer William Forsythe. The choreographic object saw thousands of visitors and was awarded a Critics' Choice Argus Angel award.  

Film by Shy Camera

Video: Brighton Festival 2014 montage film

A taste of what's in store for you at Brighton Festival 2014.

Film by Echo Video

Arts Accolade for 80 local schoolchildren for their contribution to Brighton Festival Children’s Parade

On Tuesday 4th February, over 80 local schoolchildren from Westdene and Fairlight Primary schools will visit Brighton Town Hall to receive their Arts Award from The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City of Brighton & Hove, Councillor Denise Cobb.

The children gained their Arts Award - a nationally recognised qualification for young people’s achievement through the arts - as part of their contribution to the 2013 Brighton Festival Children’s Parade. The award recognises their success in areas of art, design, creativity and music and is a fitting reward for their hard work and in helping to ensure that the 2013 parade was a vibrant celebration of the collective creativity of the city.

For over 25 years the Children’s Parade has opened Brighton Festival, with local school children stepping into show stopping costumes they have designed and made themselves. It is the largest annual children’s event in the UK and is produced on behalf of Brighton Dome and Festival by community arts organisation, Same Sky. In 2013, poet, writer, broadcaster, former Children’s Laureate and Arts Award Champion, Michael Rosen guest-directed Brighton Festival and inspired the theme of the parade which was the alphabet.

With the additional support from Artswork – the national Youth Arts Development Agency and South East Bridge Organisation - Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Same Sky were able to include Arts Award in the parade for the first time, with many more schools signing up to deliver the award as part of their parade contribution for 2014. 2014’s theme for the Children’s Parade is “the arts”.

Michael Rosen, talking about Arts Award - 'I like the way Arts Award is based on a reflective model of learning, encouraging teachers and leaders to focus on children and young people as individuals and as creative artists in their own right. Arts Award is a flexible framework, rather than a set curriculum, which ignites ideas rather than dictating answers.' 

This year’s ‘big read’ revealed! Young City Reads returns to Brighton Festival 2014

Brighton Festival and Collected Works CIC (the organisation behind Brighton & Hove's City Reads) are delighted to reveal the title selected for this year's ‘big read’ for children is The Sleeping Army by Francesca Simon.

Young City Reads launches on World Book Day (06 March) and will finish on 22 May with a very special Brighton Festival event for schools featuring the bestselling author whose book is this year’s focus. More news on that following the Brighton Festival launch on Feb 25.

The concept of Young City Reads is simple: one book by one author is selected for the whole community to read, discuss, debate and enjoy. Primary schools are being invited to register online to read the book together in class and to participate in a range of special activities.

Francesca Simon said: ‘What a thrill to have all of Brighton & Hove reading The Sleeping Army and then coming together at the end to discuss it – I can't wait to talk about the book and meet all my readers at the event in May. What a brilliant way to bring a city together and support reading’

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: “We are delighted that Young City Reads will return as part of Brighton Festival in 2014. Celebrating literature in this way provides a unique opportunity for children to creatively engage in the arts. I’m sure Francesca Simon’s inventive reworking of the Norse myths will fascinate and inspire young readers across the city”

Sarah Hutchings, Artistic Director, Collected Works CIC, added, “Young City Reads is all about reading for pleasure. It encourages children to learn through their enjoyment of literature. There is a power in sharing books and stories together, and the younger we start the more fulfilling our lives will be.”

Be part of HOUSE 2014

The deadline is fast approaching...

HOUSE 2014 Artist Commissioning Opportunity

In partnership with Brighton Festival, Lighthouse and University of Brighton, Photoworks and The Regency Town House.

HOUSE is Brighton & Hove’s annual visual arts event concerned with the commissioning of new work in partnership with Brighton Festival. HOUSE utilises domestic and unusual spaces to situate work throughout the city.

HOUSE 2014 invites outline proposals from artists based in the South East region, including London, for a series of commissions to be realised in May 2014.

Head to the HOUSE website to download a brief and application form.

Deadline for submissions: 17 Jan 2014

Your chance to sponsor Brighton Festival’s Children’s Parade 2014

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is delighted to announce it has received an anonymous donation of £5000 towards the cost of The Children’s Parade. 

The donor is challenging one or more businesses or individuals to match the gift and sponsor the annual event which heralds the beginning of Brighton Festival; England’s largest multi-arts festival. Sponsors will receive association with the event as well as an array of bespoke benefits

Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organization Same Sky, the Children’s Parade involves over 5,000 children from a record 83 schools and community groups across the region who will take to Brighton’s streets for the parade this May. They will be watched and cheered on by more than 20,000 people.

Andrew Comben, CEO, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said, “Each year the participation and interest in the Children’s Parade grows, and support like this ensures that we, as an arts charity, can continue to offer this exciting annual event for the city’s young people.”

Held on the first Saturday in May, the Children’s Parade has opened Brighton Festival for more than 25 years. Big, bright, colourful and fun, it is one of the most spectacular community events in the UK and also acts as an interactive learning tool for children – with creative workshops taking place throughout the city and beyond in the run up to the big day.

A free spectator event, local and national interest in the Children’s Parade also continues to grow yearly - sponsor support goes a long way to ensuring its popularity continues to thrive. This year’s theme of the parade, is ‘The Arts’ and which gives the city a chance to celebrate why Brighton & Hove is culturally such a great place to live and learn, for young and old alike.

For the first time ever this year, the organisers will also join forces with Brighton & Hove Music & Arts - the music education hub whose key mission is to enhance and further develop music education across the city - to instate a Children’s Parade Musician in Residence who will visit numerous schools to encourage young people to explore different musical styles.

‘Music and the Arts are a vital part of all children's education and the Children's Parade is a fantastic celebration of children's creativity. As lead partner of SoundCity we are delighted to be leading on supporting children to create new music, develop their musical skills and experience performing to thousand of people.’ , said Peter Chivers, Head of Brighton & Hove Music and Arts, Brighton & Hove City Council

The Children’s Parade 2014 will be led by this year’s Brighton Festival Guest Director; the critically-acclaimed choreographer, musician, composer and performer Hofesh Shechter.

To find out more about sponsorship you can contact Ceri Eldin on or click here.