Photography: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Contemporary Music Highlights: Our vibrant programme features local and far-flung artists and boundary blurring gig-theatre

Music, Announcements, Contemporary Music

This May, our contemporary music programme invites everyone to experience the wonder and joy of shared musical experiences, with artists from across the world and closer to home, from Brighton legends to Grammy nominated artists.

Feel The Rhythm

On 7 May, legendary West African ensemble Orchestra Baobab bring their joyous trademark fusion of Afro-Cuban rhythms, infectious pop hooks and captivating melodies to the Brighton Dome Concert Hall - this is the year of their 50th anniversary, so it’s an event not to be missed.

Plus, famed Cuban jazz pianist and Grammy nominee Roberto Fonseca plays music from his latest album La Gran Diversion with an 8-piece band on 26 May; inspired by the 1930s Parisian cabaret club La Cabane Cubaine, where audiences danced to sensual Cuban beats for the first time. Come and join the party!

Calling Brighton Indie Fans!

Photography: Paul Husband

In a one-off homecoming show, Brighton indie veterans, Sea Power, known for their experimental live performances, return to the city on 23 May for a special performance in the newly refurbished Corn Exchange.

Pioneers Paving The Way

Spiritualized, the pathfinders of British space rock, bring the psychedelic and experimental sounds of their Grammy nominated album, Everything Was Beautiful, to the Concert Hall on 18 May, transforming the venue into a live celestial soundscape.

Overrun with 5-star reviews at its Scottish debut, theatre and live music collide in No Love Songs, 17-18 May at Theatre Royal Brighton. Kyle Falconer, frontman of the NME Awarding-winning band The View, and his partner Laura Wilde explore their lived experiences of parenthood through a powerful blend of music, tears and laughter.

Photography: Paul Blakemore

Performer, artist and writer Brook Tate also takes inspiration from his own life in his extraordinary concept gig, Birthmarked, on 9 May at The Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts. With live original music, Birthmarked is a ‘joyful, life-affirming show’ telling the story of a young Jehovah's Witness coming to terms with his sexuality and finding his feet (and heels!).

For electronic music fans, club and dance music pioneer UNKLE (James Lavelle) presents Rōnin:Live  on 24 May at the Concert Hall. Expect a live mix of recent work, remixes, reinterpretations and classics.

It’s A Party

Photography: Dean Chalkely

Dance the night away on 3 May when the legendary Norman Jay MBE stops off at Brighton Festival on his first ever Norman Soul UK tour, his deeply personal take on Northern Soul; a thrilling musical journey and a unique blend of Black music styles from the 1960s to present day.

On 12 May at the Concert Hall, Brighton’s own Carnival Collective celebrate their 30th anniversary. Be swept away in a tidal wave of musical flavours, including Latin, samba, drum ’n’ bass, jungle, ska, hip-hop, swing and funk. You’ll struggle to stay seated.

More Dates For The Diary

8 May - Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane. The celebrated musician and acclaimed nature writer join forces in a show that weaves music with storytelling, accompanied by a full band.

26 May – Our Roots: Dreamland. A colourful and inclusive queer club night created in partnership with Brighton's legendary queer club nights Polyglamorous and Gal Pals.

1 June – The Young’uns. With their current album Tiny Notes, Sean Cooney, Michael Hughes and David Eagle are part of a new generation of musicians making folk relevant for today.

A feminine blue person with purple hair stands in the cutout shape of the Brighton Dome windows surrounded by bubbles

Browse the full programme...

Brighton Festival 2024