A man stands with arms outstretched
Photo by Chloe Hashemi

Postcards From: Brighton Festival 2022

Photos, Announcements, Guest Director, Outdoor, Music, Family, Theatre

Continuing as an ongoing series, our Postcards From feature captures memories from Brighton Festival, offering glimpses into the exciting happenings around the city in May.

Get ready to dive into the vibrant tapestry of Brighton Festival 2023 in our latest edition of Postcards From! We're thrilled to share the unforgettable highlights from this year's festival, including the annual Children's Parade, mind-blowing acrobatic displays, heartwarming community celebrations, and an abundance of captivating experiences. Join us as we relive the magic and excitement that filled the city during this spectacular event.

Photography by Chloe Hashemi, Jamie MacMillan, Andrew Hasson and more.

Nabihah Iqbal, Andrew Comben and the Mayor of Brighton and Hove leading the Children's Parade on Jubilee Street

For over 30 years, the Children's Parade has been a beloved Brighton Festival tradition. This year, it launched the Festival once more with the theme of "One World, learning and growing from each other", filling the streets with an explosion of joy and vibrant colour. Leading the Parade were Andrew Comben, CEO of Brighton Dome & Festival; this year's Guest Director, musician Nabihah Iqbal; and the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Lizzie Deane. Starting at Jubilee Square, the procession came alive with the rhythmic beats of local samba bands and drumming groups, setting the perfect atmosphere for Brighton Festival 2023. With the enthusiastic participation of over 5,000 children from schools and community groups across the region, it proudly holds the title of Europe's largest Children's Parade.

David Olusoga and Nabihah Iqbal sit in conversation at Brighton Dome Concert Hall

One of the highlights of this year's Books and Debate programme was An Evening with David Olusoga. The BAFTA-winning broadcaster and film-maker joined Brighton Festival Guest Director Nabihah Iqbal in conversation to explore the history of Brighton and East Sussex and what it means to be British today.

Nabihah Iqbal and Anita Rani sit next to each other on a grey sofa. Nabihah is wearing a black beret and a royal blue top and she is smiling. Anita is wearing a grey shirt and a white top. She has her arm around Nabihah.

Nabihah also sat in conversation with award-winning broadcaster Anita Rani for an evening of music, discussion and joy. The event took place as part of Nabihah's Glory to Sound series, which was founded by the musician, DJ and broadcaster and was inspired by her love of music. She was joined for a second evening by one of our greatest modern poets, Linton Kwesi Johnson.

Anoushka Shankar stands smiling against a black background, her hands in a position of prayer or gratitude.

Multi-Grammy nominated sitarist Anoushka Shankar brought her unique sound to Brighton Dome's Concert Hall. In support were duo Petit Oiseau, who fuse the sounds of the dilruba, a 300-year-old bowed Indian classical instrument, with synthesised accompaniment.

Brighton Festival's contemporary music programme is supported by MODA.

Third Space Theatre teamed up with Ceyda Tanc Dance (who also presented their dance performance, KIZLAR, at Brighton Festival this year) and Brighton People's Theatre to bring the Brighton Festival-commissioned play Bakkhai to the South Downs. The show was directed by Tanushka Marah and featured a diverse cast of over 50 actors spanning from 8 to 60 years old.

Boudicca Collins and the Mayor of Brighton and Hove, Lizzie Dean, stand in front of Boudicca's colourful mural

Our Place, a vibrant celebration of community and creativity, showcased captivating art projects, performances, and events curated in collaboration with community groups in Hangleton & Knoll, East Brighton and Whitehawk. Participants had the opportunity to engage in diverse cultural activities, including mural creation, poetry workshops, storytelling, puppet-making workshops and a Family Fun Day.

Our Place is supported by the University of Sussex.

Brighton Morris perform on the Brighton Dome Concert Hall stage. They dance in a line, waving white hankies.

Different Folks is a concert series that took place across an entire weekend at Brighton Dome’s Concert Hall, celebrating the heritage and diversity of folk music. As part of the weekend's events, noted folk and blues musician Shirley Collins MBE performed with her Lodestar Band, as well as with the lively support of Brighton Morris.

Brighton Festival's contemporary music programme is supported by MODA.

The Van Gogh Alive exhibition shows one of the artist's still life paintings, projected onto screens. It is displayed in the Corn Exchange, which is uplit with red lighting.

It was fantastic to reopen our spaces with the wonderfully immersive Van Gogh Alive. The iconic Brighton Dome's Grade I and II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre are now open to the public, who enjoyed over 3,000 images of the Dutch artist's work presented in stunning detail using state-of-the-art technology as part of the exhibition.

Award-winning Australian circus company Gravity & Other Myths staged Playbook, an outdoor, acrobatic promenade performance, in the Royal Pavilion Gardens in the heart of the city. The company brought to life an ever-shifting human light sculpture, captivating passers-by. Gravity & Other Myths also presented their new family show Out of Chaos.

An artist performs chair acrobatics on a bright red chair. They are dressed in a green PVC coat and knee-high, burgundy PVC boots.

Featuring DJ sets from BISHI and Brighton Festival Guest Director Nabihah Iqbal, and visual art installations by Louis-Jack and Jak Skot, Our Roots was a one-of-a-kind event created by Brighton's own legendary queer club nights UOKHUN?, Polyglamorous and Gal Pals. This groundbreaking club night held at Brighton Dome was a true embodiment of inclusivity, dedicated to celebrating the vibrant LGBTQIA+ community and its rich heritage. It aimed to create a safe and welcoming space where everyone could come together and revel in the spirit of unity.

Brighton Festival's contemporary music programme is supported by MODA.

Two dancers perform together, as a crowd watches on. They are outdoors. One performer bows to the other performer, who dances in a wheelchair.

A Weekend Without Walls made a triumphant return in 2023, delighting audiences with a two-day programme of free, family-friendly outdoor spectacles that took place across Brighton and Crawley. The event showcased captivating circus performances, mesmerising music, and enchanting dance shows. This pop-up series was a vibrant burst of colours, immersing attendees in a sensory feast. It offered a unique opportunity to explore diverse cultures and indulge in an array of fascinating stories.

A Weekend Without Walls is supported by Without Walls Consortium and Creative Crawley.

The past three weeks have been an extraordinary whirlwind of artistic celebration, spreading joy across the city and beyond! As the curtain falls on this year's Brighton Festival, we want to express our deepest appreciation to the incredible artists, enthusiastic audiences, dedicated supporters, and passionate volunteers who made our Festival an unforgettable success. We can't wait to reunite with all of you again next year, as we prepare for another exhilarating journey from 4 - 26 May 2024!