Brighton Festival 2015 - the largest and most established of its kind in England - came to a soaring conclusion last month, buoyed up by a plethora of new and returning sponsors who provided invaluable support for the event while also gaining significant exposure for their business.
The three-week Festival - guest directed by award-winning author Ali Smith - featured a thrilling selection of events spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate by artists and performers the world over, drawing audiences in droves and unanimous critical acclaim.
The opening weekend asked audiences to ‘take flight’ for the annual children’s parade, the largest in Europe. Supported by local businesses Class of their Own and Riverford – as well as Gatwick Airport who fittingly came on board for the first time - the annual parade traditionally marks the start of Brighton Festival and was attended by almost 5,000 children from 83 schools and community groups from across the region; each dressed in costumes they had specifically designed and made for the event.
One of the Festival’s biggest hits was the European premiere of Tony award-winning playwright Richard Nelson’s highly acclaimed four play cycle The Apple Family Plays from The Public Theater, New York ( supported by University of Sussex) which was lavished with 5 stars across the board. Other highlights included an interactive installation inspired by the weather in Circus Street Market (sponsored by Southern Water) to an extraordinary feat of rock balancing (sponsored by Nutshell Construction) and a night-time promenade theatre piece in Stanmer Park (sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter).
Stewart Wingate CEO of Gatwick Airport says: “As the airport continues to grow year on year, we are delighted to welcome artists from abroad to our arrivals lounge. Brighton and Hove is an important city for our airport, with one in 30 passengers arriving from here every year – so we were thrilled to have given it our wholehearted support this year”.
'The exposure of our name alongside prestigious events is very important for our profile”, says Martin Williams, Partner Mayo Wynne Baxter solicitors, who have been sponsors since 2011. “Clients remark positively on our involvement with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, which helps cement our position in the city.'
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: ‘We wouldn’t be able to present the sheer number of quality performances, installations and exclusive talks that make up Brighton Festival without the help of sponsors, many of whom also support the work of Brighton Dome year-round. It’s an exciting time for Brighton Festival as we look towards our 50th birthday next year - and it is thanks to their help that we can continue to make Brighton Festival and the city itself such a magical place to be in May.”
Other sponsors included Brighton and Sussex Medical School, DMH Stallard, SELITS, GM Building, Brighton and Hove Jobs.com, Echo Video, Grandad, Hoi Polloi, IEP Financial, Midnight Communications, Moshimo, MyHotel, One Digital, Terre a Terre and WSP.
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
• Brighton Festival is England’s most established annual mixed arts Festival which takes place across three weeks in the city each May. It is a major milestone in the international cultural calendar and in 2013 achieved a new record audience reach of 468,000
• Brighton Festival attracts inspiring and internationally significant Guest Directors who bring cohesion to the artistic programme with British sculptor Anish Kapoor as inaugural curator in 2009 followed by the Godfather of modern music Brian Eno in 2010, the Burmese Democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi in 2011, actress and Human Rights campaigner Vanessa Redgrave in 2012, poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen in 2013 and choreographer, composer, musician and performer Hofesh Shechter in 2014.
• Brighton Festival is an innovative commissioning and producing arts festival, offering an ambitious programme that makes the most of the city’s distinctive atmosphere
• Brighton Festival includes visual art, theatre, music, dance, circus, books and debates, family friendly events and outdoor performances throughout the city including site-specific and unusual locations.
• Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival produces the annual Brighton Festival and also manages the three venues of Brighton Dome year round – a three space, Grade 1 listed building made up of the Concert Hall, Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.
• Each year, the work of the Creative Learning team reaches over 15,000 people in Brighton & Hove and beyond through innovative projects such as Miss Represented - an arts collective of vulnerable young women who have been involved with the criminal justice system and isolated young women in the community; the Umbrella Club - a membership club for children and young people with life-limiting conditions and their siblings and carers; and Three Score Dance Company, created to offer contemporary dance opportunities for men and women aged 60+ in Brighton & Hove.
• Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival is a registered arts charity (registered charity no 249748)