Must-see Outdoor Events at Brighton Festival this May

Enjoy the Spring sun with your friends and family at our outdoor events around Brighton & Hove this May. Here are 11 events you can’t miss!

Points of Departure - Ray Lee
Somerset House


Fri 30 April - Sat 8 May | FREE

Take a stroll to the Royal Pavilion Gardens to experience an interactive installation by artist duo YARA + DAVINA. ARRIVALS + DEPARTURES celebrates birth, death and the journey in between, inviting visitors to submit the name of someone who has arrived or departed, as a way to celebrate a birth or commemorate a death.

Photography by Amaal Said


Sat 1- Sun 31 May | FREE

HERSTORY is a city-wide audio storytelling experience that uncovers the stories of women usually hidden from history. Scan a unique QR code at listening posts in Hangleton, Moulsecoomb, Whitehawk and Central Brighton to discover the stories and portraits of women from Brighton.


Points of Departure - Ray Lee

Points of Departure

Sat 1- Sun 23 May

Against the backdrop of night, take a walk through the atmospheric industrial landscape of Shoreham Port and be dazzled by otherworldly sound and light installations by award-winning sound artist, theatre-maker and composer Ray Lee.  Don't miss out, book your tickets now.

Up My Street

Up My Street

Sat 1 & Sun 2 May | FREE

Step into augmented reality in this street art and performance trail, allowing digital dancers to climb and dance on real buildings. In Up My Street, use the phones provided to interact with graffiti by artist Scotty B and Brave Arts. Experienced through a smartphone, the trail presents themes around migration and culminates in a chance to use your phone like a spray can and create your own virtual street art together, interacting with other audience members and the real world around you. Book your free ticket.


Recovery Poems

Sat 1 - Sun 2 May | FREE

Through talking and listening to communities, artists Robert Montgomery, and Deanna Rodgers are creating an inspiring light poem that will visit public spaces throughout the City on the opening weekend of the festival. Spot it live or follow on social media as we emerge from the pandemic.

Lemonade at Brighton Festival

Lemonade: Music on the move

Sat 1 - Sun 31 May

Explore and discover exclusively composed songs hidden across the Brighton landscape. Ranging from hip hop to experimental to UK jazz and neo-soul, inspired by the theme of this year's Festival, ‘Care’.  Brought to you by brand new location-based music platform, Lemonade, which are releasing their public beta version for the very first time for Brighton Festival 2021.

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Photo by Ottilie Hainsworth

Window Gallery at Phoenix Art Space: Care

Sat 1 - Sat 30 May | FREE

Take a stroll to the Window Gallery at Phoenix Art Space, to discover a range of work by Phoenix studio artists. The artists have been invited to consider the theme of ‘care’ for a group exhibition. What does care mean within the context of a global pandemic? How we can better care for ourselves, our communities and our environment?

Image © Blast Theory

Rider Spoke

Sat 1 - Sat 31 May

Cycle through the streets of the city, guided by an app, to search for the perfect place to hide a secret, and ride on and the voices of strangers will draw you to new and unknown places.Think about the people in your life while you search for hiding places. Record messages and share them with strangers you will never meet. Find out more about Rider Spoke and book tickets.

Photo credit: RBD Design

Pier to Pier

Mon 10 May - Sun 6 June | FREE

Pier to Pier is a public artwork exploring the 14 miles between Brighton Pier and Worthing Pier. Local theatre and performance company RAPT interviewed 14 people who live or work on the coast and worked with a coastal choir to create an immersive sound installation played from an audio bench travelling the Sussex Coast. Follow the bench’s journey here and take a moment to sit, look out and listen.  

Image © Andu Kaprar. Performer Chris Thomas

Without Walls @ Our Place

Fri 28 - Sat 30 May | FREE

Discover exhilarating FREE and NEW pop-up performances from some of the UK’s most innovative outdoor companies. Bring your family to your local park to celebrate the return of live performance from hip-hop to aerial dance in joyful style! This year, these Without Walls presentations are part of Our Place –our community celebration of creativity – please see here for more information on other events running as part of the exciting Our Place programme.


Image: Alejandro Veliz Reyes

Robot Selfie

Fri 26 - Mon 31 May | FREE

Take a selfie and Kaleider’s non-learning AI will interpret it into a line drawing. When you are happy with what it comes up with, press submit and your face could join hundreds of others in a giant mural created by a wall-drawing robot. Wherever you are in the world you will be able to submit your selfie and watch via a livestream as the massive mural emerges over four days. Learn more about Robot Selfie and how to get involved.

Unmissable events

Visual Arts and Film


A multisensory experience of matter formation in the early universe, by Brighton based artists Semiconductor

19 May - 4 Jun 2021
Visual Arts and Film

The Forked Forest Path

Enter into Olafur Eliasson's immersive installation at Fabrica, and explore the twisting pathways of a fairytale forest

18 May - 20 Jun 2021
Visual Arts and Film

Abigail Conway: The Candle Project

An ode to resilience, a celebration of shadow and light, an ancient ritual for our times 

24 - 28 May 2021