Brighton Festival 2015 Crosses Places

brighton festival

It starts with a spark, an idea, to set alight a city with an explosion of creativity. Fuelled by the accumulation of a year-round arts programme, Brighton Festival, the biggest and brightest multi-arts festival, is on again this year from May 2 – 24th for three weeks of music, theatre, dance, visual art, film and literature.

This year, Brighton challenges us to look again, to rethink what art is with an eye-opening array of artists and performers who will be delivering a refreshing, renewed perspective on traditional stories and tales that have become so familiar to us.

At the festival’s heart are three key themes explored in this year’s programme: Art and Nature, the Crossing Places between art forms, and Taking Liberty.

The festival will host concerts featuring performances by Laurie Anderson, Anna Calvi, Squarepusher, Sam Lee, Tricky, genius spoken word artists Kate Tempest, George the Poet and Hollie McNish, Carleen Anderson with a jazz tribute to Sarah Vaughn and many more.

Teaming up with Brighton is this year’s guest director, award-winning Scottish author Ali Smith whose ideas, interests and passions are explored throughout the programme which includes 396 performances across 150 events, 42 of those being exclusives, premieres and commissions all celebrating the diversity of art with events held throughout the city of Brighton, including site specific works and works located in unusual locations.

Speaking of unusual, sound artist, producer and composer Squarepusher will be performing at Brighton Dome, May 8th, fresh from his collaboration with a team of Japanese Roboticists along with the psychedelic, dance inducing, futuristic wizards of sound, Sherwood and Pinch. Pretty cool.

The main venue of the festival is Brighton Dome, which consists of a concert hall, a studio theatre, and a corn exchange (unfortunately I couldn’t find anything about the exchanging of corn in this venue, but nevertheless Brighton Dome is a beautiful venue worth visiting, especially during the festival.)

If you’re not convinced by a Google image search of The Dome, close your eyes and become enchanted by Anna Calvi, with her dark, romantic and visually compelling performance, be spellbound by Sam Lee’s Nightingale walk, a call and response collaboration between man and bird, or have a listen to the sounds of Julie Fowlis, Scottish folk singer and multi-instrumentalist who has brought Gaelic music into the mainstream.

Alternatively, open your eyes and run through time with How We Used to Live, a documentary showing rare BFI archived footage of London from the 1950s to the 1980s accompanied by a live eight-piece band or watch a screening of the Duke of Burgundy, a film celebrating 1970s erotica about two lovers, insect-studying scientists, who get caught up in complex sadomasochistic net of gameplay (pleasure from pain) and intrigue.

If you’re curious, have a look at the Festival Website for something sure to enchant.

Brighton Festival Runs from May 2 – 24 and will be awesome. 



Words by Addy Fong