Kate Tempest is Brighton Festival’s Guest Director


In good news for anyone who fancies a trip to the English seaside next Spring, the always excellent Brighton Festival has just announced that their Guest Director for 2017 will be none other than Kate Tempest. What a fantastic choice.

We’ve seen Kate Tempest twice in the past 12 months and are catching her on tour again in December and can categorically state that she is a flipping genius. And a genius with a flame in her heart and fire in her belly. She’s a rapper, poet, musician and playwright and, oh yeah, that’s her novel sitting on our bookshelf.

At 31, she’ll be the youngest Brighton Festival Guest Director to date, taking the mantle from pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson, who led the 50th Brighton Festival this year. Other previous Guest Directors include visual artist Anish Kapoor (2009), musician Brian Eno (2010) and Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (2011) who have all taken turns shaping the three-week programme of cultural events.

Kate Tempest says: “The arts should be social, not elitist. They should be part of our everyday life. They should be in our communities, not only on elevated platforms or behind red velvet ropes. Music, literature, theatre, film – these things are so important, they bring us together into the same space, they give us ourselves, they bring us to life, they beam our humanity back to us in all its hideous beauty. And in these times, with the fear spreading everywhere and the divisions between us deepening daily, we desperately need to remember that we are all part of the same thing. Nothing does that for me more profoundly or joyously than standing in the crowd watching a gig, or a play, or a painting. It’s like a little victory you get to keep forever. I want us to offer that experience to everyone.”

Brighton Festival 2017 – which will take place from 6-28 May 2017 – will feature exclusives, world and UK premieres from a wide range of international, national and local artists and companies. Full programme details will be announced in February 2017.

Keep an eye on the Festival website for updates.