Brighton Fringe runs at a similar time to Brighton Festival, and in 2013 extended its run to four weeks. In 2013, Brighton Fringe ran from 4 May - 2 June, and featured 734 individual events – including 176 free ones – and 3,654 performances at 185 locations across the city, with attendances reaching over 270,000.
One of the event’s main objectives is to promote local talent and the arts. It also offers performers an opportunity for their event to be reviewed or picked up by promoters, as well as going on to Edinburgh. In 2011 Brighton Fringe launched the Professional Development Programme, aimed at offering workshops to aspiring performers wanting to progress in the business. In 2012, Brighton Fringe opened its own on-street box office, which provided a physical base for the arts event, selling tickets as well as being a hub for promoters and performers. They also launched "Brighton in the Square", a showcase of Brighton Fringe performers at the Leicester Square Theatre in London.
As part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad, Brighton Fringe introduced the Dip Your Toe project in 2012, which featured performances in six custom-built Victorian bathing machines, which were located throughout Brighton and Hove during the month of May. In 2014, the organisation launched an Arts Council England supported scheme called "Window" which showcases productions suitable for touring.
Fringe activity has run alongside Brighton Festival since its creation in 1967.
The Fringe established itself as a limited company and registered charity in October 2006, with its own board of directors and complete financial independence from the Festival. In 2012 it rebranded itself as Brighton Fringe. The organisation has more than doubled in size in the past five years, increasing from 323 shows in 2007 to 719 in 2012, bringing visitors into the city and boosting tourism and local businesses.
The current Managing Director is Julian Caddy.
Brighton Fringe is an open-access mixed arts event, which means it does not book performers, but is approached by people wishing to put events on and be part of the Fringe. Participants can vary from the complete beginner to the hardened professional show, and everything in between. Anyone can put an event on as part of Brighton Fringe.
A venue for Brighton Fringe can be anything; from a large concert hall or theatre to a private house, a park, or on one occasion, a bath.
With the increase of large high-profile venues, some commentators have suggested that Brighton Fringe may be reaching a similar profile as the Edinburgh Fringe.
In a similar vein to the use of the Royal Mile at the Edinburgh Festival, "Fringe City", a free event taking place in the New Road and Jubilee Street area of Brighton, was first introduced in 2007. By 2008, it was taking place every Saturday of May, and provides a showcase for any of the performers from the Fringe. In 2013, Fringe City was seeing between 10 - 15,000 visitors each day, and takes place every weekend throughout the festival, alongside themed 'Picnic' events on Sundays.
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- Brighton Fringe - Official Website