The Brighton Festival is an annual arts festival which takes place in the city of Brighton and Hove in England each May. It was founded in 1965 as part of the Federation of Brighton Student's Arts-Rag Week. It is England's largest annual festival. The 2006 festival organised over 200 events during 23 days which were attended by over 500,000 people.
The festival is launched with the Children's Parade and includes outdoor spectaculars often involving pyrotechnics, and a great deal of theatre, music, literature and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some of which are brought into this use exclusively for the festival.
One feature of the festival is the Artists Open House concept, whereby artists and craftspeople literally open up their houses for the public to view or buy their work.
The Festival regularly commissions new work from companies such as DV8 Physical Theatre; 2006's Festival included the world premiere of new work by Stomp's Brighton-based creators, Yes/No Productions. It also encourages cross-fertilisation between different art forms, such as 2006's "Stories In Motion", a multimedia collaboration between Chuck Palahniuk, Irvine Welsh and Orbital's Phil Hartnoll; also 2006's "Warp Moves", a collaboration between artists from Warp Records and dancers from Random Dance.
Since 2009, the festival has featured guest artistic directors: in that year, Anish Kapoor fulfilled the role, followed in 2010 by Brian Eno, in 2011 by Aung San Suu Kyi, in 2012 by Vanessa Redgrave, in 2013 by Michael Rosen, in 2014 by Hofesh Shechter, and in 2015 by Ali Smith.
- Brighton Fringe (England's largest arts festival)
- Edinburgh Fringe (the UK's largest arts festival)
- Norfolk and Norwich Festival (The UK's oldest arts festival)
- Toynbee, Polly (May 2, 2013). "We know spending on the arts makes big money for Britain. So why cut it?". The Guardian.
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- "Brighton festival 2013 takes off, with Michael Rosen at helm". The Guardian. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013.
this year's Brighton festival, which is guest-directed by author, broadcaster and former children's laureate Michael Rosen.
- James, Ben (26 September 2013). "Brighton Festival’s next guest director is revealed as Hofesh Shechter". The Argus.
- Green, Thomas (18 February 2015). "Brighton Festival 2015 Launches with Guest Director Ali Smith". The Arts Desk. Retrieved 22 March 2015.