Brighton Fringe

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Performers at Fringe City at Brighton Fringe

Brighton Fringe is an open access arts festival held annually in Brighton, England. It is the largest annual arts festival in England.[1] Brighton Fringe 2016 will take place from 6 May - 5 June 2016.[2] Registration for the 2016 festival will open on 19 October. [3]


Brighton Fringe runs at a similar time to Brighton Festival, and in 2013 extended its run to four weeks.[4] In 2015, Brighton Fringe ran from 1 - 31 May, and featured 787 individual events – including more than 150 free ones – at 174 locations across the city, with attendances reaching over 400,000.

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.[5] 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.[6] They also launched "Brighton in the Square", a showcase of Brighton Fringe performers at the Leicester Square Theatre in London.[7]

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.[8] In 2014, the organisation launched an Arts Council England supported scheme called "Window" which showcases productions suitable for touring.[9]


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.[10] 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.[11]

The current Managing Director is Julian Caddy.[12]

Open access[edit]

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.[13]

Fringe City[edit]

Picture from "Fringe City" on the opening day of the 2007 Brighton Festival 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, Pavilion Gardens 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 2015, Fringe City saw audiences of 75,000, and takes place every weekend throughout the festival, alongside Family Picnic events on some weekends.


  1. ^ James, Ben (2013-10-04). "Brighton fringe celebrates best year yet (From The Argus)". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  2. ^ "Brighton Fringe homepage". Retrieved February 2013. 
  3. ^ Fringe, Brighton (2015-06-15). "Brighton Fringe Take Part". Retrieved 2015-09-08. 
  4. ^ James, Ben. "£1.4m fringe blockbuster attracts 400,000 punters (From The Argus)". Retrieved 2015-06-14. 
  5. ^ Keenan, John (20 February 2012). "Brighton Fringe unveils feast of vibrance". The Argus. Archived from the original on February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Brighton Fringe launches on-street box office (From The Argus)". 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  7. ^ "Brighton Fringe acts take to London stage (From The Argus)". 2012-03-21. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  8. ^ "Time to dive in to Brighton Fringe (From The Argus)". 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The Argus - Fringe to cut Free from Festival". Retrieved January 2003. 
  11. ^ "The Argus, news, sport, events, jobs, homes for Brighton, Hove and Sussex". 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  12. ^ Keenan, John (2011-10-25). "Brighton Fringe boss appointed (From The Argus)". Retrieved 2014-07-11. 
  13. ^ Byrne, Ciar (2008-05-06). "Brighton Fringe raises profile to rival Edinburgh". The Independent (London). Retrieved 2010-04-26. [dead link]

External links[edit]