Brighton’s Best Annual Festivals
It doesn’t take much searching to find a good excuse to visit Brighton for the weekend. The draw of this fabulous seaside city pulls in thousands of visitors all year round with loads of things to do. Whether they come to relax and stroll along the promenade, go window shopping in The Laines, partake in many other activities that can be found in Brighton or dance the night away in the many bars and clubs. Brighton is also host throughout the year to a number of varied and interesting mini festivals that would give anyone a great reason to visit Brighton for the weekend.
Brighton Food & Drink Festival (April & September)
Tempt your senses and try something new at the Brighton & Hove food festival, rated as one of the best local food festivals in the World and the largest in the South. The festival draws in the best local producers, growers and restaurants, bars and food retailers so you are guaranteed some culinary delights. The Big Sussex Market draws over 54,000 foodies over the weekend where you can try and buy at the stalls, also a free Children’s Food Festival with magic and food bravery activities. The final weekend of the festival features the World Market held at Hove Lawns with live food shows and demos, lots of drinking and eat, cheese bowling, wine master classes and other activities for a great day out.
Brighton Fringe - (Every weekend in May)
Brighton Fringe is a free festival which runs during the Brighton Festival providing an opportunity for performers, street performers and artists to promote their performances on the streets of Brighton. Although the fridge of some sort has always run alongside The Brighton Festival, Brighton Festival Fringe was born in 2002 and became known as Brighton Fringe in 2012. As an open access festival, Brighton Fringe gives anyone the chance to put on an event of any art form which not only makes it the largest arts festival in England but also showcase some more diverse performances. It’s a great way to experience something you’ve never seen before! www.brightonfestivalfringe.org.uk
Brighton Festival - (Three Weeks In May)
As you could only expect in Brighton, Brighton Festival is not only bold but is the biggest arts festival in the UK offering world-class performances. Over the three weeks visitors can indulge in a program of music, theatre, dance and film providing an unrivalled celebration of performance arts. Brighton Festival promotes awareness and in 2011 featured Aung San Suu Kyi as guest director. The festival sees more than 150,000 people in over 150 performances, providing an ambitious programme and an atmosphere you could only expect in Brighton’s distinctive backdrop. Come and experience some real culture during your Brighton visit. brightonfestival.org
Great Escape - (2nd or 3rd Weekend in May)
As only a Brighton festival can, Great Escape kicks of the music festival season in unique style! Now internationally recognised as the foremost music event for showcasing new artists and music, Great Escape introduces 16,000 music lovers to the latest sounds and artists to watch that year. Great Escape’s provides a mecca for music with over 300 bands performing in over 30 venues in Brighton over the 3 days with popup street gigs often held around streets of the city. With artists over the years including Ed Sheeran, Example, The Temper Trap, Kasabian and Tiny Tempah, it’s easy to see why Great Escape is a key date in the music calendar. Come and discover something new, you never know - they could be the next big thing! escapegreat.com
Paddle Round the Pier (July)
Get yourself over to Hove Lawns for the World’s largest free watersports festival. Paddle Round the Pier as essentially a charity event showcasing the latest in urban and watersports with fun for all the family. The highlights of the weekend being one of the water based events such as The Paddle where everyone takes to the water on mass using any type of water craft you can get your hands on race around the West Pier. A favourite with local surfers and watersports enthusiast, ‘Paddle’ is a fabulous family day out and caters for every taste featuring live music, kids entertainment, stalls and get involved trials. It’s a fantastic free fun day out not to be missed! www.paddleroundthepier.com
Brighton Kite Festival (July)
Definitely a day or weekend out not to be missed, Brighton Kite festival is a free event where the skies are a plethora of colour and interesting shapes. Held in Stamner Park which in itself is well worth a visit, Brighton Kite Festival is one of the longest running Kite Festivals in the UK, featuring world class kite flyers, displays, children’s kite workshop and some of the world’s best kite flyers.
Brighton Racing Festival (August)
Fancy a day at the races? (Or 3) Brighton Racecourse is one of the most exciting with a horseshoe shaped course and beautiful views of the South Downs and Coast. The highlight of the Brighton Race Course calendar, held across three days at the beginning of August, Brighton Racing Festival is an experience not to be missed! Come and experience an electric atmosphere over three days of horse racing with day one featuring the richest race attracting some of the best in flat racing and draws the biggest crowd. Day two is ladies day, where the girls glam themselves up and is the most stylish day in the calendar with champagne on the lawn - dress to impress. Day three and the final day of the festival is a charity day where a donation from each ticket sale goes to the chosen charity.
Brighton Pride (August)
Brighton Pride Festival is a celebration of everything gay promoting equality and diversity with an aim to eliminate discrimination. Brighton Pride is the with tens of thousands of visitors coming to Brighton over the two day festival. Starting with the huge parade where floats, fairies and dancers light up the streets of Brighton making their way from Marine Parade to Preston Park - truly a sight to be seen! The parade stops at Preston Park where main event is held featuring DJ’s, Dance Tents, revellers and plenty of dancing. The party then heads over to St James Street in Kemptown where revellers continue the celebrations with an unofficial street party atmosphere continuing through Sunday. The weekend features many satellite events and the best way to experience Pride is by staying in Brighton for the weekend.
Brighton Chilli Festival (September)
Some like it hot! Fiery Foods Brighton Chilli Festival attracts over 7000 people over the two days for the best chilli festival in the UK. The festival is hot hot hot featuring live music, cookery demos, try and buy stalls and the infamous Chilli-Eating Contest - where the bravest (maddest) competitors go head-to-head in an extreme buffet to see who can ‘take the heat’ as they through a range of tear producing chillies and chilli based sauces all for a cash prize. If you’ve never been to a festival like this before, it’s highly recommended. www.fieryfoodsuk.co.uk
Brighton Japan Festival (September)
Celebrating Japanese culture, the Brighton Japan Festival is the largest of its kind in the UK. With all that’s great about Japanese culture the festival brings art, film, theatre and performance across some of the most prestigious venues in Brighton.
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