Brighton Festival 2016 – Happy 50th Anniversary

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Running from 7 to 29 May, this year’s celebrations promise to be a blast.

Brighton (and Hove) is a seaside city in East Sussex, an hour from central London by train. Thanks to its rich cultural mix, over 11 million tourists visit annually.

VB31 - Brighton Festival 2013Brighton Festival encompasses Brighton Fringe, House and Artists Open Houses, and is an annual celebration of over 700 entertainment events that includes music, theatre, dance, circus, art and sculptures, film, literature and poetry, debate, outdoor and family events.

Fringe, currently the world’s third largest festival showcases live performances that include theatre, musicals, poetry slams, comedy, cabaret, dance, film, tours, and workshops for adults and children. Many events are free. See Tickets can be booked through local box offices, or by calling 01273 91 72 72.

The House and Open House art exhibitions are eight years old this year, and run concurrently with main Brighton festival. Last year 150,000 visitors passed through the festival – see for more information, including sponsors and partners. This year the festival .



During five weekends from 30 April to 29 May visitors to House 2016 will appreciate the displays by six commissioned plus one invited (lead) artist. Turner prize winning Gillian Wearing is this year’s lead artist, whose themed ‘Sense of place’ exhibits explore the boundaries between private and public life in a succession of fly-on-the-wall self-portraits, when viewed from residents’ windows. See University of Brighton Gallery, 154-155 Edward Street, Brighton, BN2 0JG for more information.

Previous displays by lead artists have included ‘The British Library’ installation featuring reclaimed books bound in vibrant African cloths by Yinka Shonibare MBE, at the Old Reference Library, Brighton Museum. Learn more at



Open House
Also running from 30 April to 29 May, Open House allows visitors to see artists at work in their homes and features exhibits from over 1200 local artists, including students. Artworks include sculptures, paintings, carvings, jewellery, ceramics and textiles, which can all be bought directly from the artists. This year’s exhibits are displayed along 14 fun, colour coded trails around the Brighton area. Maps and artists’ addresses can be found in the Artists Open Houses booklet. See for comprehensive information.

Brighton boasts every form of abode, from trendy bedsits to five star hotels. Simply Woman have previously stayed at, and can recommend the 3-star New Madeira Hotel situated opposite the Brighton Wheel (in the Kemptown district) for its ensuite bedrooms, sea views and full breakfast.

Other visitor attractions
Include shopping in exclusive boutiques (try the Laines area, see and eating out in any of the numerous cafés and restaurants serving cuisine from all over the world. Travel locally by bus, cab, although many attractions are within walking distance from each other. Bus passes are available from many outlets throughout the city.

Tourist information centres are located throughout Brighton.

See also and our previous Brighton ‘Travel’ and ‘Arts & Cultures’ articles.

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