Brighton Festival is England’s leading mixed arts Festival and a major milestone in the international cultural calendar, which takes place across three weeks annually in May. Brighton Festival is an innovative commissioning and producing arts festival, offering an ambitious programme that makes the most of the city’s distinctive atmosphere. The 45th Festival will run from 5 to 29 May 2011.
Brighton Festival is part of Brighton Dome and Festival Limited (BDFL) which also runs Brighton Dome, the South-East’s premier arts and conference venue which has three spaces and presents over 600 events a year. Brighton Dome and Festival’s purpose is to champion the power of the arts and to enrich and change lives, whilst inspiring and enabling artists to be their most creative.
Chief Executive Andrew Comben joined BDFL in May 2008 and developed a new vision for the organisation to become a year-round centre of artistic activity and involving all areas of the community in the performing arts. That same year, he introduced the position of Guest Artistic Director to Brighton Festival with the intention of bringing cohesion and adding gravitas to the artistic programme.
Brighton Festival 2009 saw Anish Kapoor appointed as the inaugural Guest Artistic Director showing six works across the city, attracting some 80,000 visitors alone. In 2010 under Brian Eno’s leadership Brighton Festival achieved the highest ever ticketed attendances and 60% of reviews achieved 4 or 5 stars, in addition to which BDFL’s Associate company dreamthinkspeak’s immersive theatre piece Before I Sleep extended their sell-out run to a total run of nine weeks.
The 2010 Festival programme included 242 performances over 113 events including 30 commissions and premieres taking place all over the city and across all art forms ; music, theatre, dance, books and debate, visual arts and outdoor events and delivered an exceptional 23 days in May. Site specific locations and free outdoor events are an integral part of the Brighton Festival programme and partnerships with Zepa and Without Walls are key in delivering these large-scale outdoor works.