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Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Friday 15 May 2020

Brighton Festival Thanks Everyone At Home With A Series Of Free Online Events

One thousand five hundred Brighton Festival ticket buyers have donated back some or all of their purchases to the Festival after it was cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.
Credit Jamie MacMillian

As a thank you for the public's on-going support and generosity, Brighton Festival is offering a selection of free online events, featuring artists who would have performed in Brighton this May, along with contributions from artistic partners.

Brighton Festival at Home began with the Children"s Parade at Home and continues with live performances; family-friendly activities; artist masterclasses and a few surprise messages from famous faces, scheduled across digital platforms throughout May when the Festival would have been in full swing across the city.

This year's Brighton Festival Guest Director, Lemn Sissay MBE will host an exclusive live reading and debate based on his best-selling memoir, My Name is Why. 

Reflecting on a childhood in foster care, self-expression and Britishness, Lemn will be in conversation with writer Hannah Azieb Pool, with questions invited from the public.

Brighton-based Rachel Blackman was due to perform the world premiere of her Festival commissioned show and will create a new adaptation from her home. 

Tiny Failures will see Rachel interview a guest artist to recount their personal life disasters, in an uplifting and humorous look at how we can all take comfort from each other"s mistakes.

Last Saturday, Brighton Festival partnered with Sam Lee's Singing with Nightingales, a live audio broadcast taking listeners on a journey into the Sussex woods to hear nightingale birdsong mixed with a real-time duet with guest musician Alice Zawadksi and a special poetry reading by Lemn Sissay. 


Comedians Sofie Hagen and Mark Watson give us a glimpse into how they're coping with life in lockdown with short video sketches. 

Performance artist Rachel Mars reveals the secrets behind a celebrity love letter in an intimate late-night video chat with friends. 

British vocal ensemble, I Fagiolini will be offering a sing-along musical lesson with performers led by acclaimed director Robert Hollingworth. 

Australian circus act Gravity & Other Myths share their acrobatic skills in a series of jaw-dropping physical tutorials. 

Drag Queen Story Hour UK's Aida H Dee will bring her own unique style with a fun and educational reading for families to enjoy together. 

And in an exclusive partnership with Fuel Theatre, the festival will be running a competition to win an invitation to take part in the acclaimed show of Uninvited Guests' Love Letters Straight From Your Heart, a live participatory event in which the audience and actors offer dedications and declarations of love, past and present.

Full details of Brighton Festival at Home is available online: brightonfestival.org/at_home

by: Mike Cobley




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Migrate Art, the art organisation fundraising to support displaced and homeless people, has partnered with ten major contemporary artists and illustrators to create limited editions of re-usable, reversible face masks.

Romesh Ranganathan is Straight Outta Crawley, in West Sussex, and on his last nationwide tour, Irrational, he was pondering whether he has an irrational viewpoint on the world or whether that can be attributed to absolutely everyone else.

Returning after four years away, Aidan Knight's penchant for astute observations and personal reflections remains a compelling component of his songwriting.


Young people across the UK will have the chance to find out what it's like to be a record label boss, a film director or a theatre producer through a new podcast series from Lookout that brings together industry professionals from stage, screen and music to share their invaluable insights and experience on how to get into the creative industries.
Credit J. Taylor

Extinction Rebellion Brighton held a socially distanced protest on Hove seafront calling for a bigger public say in how society rebuilds following the coronavirus crisis.
Credit Andrew Gambling

The South Downs National Park photo competition is now open, with a first prize of £250 on offer to the amateur or professional photographer who best captures this year's theme of 'My tranquil haven'.

"In rock music, it's really easy to talk about partying and shagging girls and all that kind of stuff," says Skunk Anansie vocalist Skin. "But for us, what we were singing about had to be deeper, it had to mean something. We had to talk about our experiences and what we were going through."

Throughout COVID-19 isolation, everyone has become aware of the supportive and stimulating power of music. Although many people want to learn, they have no access to musical instruments or tuition - especially with schools and shops currently closed. 
Credit: Andy Sturmey

Barely a year since their debut album Dogrel, Dublin's Fontaines D.C. are set to return with A Hero's Death.

The Rec Rooms is an independent music and comedy venue in Horsham, West Sussex, which was opened by three locals just over eighteen months ago. 

This Saturday, 30th May, Together Co, the Brighton & Hove based charity that exists to end loneliness, is hosting a virtual music festival that will see more than twenty bands perform for free to raise money to help the most vulnerable and isolated.  

Following Brighton Festival's digital programme during lockdown, poet and author Lemn Sissay MBE has confirmed he will return as guest director in 2021. 

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