Arts, Entertainment & Media

Brighton Festival 2016 with Guest Director Laurie Anderson


Laurie Anderson, Guest Director of the Brighton Festival 2016. Image: @ST_Cult

This year the Brighton Festival is in its fiftieth year.

And it has invited Laurie Anderson to be its guest director.

The Festival is an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events – taking place in venues both familiar and unusual across Brighton & Hove for three weeks every May.

Renowned for its pioneering spirit and experimental reputation, Brighton Festival is now one of Europe’s leading arts festivals.

Each year delivers an ambitious and daring programme that aims to make the most of the city’s vibrant cultural atmosphere, pulling in innovative artists and companies, as well as adventurous audiences, from the UK and around the world.

Produced and delivered by the same team that runs the city’s leading arts venue, the Grade I listed Brighton Dome, Brighton Festival has a tradition of enlisting the artistic license and creative ideas of a Guest Director.

This year Laurie Anderson is at the helm. But who is Laurie Anderson?

And what are her plans for the festival?

Aside from being overall Curator of the Festival, Laurie Anderson is directing ‘Music For Dogs’ at the Brighton Open Air Theatre (BOAT).

This 20-minute piece has been specifically designed for the canine ear, including frequencies audible only to dogs, as well as other sounds for humans to enjoy.

Laurie Anderson mused while waiting backstage with cellist Yo-Yo Ma:

‘Wouldn’t it be great if you’re playing a concert and you look out and everyone’s a dog,’

The Festival opened on Friday 6th May with street parties and firework displays, as well as a 1960’s inspired art installation at one of the city’s landmarks, the Clock Tower.

“Fanfare” is by Brighton-based artist Bec Britain, featuring giant trumpets and chequerboard flags in graphic black and white.

The Clocktower Fanfare; boldly announcing the imminent arrival of our 50th Brighton Festival. Image: @brightfest

The Clock Tower ‘Fanfare’ boldly announcing the arrival of Brighton’s 50th Festival.  Image: @brightfest

Another local collaboration, Dance Group ‘Three Score Dance’ celebrated the 50th Brighton Festival by bringing together 50 dancers aged over 50 to perform the specially commissioned ‘Tall Tales’ – a special reconstruction from memory of a series of performed paintings that are believed to have been presented at some time during the Festival’s history.

Each year, the main festival is partnered by the ever-popular Brighton Fringe whose regular features include the Spiegel Garden positioned on the Old Steine near the seafront.

The Spiegel Garden comprises of the Spiegel Tent – a glamorous, wooden architecture full of mirrors and home to an eclectic variety of cabaret, dance and music acts.

Next to it is the open-air Spiegel Pub – a popular hang-out for hundreds of locals and visitors for the month of May.

Whatever your age, taste or budget, Brighton Festival and Fringe Festival have so much to offer, you’d be hard-pushed not to find something that entertains, inspires or pleases you in some way.

Activities, performances and events are running from 6th to 29th May (some events run into early June), so why not get yourself down to the sunny seaside and enjoy it?  You won’t be disappointed!


Performers of the Brighton Spiegel Tent 2016. Image @BSpiegeltent



Revellers at the Brighton Festival and Festival Fringe. Image: @BrightonFring

Some events in the Brighton Festival and Fringe Festival Programmes are free, including Artists’ Open Houses around the city.

For those events and performances with a charge, Box Office ticket bookings can be made on line or on the door (depending on availability).

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