Brighton Festivals

Brighton has a huge number of festivals in the city. There is comedy, food and drink, music, film, the famous Artist’s Open Houses as well as the even bigger Brighton Festival, the biggest Arts festival in England (and 2nd biggest in the UK behind only Edinburgh).

The festivals are also not just through the summer months though, there is something going on in Brighton throughout the year. Check the following calender of Brighton Festivals to find out what’s happening when you are in town.


Brighton Science Festival – A festival to look at where we came from, the state we are in now and where the future might take us – so pretty much everything then! The idea is to help people to see science for what it really is, (not the boring subject is became for many of us in school) – a wonderful journey of discovery.


Sussex Beer Festival – Lots of real ale, over 100 in fact, plus Cider, Perries and Wine. Throw in some food and a warm welcoming atmosphere, and you’ve got a great time.

The Chocolate Festival
– It’s all about Chocolate, (as if anyone’s interested in that! ;-)). Taste creations from the world’s best chocolatiers, including William Curley, Damian Allsop and Paul Wayne Gregory.

SEE Festival – It’s the Brighton Documentary Film Festival. It lasts for a week showing international documentaries. In the past there have been films featured from Louis Theroux, Nick Broomfield and Luke Holland.

VegFestUK – The biggest Veggie show in Europe. It’s all about the tastiest produce and dishes and recipes. Films, cooking competitions, talks, information, music and shows.


Food and Drink Festival – A showcase of local producers and growers as well as restaurants and retailers. Rated by the New York post as one of the worlds leading local food events. Also held in September.

Children’s Festival – For children under 11 and their families. An art’s festival with lots of activities, workshops and exhibitions.


Brighton Festival – World Class Art and Artists. The Brighton festival is getting bigger every year and is now firmly established as the second biggest in the UK, hot on the heels of Edinburgh.

Brighton Fringe – The fringe runs alongside the Brighton Festival as the perfect compliment cabaret, comedy, classical concerts, club nights, theatre, films, circus and exhibitions.

Artists Open Houses – In the words of the organizers themselves it’s ‘”probably” the biggest free visual art event of its kind in the UK. All over the city artists, sculptors, craftspeople and photographers open up their doors, gardens, studios, or wherever they produce their work, to the public for viewing and buying.

Brighton Great Escape
– It’s a melting pot for new musical talent. 3 days, 30 venues, 20,000 people and over 300 local and international artists.


Brighton Fashion Week – Getting bigger every year with British and European designers choosing to show their collections in Brighton. Some great parties and a fashion emporium.

Brighton Japan Festival – A week-long celebration of all things Japan, including film, art, technology, culture, design and business.

Sussex Festival of Nature – A festival to celebrate wildlife, nature and eco-friendly living.


Paddle Round the Pier – The world’s largest Free beach and water sports festival with water, street & urban sports, live music, kids entertainment, ‘have a go’ opportunities and more. The highlight is the actual ‘Paddle round the Pier’ where teams paddle round the pier in a variety of different crafts and rafts (mostly homemade).

Soundwaves Festival – This festival is dedicated to experimental and new music including installations, video and performance art, music, theatre and concerts.

Brighton Kite Festival – 2 day event with kites of all sizes shapes and colours. The sky comes alive with some amazing displays of skill.


Brighton Racecourse August Festival – Highlight of the racing calendar with 3 days of racing, champagne and glamour.

Brunswick Festival – Set in the middle of the beautiful Brunswick Square it’s a celebration of the area and it’s diversity. Food, street theatre, live music performances, and stalls selling a bit of everything.


Brighton Summer Pride – Brighton Pride celebrates everything lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. It’s the biggest and most famous Pride festival in the country, not to be missed.

Brighton Art Fair – One of the biggest events on the south coast art calendar. Painters, printmakers, photographers and sculptors display and sell direct to the public.

Brighton Digital Festival – Month-long celebration of all things digital bringing together the city’s vibrant arts and digital communities. From big conferences to smaller events and experimental ideas to full on exhibitions and workshops. Most events are free and are hands on or participatory.

Brighton Food & Drink Festival
– Tons of local producers and growers, restaurants and retailers. One of the leading events for showcasing local food in the world. The festival is held twice a year in April and September.


Beach of the Dead – This is the day when the undead come to Brighton. Beach of the Dead is Brighton’s world-renowned annual Zombie Walk, where thousands dress as Zombies and parade through the city streets.

Brighton Photo Biennial – A festival bringing international and emerging photographers and artists to the city, with a specific theme that changes every year. Free exhibitions, new commissions, talks, screenings, workshops and master classes.

City Reads – Annual citywide reading festival which aims to spread a love of books and ideas by choosing one book for everyone to read, discuss, debate and get involved with in a series of special events.

Brighton Comedy Festival – 3 weeks of great comedy talent (including some of the biggest names in the country) with the goal to showcase the best live comedy of the year.

Brighton Early Music Festival – A festival of music from the Medieval, Renaissance, and early baroque periods. The second largest festival of it’s kind in the UK.

Brighton Sacred Music Festival – The festival brings together music from spiritual traditions around the world and is the only one of it’s kind in the UK. The mission is bring people together through music and art regardless of religion, ethnicity, language and nationality.


CINECITY – Partnership between the University of Brighton and the Duke of York Picture House, the festival features moving image events, screenings and exhibitions. Patrons include Nick Cave, Paddy Considine, Steve Coogan, John Hillcoat and Henry Normal.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run – A 60 miles drive from Hyde Park in London to Brighton, marking the passing of the Law that allowed the speed limit to be raised from 4mph to 14mph and that no man was needed to walk in front of a car whilst it was being driven. The event was portrayed in the 1953 film ‘Genevieve’.


Christmas Artists Open Houses – Also held in May, but this time people have the chance to buy direct from hundred’s of different artists and sculptors in their own homes across the city just in time for Christmas. Plenty of mulled wine and mince pies.

Burning of the Clocks – Celebrated on the shortest day of the year the 21st of December to usher in the new sun. There is a family lantern parade through the city streets, followed by a spectacular pyrotechnic and firework display and the burning of the lanterns on the beach.

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