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Advertising Feature: Brighton Festival 2021

Advertising Feature: Brighton Festival returns with arts outdoors, online and safely back on stage this May! Lemn Sissay photograph © Jamie MacMillian

Brighton Festival returns from 1st May with acclaimed British and Ethiopian poet, playwright, and broadcaster, Lemn Sissay MBE as guest director. The annual celebration of classical and contemporary music, theatre, visual arts, literature, comedy and family events will take place online, outdoors and as guidance allows from 17th May, in socially distanced venues across the city.

Artist Ray Lee brings the world premiere of Points of Departure, a spectacular series of mechanical sculptures that will light up the night-time backdrop of Shoreham Port. The large-scale structures sing out a sci-fi symphony that will mesmerise visitors as they walk around the outdoor installation.

Families and friends will be celebrated in Arrivals & Departures, an interactive artwork by Yara & Davina located in Royal Pavilion Gardens. Births and deaths are commemorated on two digital billboards and the public can nominate a loved one to be included.

Arrivals & Departures © Tom McClaughlan

Immersive sound installation Pier to Pier combines interviews with 14 people who live and work on the coast with music from a coastal choir, played from a bench as it travels the Sussex coast from Brighton to Worthing.

HERstory, an insightful and inspiring collaboration between writers, storytellers and performers, uncovers the real stories of Brighton-based women.

A free, city-wide audio tour, the stories can be accessed via QR codes on a smartphone, located at different points around Brighton city centre and suburbs.

Classical music highlights at Brighton Dome include a refreshing take on Schubert’s song cycle Schwanengesang (Swan Song) from baritone Roderick Williams, joined by soprano Ella Taylor and baritone Themba Mvula.

Chineke! Orchestra’s chamber ensemble performs Schubert’s beloved Trout quintet and La Nuova Musica provides a bold new take on Monteverdi’s monumental masterpiece, the Vespro della Beata Vergine. Young artists are showcased in a series of lunchtime concerts, including one of the UK’s most sparkling classical talents, pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason.

As part of the Festival’s Young Readers events, bestselling children’s authors Dame Jacqueline Wilson and M. G. Leonard introduce their new books and a special storytelling event celebrating Guess How Much I Love You is perfect for young families.

For families with older children, a bike ride around the city turns into a fun and interactive game with Brighton-based digital artists Blast Theory. Rider Spoke takes cyclists on a guided tour using a smartphone app, with narrators leading them to search for secret hiding places.

Robot Selfie invites the public to submit a selfie to be added to a mural, created by a wall-drawing robot, which can be visited in person at Greater Brighton Metropolitan College or viewed online.

Many events are free or tickets start from £5, for more information visit or call 01273 709709 (Mon-Sat, 10am-5pm)

Points of Departure © Ray Lee