Friday, June 03, 2011

Brighton Festival reaches £800,000 in ticket sales


Three weeks of unrivalled arts celebration

May 7-29 2011

Brighton Festival Radio 87.7 FM



Photo: Grafik Warfare mural of Aung San Suu Kyi in Kensington Street


Brighton Festival 2011 celebrated liberty and freedom

with Guest Director Aung San Suu Kyi


This year's Brighton Festival saw an audience of over 150,000 enjoy 142 events including, 10 premieres and 30 free events, achieving highest ever ticket sales of over £800,000. This year's expanded programme of free outdoor events and art installations across the city, included record breaking audiences of over 38,000 at Fabrica for Janet Cardiff's The Forty Part Motet.

Over the last two years with Anish Kapoor and Brian Eno, the position of Guest Director has brought purpose, meaning and artistic passion to the Brighton Festival programme;  this year Aung San Suu Kyi brought something further – ideals and inspirational courage that artists from all over the world responded to.  

The people of Brighton and Hove have really taken Aung San Suu Kyi and her message of using our liberty to promote Burma's to their hearts. Aung San Suu Kyi was made a Freewoman of the city by Brighton and Hove City Council during the Festival; murals and homages appeared across the city, including a large mural created by Grafik Warfare in Kensington Street that will stay up for some time to come.

The wider audience has responded too with standing ovations to her message at the opening Asian Dub Foundation concert and active participation in the lotus flower appeal, with more than 2,000 being made by visitors to the Festival symbolising the 2,000 political prisoners inBurma. We know that significant awareness and funds have been raised for Burma Campaign UK.


Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Festival says "Aung San Suu Kyi reiterated to us during the Festival how important our events have been in keeping alive the struggle for democracy, human rights and freedom in Burma and we are proud to play a part in that and celebrate such an inspiring woman through some extraordinary events over the last three weeks. Brighton and Hove is one of the country's most liberal cities and this year's Festival demonstrated that in abundance."


Artists, both local and international, responded to the themes to create a powerful and wide-ranging programme of events across the 23 days.  These included Brighton Festival commissioned works from Turkish artist Kutluğ Ataman in the disused Old Municipal Market, Belgian dance company les ballets C de la B in Alain Platel's new work Gardenia, French theatre company Peut-être Theatre, Mexican theatre company Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes, British outdoor performance artists Wired Aerial and Nigel Jamieson and site-specific theatre specialists Hydrocracker, as well as world premieres from theatre director Neil Bartlett,  actor Joe Bone and a new narration to the concert performance of Fidelio from writer Simon Butteriss.


Other premieres and exclusive events included the Australian film and video artist Lynette Wallworth, Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, French street arts company Générik Vapeur, Italian company Compagnia TPO, British  company Hiccup Theatre, Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, British musicians John Cale of Velvet Underground, and Asian Dub Foundation and a preview of a new West End production of Butley starring Dominic West.


This year's Festival has been a triumph of partnership working and has been made possible through some wonderful collaborations with many major organisations across the city and beyond including Lighthouse, Fabrica, University of Brighton, The Basement, Theatre Royal Brighton, Charleston Festival, The Great Escape, Dada South, Without Walls and the Zepa European network of outdoor arts


Sponsorship and corporate support has also been strong this year with major partners Southern putting on the Festival late train for the three weeks of May to help visitors get back in time for the last tube after a day's outing. The Festival's opening event, the Children's Parade was supported by E.ON and AVT Connect made it possible to be part of the Festival via video link.


Visit Brighton once again supported Brighton Festival Radio which broadcast on 87.7 FM for four weeks from 3-29 May, achieving over 1100 downloads from unique users who listened online  to the exciting and exclusive behind the scenes coverage and unique content.   


New for this year was free foyer music in the Brighton Dome Foyer bar which alongside broadcasting Brighton Festival Radio, created a hub for Festival audiences and visitors.  With direct access to the Brighton and Hove Museum and Gallery the Foyer Bar will continue to be open daily (Tues – Sun) serving food and with entertainment at weekends  throughout the year.


Brighton Festival 2012 will run from Saturday 5th – Sunday 27th May next year.



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