The three-week Festival - guest directed by award-winning author Ali Smith - featured a thrilling selection of events spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate by artists and performers the world over, drawing audiences in droves and unanimous critical acclaim.
The opening weekend asked audiences to ‘take flight’ for the annual children’s parade, the largest in Europe. Supported by local businesses Class of their Own and Riverford – as well as Gatwick Airport who fittingly came on board for the first time - the annual parade traditionally marks the start of Brighton Festival and was attended by almost 5,000 children from 83 schools and community groups from across the region; each dressed in costumes they had specifically designed and made for the event.
One of the Festival’s biggest hits was the European premiere of Tony award-winning playwright Richard Nelson’s highly acclaimed four play cycle The Apple Family Plays from The Public Theater, New York ( supported by University of Sussex) which was lavished with 5 stars across the board. Other highlights included an interactive installation inspired by the weather in Circus Street Market (sponsored by Southern Water) to an extraordinary feat of rock balancing (sponsored by Nutshell Construction) and a night-time promenade theatre piece in Stanmer Park (sponsored by Mayo Wynne Baxter).
Stewart Wingate CEO of Gatwick Airport says: “As the airport continues to grow year on year, we are delighted to welcome artists from abroad to our arrivals lounge. Brighton and Hove is an important city for our airport, with one in 30 passengers arriving from here every year – so we were thrilled to have given it our wholehearted support this year”.
'The exposure of our name alongside prestigious events is very important for our profile”, says Martin Williams, Partner Mayo Wynne Baxter solicitors, who have been sponsors since 2011. “Clients remark positively on our involvement with Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, which helps cement our position in the city.'
Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said: ‘We wouldn’t be able to present the sheer number of quality performances, installations and exclusive talks that make up Brighton Festival without the help of sponsors, many of whom also support the work of Brighton Dome year-round. It’s an exciting time for Brighton Festival as we look towards our 50th birthday next year - and it is thanks to their help that we can continue to make Brighton Festival and the city itself such a magical place to be in May.”
Other sponsors included Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Mayo Wynne Baxter, DMH Stallard, SELITS, GM Building, Brighton and Hove Jobs.com, Echo Video, Grandad, Hoi Polloi, IEP Financial, Midnight Communications, Moshimo, MyHotel, One Digital, Terre a Terre and WSP.