Brighton Festival Launches 2021 Programme with the Theme ‘Care’
• First UK city to launch a multi-arts festival since lockdown
• Guest director Lemn Sissay’s theme will be ‘care’
• Over 90 events outdoors & online from 1 May and safely back on stage from 17 to 31 May,
• 30 events will offer free tickets
• All events managed with social distancing measures in place
• Events & installations in locations from Brighton to Worthing
94 events, performances and installations will take place from 1 May to 31 May, both as specially commissioned online projects, as livestreams and across multiple outdoor and indoor locations extending from Brighton to Worthing.
From 17 May, provided government guidelines allow, live indoor and outdoor performances will open for socially distanced audiences in much loved venues that will re-open for the first time since 2020. All events will be equipped for social distancing, including reduced capacity seating, bookings in household bubbles and full safety measures implemented across all sites. Night and day.
Brighton Festival is known for providing a platform for artists to experiment and create new work and this year’s programme will present internationally acclaimed artists as well as supporting the next generation of talent. Artists have responded to the theme of care and to their own experiences of the last year to create newly commissioned work that involves, engages and inspires.
Featuring 10 world and UK premieres and commissions, Brighton Festival presents new work by the actress Jane Horrocks; theatre directors Neil Bartlett, Tim Crouch and Peter Sellars. Performances from classical artists Roderick Williams, Paul Lewis, Jessie Montgomery and Isata Kanneh-Mason; musicians Le Gateau Chocolat, Eliza Carthy and Gwenno; visual artist Olafur Eliasson; comedians Josie Long and Mark Watson; author Jacqueline Wilson and poet Michael Rosen will be celebrating his birthday in true festival style!
Lemn Sissay’s Brighton Festival commission, Tell Me Something About Family is an online conversation that will connect people through the complexity and variety of what family can mean. From his own personal experience of growing up without a family, Sissay is inviting the public, along with other artists, friends and peers, to share their personal memories and ‘light up the world with stories, phrases or sayings about family’ via a new website.
“After such a difficult year for everyone, I am thrilled and proud to be sharing this programme as guest director. The range of events on offer is incredible and I’m honoured to have some of my favourite artists taking part, presenting opportunities to reflect and discuss what’s been happening socially and politically. There are also plenty of events that are simply joyful and celebratory, giving everyone the chance to enjoy themselves and be inspired by the arts.”