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Business Spotlight: 10 Questions with Brighton Fringe

Updated: Mar 6, 2022

Brighton Fringe is the largest open-access arts festival in England. It is an international festival that is at the same time rooted in the community. It embraces every art form and every form of artistic expression and supports both new and established performers in trying out new work and taking risks.

The festival runs each year across one month, meanwhile, throughout the year other events and support are offered by Brighton Fringe. The pandemic affected Brighton Fringe like every other event service, but Brighton Fringe adapted in 2020/21 and they did not let the pandemic set them back. Read more below about Brighton Fringe and how important they are to our Brighton community.

10 Questions with Brighton Fringe
1) Firstly, can you tell us in your own words about what your business does and its mission?

Brighton Fringe is a registered charity and England’s largest arts festival. Our mission is to bring artists and audiences together and act as a catalyst for creativity. In addition to our month-long open-access festival running across the month of May, we also help artists develop professionally through a range of free workshops, mentoring schemes, and bursary programmes. Brighton Fringe returns to the city from 6 May 2022 to 5 June 2022 with over 350 events already on sale and 60 venues participating.

2) What inspired you to start your own business?

Brighton Fringe has been running alongside Brighton Festival in some form since 1967 so it’s fair to say we’ve been around the block a few times!

3) How do you find inspiration and what sets you apart from the competition?

We find inspiration from our participants, both venues and performers, as well as the wider creative arts scene in Brighton. We pride ourselves on being an open-access festival and look to collaborate and nurture rather than set ourselves apart from our competition.

4) What skills do team members of Brighton Fringe develop during their time within the organisation?

During their tenure at Brighton Fringe, our team continues to develop skills in event planning and management, artist liaison, budgeting, fundraising and so much more. Brighton Fringe is a year-round resource for creative professionals and charity as well as being a month-long festival and our team is always striving to develop skills that will serve every aspect of the organisation.

5) Describe your typical work-day?

A typical workday for the team at Brighton Fringe is varied and busy! Today for instance our Participants Services team have been helping performers register their events with us, our Marketing team have been working on the printed version of our programme to be distributed across the city and beyond, and our Development team has been working on forming relationships with collaborators and holding meetings with partners such as Gig Buddies for Good Mental Health.

6) What has been your biggest challenge to date and how did you overcome it?

The Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating effect on the arts industry. In 2020 we pivoted and held a digital event and in 2021 we managed to hold a hybrid festival (a mix of in-person and digital events). Footfall and ticket sales are yet to return to pre-pandemic levels but we are hopeful 2022 will be the year to do so.

7) What has been your greatest achievement to date?

Brighton Fringe’s greatest achievements have been growing to become England’s largest arts festival and, more recently, our digital season during the COVID pandemic.

8) Which small businesses and/or entrepreneurs influence you / to do you look for guidance?

We are lucky to have the support of many small businesses in Brighton and Sussex. These businesses and entrepreneurs guide us with their expertise in their fields, helping to make Brighton Fringe bigger, better, and more accessible as each year passes.

9) What advice does Brighton Fringe have for anyone looking to get into eventing or kickstart their own creative enterprise?

Make the most of the city you’re in – Brighton is a wonderful city jam-packed with brilliant creatives, events professionals, and artists who you can look to for inspiration, advice, and skill exchanges.

10) Where can we find Brighton Fringe online?

Twitter - @brightonfringe

Instagram - @brightonfringe

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Huge thanks to Brighton Fringe for their time.

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