The organisers of Brighton Festival have just announced their programme and are hoping their month-long stint this May will unite people at a politically and socially unstable time.
Guest director Kate Tempest said this year’s ‘Everyday Epic’ events will bring people together during a “particularly precarious” time. She’s the event’s youngest ever director and is hoping to reach out to a younger audience as the next generation of artists.
She has created a programme of theatre, dance, visual art, film, music, debate and spoken word – all performances and activities she hopes will encourage audience members to connect and empathise during this difficult time.
Kate said: “This year’s theme, Everyday Epic, seems to encapsulate some of my feelings about how music, literature and poetry can give us back our lives.
“Singing, playing, dancing, moving, painting life and communicating about that in public spaces – it requires no qualifications or training to enjoy it.
“It’s truthful communication between humans about humanity.
“It feels more important than ever to try and understand what that humanity is and what it could be.”
Kate will be performing herself at the festival’s opening concert of music and spoken word, as well as at a poetry evening and lastly performing songs from her latest album Let Them Eat Chaos.
This year’s highlights include an immersive 2km night-time adventure into a wild avian landscape, a spectacular show from sensational Australian circus group Casus (pictured top), and a spoken word trail to let you walk a mile in a stranger’s shoes. Brighton-based rapper Ocean Wisdom and poetry slam champion Tommy Sissons will also be performing.
The annual festival began in 1967 and previous events have been directed by the likes of children’s laureate and poet Michael Rosen, award-winning author Ali Smith, and human rights activist Vanessa Redgrave.
Kate’s message to festivalgoers? “Go and see as much as you can. Approach it like an epic. Like you are a pilgrim on a quest and something may well happen in the theatre, the pub, the community centre, the concert hall that will smash you back to feeling and land you in your skin again.”
Tickets for the festival go on sale to members tomorrow (Thursday 16 February) and will be available to members of the general public on Friday 24 February at 9 am. Click here to check out the full programme.