The organisers have officially announced their 2021 programme with the theme care, making Brighton the first UK city to announce the launch of a multi-arts festival since lockdown began.
The theme of care ties to the work of the NHS and all those affected by the Covid pandemic, and announced by acclaimed British and Ethiopian poet, playwright and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE, who is serving as the guest director of this year’s festival.
The celebration will feature 94 events, performances, exhibitions and installations both online and outdoor from the 1st of May, with stage events occurring from the 17th to the 31st of May as Covid restrictions lift and they become possible within guidelines.
These productions will take in locations from Brighton to Worthing with specially commissioned online projects, livestreams and live indoor or outdoor performances occurring from much loved venues that will not have been able to open since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
All of the events involving in person attendance are stated to have social distancing measures which will include reduced capacity seating arrangements at safe distances, bookings in household bubbles and full safety restrictions in place at all sites reducing all possible risks.
In a syndicated interview, Lemn Sissay MBE voiced his excitement for the chance to be involved after his 2020 opportunity was cancelled, stating that he is looking forward to sharing his own project ‘Tell Me Something About Family’ at the festival, drawing on his past of growing up in foster care whilst also reflecting on the fact that people have been so distanced from their families over the past year.
A key highlight of the event noted by Sissay will be the presence of accomplished children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, responsible for the Tracey Beaker book series that later became a hit CBBC tv show.
Wilson will be promoting her new book ‘The Runaway Girls’ as part of a line up including poet and singer Eliza Carthy, Chineke! Chamber Ensemble and actress Jane Horrocks.
Photo Credit: Chris Lawton