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A Guide to Brighton Fringe Festival

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Have you seen everything on the West End this season? Or maybe youre a theatre fan whos looking for something thats a bit different

Just an hour south of London is Englands largest theatre and arts festival: The annual Brighton Fringe!

Every May, over 500,00 performers, technicians, directors, and theatregoers around the world gather in Brighton for one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. What can you expect? Hundreds of shows, street acts, and parties like youve never experienced before.

The festival isnt just the playground for internationally renowned theatre companies dance collectives, clowns, magicians, musicians, athletes, drag queens, and performance artists all find a devoted and enthusiastic audience at the Brighton Fringe.

If youre curious enough to head down to Brighton in May, get ready. It will be an unpredictable adventure filled with entertainment, amazing food, hearty drinks, and beautiful views of the ocean.

Before heading there, youre going to want to know how to fest. Lets go over everything you need to know about the Fringe.

What to Know

Tickets: Theres no admission to enter the festival. Instead, every show throughout the city has its own price. Tickets for shows can be purchased at the theatre box office, online at the theatre site or Brighton Fringe site, or in-person at the Brighton Fringe Box Office.

Cost: The Brighton Fringe invites all performers to participate in the festival each year. Each performer or company has the opportunity to schedule their shows at whichever venue they like for a cost they deem appropriate. Its easy to find hundreds of free shows. Youre likely to get lucky and stumble upon a show happening on your way to lunch! The average price for admission to a single show is 9.47.

Opening Times: Shows dont just happen during the evening hours. For the entire duration of the festival, shows happen at all hours! Its possible to wake up, see a show before breakfast, break for lunch, and head out to another. Youll want to take a look at the official schedule ahead of time and map out what shows youll see when. Otherwise, youll arrive at a show and realise it overlaps with another, and you cant see both because you didnt plan for it.

Where to Stay

Brighton is a tourist town. That means there are hundreds of hotels, hostels, and Air Bnbs in town ready for your booking. Many locals open their doors every May for the fest, but youll want to book early. Its not just visiting theatregoers who have to find a room: the performers, technicians, and theatre management directors all need lodging as well. If you want a great stay, book now.

See if there are reservations at the following:

  • Hotel Pelirocco Snug within the city centre, this hotel is close to many of the hotspots for shows and nightlife.

  • Hotel du Vin Brighton A luxurious French-inspired hotel near the ocean

  • The Old Ship Hotel Right near the pier overlooking the ocean, this hotel has a great view at an affordable rate.

  • YHA Brighton Hostel- A hostel right on the water near the pier and across the street from Old Steine Gardens

  • Seadragon Backpackers Hostel- For minimalist theatregoers and at an inexpensive price, this hostel is in walking distance to several attractions.

What Else to Do in Brighton

You might have some downtime between shows and need to kill some time. Luckily, Brighton is filled with things to do!

  • Take a walk on the pier- Whether you love amusement rides, cotton candy, or standing over the ocean, the pier is a great place to spend downtime.

  • SEA LIFE Brighton- This family-friendly aquarium is home to extravagant views of sea creatures, play areas, and enrichment opportunities.

  • Royal Pavillion- Stroll the grounds of this amazing palace and gardens

  • British Airways i360- Get off the ground and take a look of the city from a panoramic observation deck.

You can check out more suggestions in our Brighton City Guide.

How to Get There

If youre travelling from London, the easiest way to get to Brighton is by rental car. You wont worry about transportation to and from the city, and youll always have a way to get around quickly. You can take a rental car from London Gatwick, or London Heathrow.

You can also take a train from Terminal 3 at Heathrow, or the Gatwick Express. Or you could travel by bus from either airport by taking the Heathrow Underground, or the National Express via Gatwick. These will be the cheapest way to travel. However, this is also the slowest way to get to Brighton. If you dont plan for an extra day to get to Brighton, you might miss out on some fun at the fest!