One week in and Brighton Fringe has broken its Box Office target for the whole festival showing there is a huge appetite for audiences on the South Coast to return to the theatre. After a year of closed doors and silent stages, there is a hunger to return to the escapism and power of performance. Brighton Fringe has worked to ensure that the most weird, wild and wonderful shows from around the world still have a home at England’s largest arts festival. Selling more than 40,000 tickets so far, the target of £250,000 has been surpassed with sales above £300,000.
Catering to demand for safe and exciting events, Brighton Fringe has seen audiences flood back in numbers that exceeded all expectations. With an unmissable programme of live and digital shows – from comedy to circus, drama to children’s shows – artists have expressed their joy at getting back to what they do best and audiences have shared their delight at the scale of the offer available. There are still 517 in-person and digital events at 90 venues to enjoy at Brighton Fringe this year.
Brighton Fringe CEO Julian Caddy commented: “The enthusiasm has been overwhelming and the scale of the sales has taken us all by surprise. I’d like to thank everyone involved at Brighton Fringe for their incredibly hard work in getting everything together and also of course our audiences for having faith in us that we can deliver live performance safely, whilst also offering a massive selection of online work as well. There are still 5 weeks left of Brighton Fringe activity though so make sure you enjoy it while you can!”
JD Henshaw, Artistic Director at Sweet Venues, said: “It’s been an amazing start to Brighton Fringe 2021 – glorious shows and wonderful audiences! Being able to welcome both new and regular audiences back to our spaces has been humbling. It means the world to us and our performers that so much support is out there. The sheer amount of talent and hard work on stage is staggering and we’re delighted to have the chance to present it in a safe and friendly environment. A huge thank you to everyone for coming back in such a big way and we can’t wait for the next few weeks!”
Brighton Fringe artists Rich Bright and Ross Dinwiddy from The Tragedy of Dorian Gray added: “We were last on stage in August 2019 with The Geminus which had premiered earlier that year at Brighton Fringe. Then we went straight into preproduction on The Tragedy of Dorian Gray to premiere it at Brighton Fringe 2020. Well, we all know how that worked out. We have loved getting back on the stage at the beautiful Rialto Theatre this summer and bringing Dorian Gray to the coast finally. Being part of the celebration that is Brighton Fringe – it’s been thrilling. We’ve been truly humbled by the enthusiasm our play has been greeted with – the first half sold out at the end of May, and it looks very much like the second half at the end of June will do the same. We had no idea what to expect when life began to open up again, but this sunny and joyous time here in Brighton right now feels so special and we wouldn’t have missed it.”
Brighton Fringe embraces every art form and artist in its exciting and unusual programme. The open-access arts festival prides itself on welcoming established and emerging artists, supporting those taking their first steps with a variety of bursaries. It offers much-loved returning acts alongside exciting newcomers with comedy, theatre, circus, exhibitions, magic, dance, children’s shows and much, much more. Check out the full programme to see the entire amazing line-up!
Brighton Fringe runs until 27 June 2021, with some venues running extended programmes until Sunday 11 July.