Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival (BDBF) is a registered charity (no. 249748), operating three venues, a large annual arts festival and the regional music education service, reaching over half a million people every year. Like many other arts charities, we are still navigating the impacts of the pandemic, the increased running costs and the huge loss of ticket income – and now also dealing with the increased energy costs and high inflation. The costs of running our events and venues increased by more than 230% almost overnight in April, with further increases expected, even with additional government support. Business as usual is far from what it was in 2020, and putting on our 2023 reopening shows will cost a huge amount more in this climate. We also know too clearly that we aren’t the only organisation experiencing these challenges. We know that all arts charities, all venues are in a similar situation and many many people struggle individually.
Over the past few years, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival audiences, artists, funders and supporters have been helping us refurbish Brighton Dome’s venues the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre; and helped again, to recover and restart after Covid-19 forced us to close the Concert Hall temporarily.
Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival audiences finally enjoyed a full winter/spring programme of music, comedy and circus, delivered safely in the Concert Hall. The Children’s Parade kicked off the return of the full-scale festival in May this year, after two challenging years of the pandemic. We were able to get together again and laugh, cry and be blown away by performances and remember all those great gigs and artists we’d seen in the past.
"Such a lovely atmosphere, bringing people together"
"One of the best gigs of my life!"
"It is clear how much effort goes into the planning and running and there is always so much we want to see!" (audience comments)
We couldn’t have done it without you!
Now, after five years of construction work, the Brighton Dome refurbishment project is nearing completion. But as we finally prepare to reopen all our venues, with much improved facilities plus a brand new creative and rehearsal space for artists to work in, we are once again facing an unforeseen threat, the global economic crisis.
We employ 130 full-time equivalent permanent staff, 200 casual workers, around 100 freelance artists & creative workers and 131 volunteers, and have a duty, as custodians of these spaces and commitment to the artists we support. To safeguard our artists, audiences and staff, we need to act now. We need to raise funds urgently, and we do this from many different sources, to continue to be able to programme the shows and the artists you will love.
We are working on a wonderful reopening programme of theatre, dance and music from local artists, from across the UK and around the world. We'll be making new work with communities across Brighton & Hove and the region, supporting artists to develop new work in a dedicated creative space and sharing the rich history of these wonderful, publicly owned buildings with everyone.
"I’ve never done a performance like this. Performing at Brighton Dome is a really big deal and I’m really excited.” (Participating young person at Circolombia curtain raiser)
Please donate to enable a brilliant and diverse line-up of shows during Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange and Studio reopening seasons next year, with theatre makers, musicians, dancers, artists, freelance creatives, stewards, technicians, producers and many others able to rehearse, run workshops and create in the new spaces and perform on the new stages.
"This is the Brighton Dome. I love this place, love the people, love the sea beyond." (Patti Smith)
"Those who have visited Brighton Festival before will know that having such an incredible array of events occur in our city every year is a great privilege." (David Shrigley)
From backstage tours and ticket vouchers to memberships and exclusive art prints including:
- Special edition cyanotypes of the Corn Exchange by photographer Carlotta Luke who has been documenting the refurbishment of the venues over the past 5 years. (See print options described in more detail under 'Rewards').
- Limited edition signed and numbered giclée print by renowned Brighton artist, Maria Rivans and gifted to us by our sponsors Lilo. Lilo stands for 'lighter' and 'lower' and their award-winning 'hard seltzer's' are exactly that. Originally founded by an art-driven collective, Maria has used her signature style to bring their brand world to life, overlapping surreal, giant fruits and botanicals with urban landscapes and timeless homages to holidays and escape. Her work has been the inspiration for their first two flavours – each one inviting you to take your senses on a flavourful journey, one sip at a time.
- Brighton Festival brochure cover art prints from 1988 ('fireworks' by artist Martin Sharps), 1972 ('pier' by unknown artist) and 1998 ('added Hove' by cartoonist Steve Bell). (See each described in more detail under 'Rewards').
Please donate, share this page widely and do what you can to Help Reopen Brighton Dome. Thank you!
Your donations will be used to support our reopening programme and artist development projects for 2023, including Brighton Festival shows at the Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre again.
Our friends and partners at Moshimo, Brighton Gin, Bedlam Brewery, Rockwater, Lilo, RedRoaster, Purezza and Terre à Terre for offering very special rewards, and King & McGaw, The Private Press and Spectrum for printing beautiful, high quality artworks.
Echo Video for filming and editing our campaign video. Artists featuring in the video and on this campaign page such as David Shrigley, Art + Believe, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Skunk Anasie, Hofesh Shechter Company, Chineke! Orchestra, Kae Tempest, Lemn Sissay, Laurie Anderson, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Michael Rosen, Windmill Young Actors, Paraorchestra, Same Sky, The Children's Parade participants, Circolombia, Patti Smith and more - photographed by Layland Brewster, Adam Bronkhorst, Anne-Marie Forker, Katie Fowler, Victor Frankowski, Chloe Hashemi, Carlotta Luke, Todd MacDonald, Jamie MacMillan, Caitlin Mogridge and Jen O'Brien.