A Quick Trip Down Memory Lane

Brighton Fringe Through The Ages

Although Brighton Fringe has technically been around since the late sixties, the spring streets of our city have officially hosted the event since 2006. That’s twelve great years of celebrating Brighton’s creative culture, performers and aspiring artists.

In the run up to Fringe 2018, we thought it’d be nice to take a trip down memory lane and simmer over the history of Brighton Fringe with a nice cup of steamy nostalgia…


  • Brighton Fringe becomes a limited company and a registered charity
  • 100,000 visitors attended across 400 events in the city


  • Brighton Fringe takes the crown as the ‘largest arts festival in England’ and won ‘Best Cultural Event’ at the Brighton and Hove business awards


  • The Guardian listed Brighton Fringe as its number one place to go for a ‘bank holiday weekend’ and The Independent rivalled us with Edinburgh, the biggest Fringe festival in the world


  • Designer of The Beatles ‘Sergeant Mr Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ cover, Sir Peter Blake was a major highlight for 2009’s Brighton Fringe gaining large media coverage that touched the nation


  • 2010 was a key year for the development of Brighton Fringe. Several environmentally conscious changes were made. Organisers said “we want to run the whole festival in the most environmentally friendly way possible” with all outdoor events being powered by entirely eco-friendly energy sources


  • Brighton Fringe celebrates its fifth anniversary and welcomes its status as the third largest Fringe festival in the world
  • Hendricks gin takes the role as literature sponsor while Citroën takes lead sponsorship


  • In 2012 the festival was re-branded as simply, ‘Brighton Fringe’ which attached itself to branding and logo designs in a fitting, paint-brush style. This began a stronger sense of identity for Brighton Fringe
  • Julian Caddy joins the Brighton Fringe team as Managing Director


  • During the 2013 marketing campaign, online following for the festival grew substantially with over 24k Twitter followers which helped attract the 250,000 attendees that year
  • Brighton Fringe expands to a 4-week festival


  • Collaborating with artist Jamie Eke, the 2014’s brochure caught the eyes of Brightonians and illustrators alike
  • Brighton Fringe hosted over 700 shows across 200 venues


  • By 2015 the festival had grown by 90% in just 4 years with 405,000 people attending the previous year’s Brighton Fringe
  • In addition, staff organised what would later become an annual award show to close the festival; Brighton Fringe Awards


  • Brighton Fringe celebrates its tenth anniversary as a registered charity
  • Managing director Julian Caddy, professed Brighton Fringe’s vow as being not only an art festival but a year-long, dedicated professional centre for the arts


  • Last year saw a record-breaking audience with over half a million people attending Brighton Fringe events, bringing an estimated £15.8 million to the local economy
  • Over 1000 events were held across the city as part of Brighton Fringe
  • Key media partnerships came from The Big Issue and Heart radio


  • 2018 will see the launch of the Freedom Season, a programme of events that aims to champion arts accessibility for audiences and artists with disabilities
  • 2018 will also welcome The Finnish Season in association with The Finnish Institute in London and the return of the Dutch Season in partnership with Amsterdam Fringe

As always and with hard work from the team, volunteers, local creatives and international artists May 2018 will again, be a truly magical time for our streets.

300+ events are on sale now, available via our online box office or through the 2018 app

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