In the year that Brighton Fringe invited audiences to ‘Journey Into Fringe’, Fringe-goers flooded venues across Brighton, Hove and beyond. Over four weeks and five weekends, over 160,000 tickets were sold to show-stopping circus, laugh-out-loud comedy, heart-wrenching theatre, unconventional cabaret and much more besides. Including free and non-ticketed events, overall attendances were nearly 500,000 people, both in person and online.
The largest arts festival in England, this year Brighton Fringe held 880 events: 875 in person and 5 digital pre-recorded, which materialised into over 3,500 performances for audiences in Brighton & Hove and those comfy at home. Events took place at 126 venues across the city and the wider Sussex area, hosting the most weird, wild and wonderful shows from Brighton, the UK and around the globe.
Brighton Fringe’s average ticket price remained relatively affordable at £9.38 per ticket, a 5p decrease on 2022. The festival also saw an expanding programme of free events, as well as more and more events opting for Name Your Price ticketing in the wake of the cost-of-living crisis and rising energy bills.
Brighton Fringe CEO Julian Caddy said “Brighton Fringe is an open-access celebration of the arts in all its forms. It may be the biggest arts festival in England, but it remains largely unfunded and is utterly dependent on ticket sales to be successful. So it has been overwhelming to see the incredible enthusiasm from such a diverse range of audiences. After all we’ve been through over the past few years, we really needed this. I’m so grateful to everyone who made it happen.”
This year saw Caravanserai Brighton join established outdoor venues such as Brighton Spiegeltent, The Lady Boys of Bangkok and The Rotunda Theatre for the first time. Originally established at Camp Bestival, Caravanserai Brighton was brought to the city by Brighton Fringe, artist Pete Bateman and producer Aniela Zaba. Caravanserai was visited by over 120,000 people who took advantage of the free to enter space, free performances and activities alongside ticketed events in the two theatre spaces.
Celebrating the success of the artists and venues who made Brighton Fringe possible, Brighton Fringe announced their award-winners during the 2023 Brighton Fringe awards ceremony on Sunday. Brighton Fringe CEO, Julian Caddy awarded more than twenty awards to stand-out events and venues of the 2023 season. Winners included Nigerian theatre company Pawstudios Africa who took home The Brighton International Fringe Encore Award, which secures them the chance to perform their show at SoHo Playhouse in New York City, and After All These Years, performed at The Lantern @ ACT, were awarded the Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre award.
Sian Hutchinson: Tick My Box took home the Audience Choice award for best event whilst the Audience Choice best venue award went to The Actors Theatre, as voted for by the public. The Spirit of Brighton Fringe award was given to Paul Levy, writer and editor of Fringe Review, for his continued commitment to Fringe theatre and his relentless pursuit of challenging the status quo.
Brighton Fringe embraces a multitude of art forms and artistry in its vast and quirky programme, it is an open-access arts festival that prides itself on welcoming established and emerging artists, and supporting those taking their first steps with a variety of bursaries.
Brighton Fringe, England’s largest arts festival, will return 3 May - 2 June 2024.