In a year like no other, Brighton Fringe invited audiences to escape to the seaside and the audiences flocked: 80,000 tickets were sold for outrageous drag, hilarious comedy, charming family shows, heart-stopping circus, powerful theatre and more. Both income and ticket sales amount to approximately 46% of the Brighton Fringe 2019 figures. An estimated 170,000 people enjoyed the Brighton Fringe both online and in-person.
The largest arts festival in England, this year Brighton Fringe held 2,501 more performances than in 2019. In 2021, 630 events – 170 digital and 460 in-person – materialised into 7,216 performances for audiences in Brighton and those comfy at home. More venues than ever also joined in across the city with 166 playing host to the most weird, wild and wonderful shows from around the world! The number of events presented represents approximately 60% of Brighton Fringe 2019 but there was still plenty to choose from with 2523 in-person and 4693 digital performances.
Brighton Fringe CEO Julian Caddy comments, We are hugely grateful to all participants, venues, staff, volunteers, Friends, funders, sponsors and all our other partners for the immense hard work in making Brighton Fringe happen this year. To our audiences, a massive thanks for attending so enthusiastically and also for following the Covid safety guidance. It was such a relief to be back after so long and we can't wait for 2022. In the meantime, I think we've all earned a bit of a break.
Celebrating the success of the artists who made Brighton Fringe possible, they announced their award-winners in a special prize-giving on Sunday. Winner of the Brighton Fringe Exhibitions Award in association with Artists Open Houses and the ONCA Great Curtain Award 2021 was OXYGEN: breathTAKING. The Tragedy of Dorian Gray took home both The Gemini Print Group & Brighton Fringe Design for Print Award as well as the OffFest Award for Online Theatre at Brighton Fringe 2021. Winner of the Brighton Fringe International Touring Award in association with The Pebble Trust was Lionel and Cindy: The Greatest Love Story.
Recipient of the Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award was Clean: The Musical while Julie Madly Deeply won the Brighton Gin Cabaret & Variety Award. The Brighton Gin Spirit of Brighton Award went to Alfie Ordinary. Named The Reviews Hub Best of Fringe was Siblings and Sami and the winner of The Voice’s Best Newcomer to Brighton Fringe was Devil’s Food Cake.
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.