By their very nature, Fringes are where cultural collisions happen at every level. I have long believed that a trip to the Fringe should be given out on prescription for the simple joy and well-being such experiences can afford the individual and in 2021 they have never felt more needed.
Over the past year, all our collisions have been more difficult, but fringes have still found a way - whether it be across a multitude of digital applications or other innovative creative ways - to bring artists and audiences together. These have still afforded us opportunities for exchange, discussion, tears, laughter, shouting, sharing, and making friends, especially at times when we may have also felt anxious, worried, and grieving. Fringes and all the participants who make them have helped to remind us that we are not alone – often when we may have needed such connections the most.
Brighton Fringe may explode annually each May, but the life and passion of the Fringe carries forward across the other 11 months of the year as well. Collaboration and ambition are required for any fringe to succeed, right from its very heart with Brighton’s own dedicated Brighton Fringe staff in the engine room, to the artists, backstage workers, front of house, and box office teams that then drive it, all the way to the audiences, Brighton Fringe supporters, and donors who crucially provide the fuel that enables it all to come together and be possible.
The 2021 Brighton Fringe may be a little different, but fringes have always been about breaking new ground through vision and possibilities that have consistently positioned themselves at the front of the cultural conversation. How fitting then that Brighton Fringe, as the largest in England, should once again be leading the way. Although some things may be new and have changed, the ambition and belief have not. Therefore, I hope you will find your way to beautifully (and safely) collide and discover at this year’s Brighton Fringe - whether that’s via your screen or in person.
A fringe belongs to everyone, and for that reason, we will never feel distant from each other.
Enjoy it, and here’s to more happy fringe adventures together.
Patron – Brighton Fringe