Brighton goes festival crazy this spring

From food to art and music, the months of April and May bring countless festivals to Brighton and Hove. The Brighton & Hove Spring Harvest Festival, just a small part of the annual Brighton & Hove Food and Drink festival each September, starts off from 1-2 April with a beer and sparkling wine festival at the Hotel du Vin, followed by the Brighton & Hove Restaurant Week in the first week of April and the Brighton Chocolate festival in mid-April.

From 30 April to 2 May, the very best in British food and drink will be showcased at Hove Lawns Foodie Festival. Events and activities include Michelin star chefs cooking live, plus food and drink masterclass theatres, restaurant tents, producers markets and live entertainment.

In May, England’s largest international arts festival, the Brighton Festival 2011, will be celebrating its 45th anniversary this year. The event, which is set to attract over half a million visitors to the city, has been curated by Nobel Peace laureate and human rights advocate Aung San Suu Kyi, who is serving as this year’s Guest Artistic Director.  The courageous leader has fought for over two decades for democracy and human rights in Burma, and uses the Brighton Ferstival as a space this year to say to visitors “use your liberty to promote ours’.  Local, national and international artists will be presenting a wide range of powerful presentations to get this message across during the festival which runs from 7-29 May 2011.

As part of the Brighton Festival 2011, the Artists’ Open Houses Festival will see over 1300 artists exhibiting in 240 houses and studios across the city and beyond. This festival first started 30 years ago when local artist Ned Hoskins welcomed buyers and art lovers alike into his own home. Now in its 30th year, the Artists’ Open Houses Festival continues to showcase artwork displayed in the houses of artists themselves, and offers interested buyers the opportunity to buy work direct from local artists.

Keep your eyes open in mid –May for the Great Escape Festival, a new music festival which showcases 350 new, local, national and international bands in 34 different venues from 12-14 May throughout Brighton & Hove.  Festival-goers can also pick up a wristband to gain access to outdoor gigs, afternoon shows, club nights and after parties.

Sharing the closing weekend of the Brighton Festival 2011, is the very special Kite Festival in  Stanmer Park. Now in its 33rd year, the family-friendly festival is one of the longest running in the UK.

Flickr Photos courtesy of Adactio, Fred Pipes and Spinal_Faun

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