4 sussex festivals to enjoy this autumn

Just when you thought festival season was over as everyone heads back to work and study, up pop up a few more to tantalise you with their wonders. Here’s our pick of what’s still out there to be enjoyed this warm Sussex autumn:

It’s never too early for music

This year’s Brighton Early Music Festival celebrates 700 years of music, from medieval times up to the 19th century, from 17 European countries with concerts and workshops across Brighton. And, appropriately for these Brexit-ridden times, 2018’s theme examines Britain’s relationship with the rest of the continent, with programmes examining the different influences Europe and the UK had on one another. But before you scroll on, thinking that classical music isn’t for you, give it a go as the BMEF is renowned for exploring music of the past in a lively fashion that brings the era to life. If you want to ease yourself into the music gently, then a good starting point might be the Italian-English opera double-bill of Il ballo delle ingrate and Venus and Adonis, which combine the original music with theatre and street dance.
Friday 26th October – Sunday 11th November; prices vary
Various venues across the city

Be afraid. Be very afraid…

As the nights draw in and Halloween approaches, it’s time to up the fear factor and celebrate all things scary Brighton-style – yes, it’s Horrorfest! You can expect a jam-packed programme with 13 days of frightening fun, covering films, workshops and shows from all over the UK, all guaranteed to send chills down your spine. There’s something for all the family and all levels of horror fan, whether you’re after a mild spook or something downright terrifying. We can’t wait! We’re particularly looking forward to Friteskreem, “the world’s most terrifying homage to ITV Nightscreen” no less, and Mistress to the Midnight, a live stage show spoof of the classic British horror film featuring one half of the brilliant LoveHard duo that we raved about during the Fringe. Plus, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday of the festival, the Boo-tique (geddit?) cinema will be screening classic horror movies, as well as brand new shorts from a local film-maker. 1,2, HorrorFest is coming for you…
Tuesday 16th October – Sunday 28th October; prices vary
Various venues around Brighton

Weird science

Ok, it may be happening during half term, and there are definitely loads of brilliant events for children, but scientifically curious adults haven’t been forgotten, either. There’s a live brain dissection demo (right up our street, remember this?), lectures and discussions on topics as diverse as whether machines can have consciousness to whether genome editing in agriculture is still GM, as well as events such as Dead Talks, which pokes fun at the ludicrous scientific ideas of the past. Plus, don’t forget Big Science Saturday, a full day of topical talks from top experts in their scientific fields, such as New Scientist editor Michael Brooks who’ll be extolling the virtues of 16th-century gambler-astrologer Jerome Cardamon who apparently discovered the mathematical foundations of quantum physics. Let us atom (sorry).
Tuesday 16th October – 4th November; prices vary
Various venues around Brighton & Hove

Say yes more

Not quite Danny Wallace’s Yes Man, but the idea behind Yestival is still to say ‘yes’ to more things to bring about positive change in your life. Set up by adventurer Dave Cornthwaite, this boutique festival in West Sussex celebrates discovery, community, inspiration and a positive mindset, perfect if you’re fed up with your job or something just needs to give. There are workshops, discussions and talks on topics such as adventure and finding work you love. And it’s one of the few festivals where you can – genuinely – turn up on your own and not feel like a Billy-(or Betty-)no-mates. You can also expect loads of smiley faces, games and chilled-out music, walks, comedy, free fitness sessions and a silent disco. Will we see you there?
19th – 21st October; from £75
Brinsbury Campus, North Heath, Pulborough, West Sussex, RH20 1DL