the big brightononline weekender brings events together for bank holiday festival

May is traditionally one of the best months of the year to be in Brighton, as the city celebrates arts, culture and music with the Festival and Fringe festivals, as well as The Great Escape and the Artists Open Houses, to name a few. Sadly, Covid-19 meant that most of these have been cancelled or postponed.

But all is not lost! To fill the huge culture-sized gap left by the loss of physical events, VisitBrighton are bringing together a fabulous line-up of live events, performances and shows under the banner of the Big BrightONline Weekender.

The three-day virtual festival kicks off this Friday and features something for everyone, from a drag festival and cocktail masterclasses to feminist origami-making, live music and comedy, and even turtle feeding.

Hurrah! What with all this, cocktail deliveries AND a cheese festival, that’s our bank holiday weekend saved.

VisitBrighton will be hosting it from their Facebook and Instagram channels where you can click through to the individual events or head straight there from the links below. Many events are also accepting donations to allow them to keep going in the absence of expected ticket sales – details are on their individual pages.

This is what the line-up looks like:

Friday 8th May

Emily Gravett Q&A with Book Nook Live. Ask the children’s author and illustrator all your burning questions.

Midday – 1.00pm
Brighton Unitarian Church – lunchtime recital. A performance from pianist Gavin Stevens

2.00pm – 9.00pm
Virtual PatchFest with live music performances and DJs

8.00pm – 3.00am
Lockdown Acid House Party

8.30 – 10.00pm
Komedia Live! Stand-up comedy galore.

Live music from Hayley Ross, a Brighton-based singer-songwriter, whose debut album The Weight of Hope is hauntingly beautiful.

Saturday, 9th May 2020

Brighton Fringe: Roaring 2020 Speakeasy. Ok, it might not be quite the same as being there in person, but the MyCharleston gang promise this free event over Zoom will still be heaps of fun and full of energy. It’s a chance to dress up and get down, 1920s style with Charleston lessons, performances and dance competitions.

3.00 – 5.00pm
Brighton Fringe: Drag Brunch Live with drag prince Alfie Ordinary

4.00 – 6.00pm
Brighton Fringe: Ross Drummond & Harry Monaghan. Tune in for silly chat and fun games from these two stand-up comedians.

8.00 – 10.00pm
Revenge: Virtual Drag Festival from The Powder Room featuring Joe Black, Rococo Chanel, Felix Le Freak and many more. They’re hosting the festival every other week, so there will be more!

Sunday, 10th May 2020

Sea Life: Turtle Feeding

4.00 – 4.30pm
Femigami – Feminist Origami making! Learn how to make all kinds of unconventional creations in this paper workshop.

5.00 – 6.00pm
Charleston Festival: 200th anniversary of Anne Brontë’s birth. Bringing together conversation, graphic artworks and readings from The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, this is just one of the talks in the Big Book Weekend, an online literary festival this bank holiday, featuring the biggest names in books alongside debut writers. There is some great stuff in there and it’s free to register!

Queen Victoria’s Cocktail Masterclass. Yep, the Queen Victoria is back and she’s ready to teach, courtesy of Phileas Foggs World of Adventures.

Friday 8th May – Sunday 10th May, various times; free
The Big BrightONline Weekender