10 reasons not to miss the big session

You may have already heard us bang The Big Session festival drum, but it’s happening this Saturday 12th October and there is an incredible line-up we wanted to fill you in on. We’re teaming up with The Social Society, Brighton’s social club for social good that works with local charities to support them with time, skills and funds through a new (and very clever!) charitable giving model. We are very excited to be co-hosting the community festival to empower positive change, so here are a few reasons you won’t want to miss it…

1. Be inspired by 9 incredible speakers
The line up kicks off at 11.00am on Saturday and follows the festival theme Create, Disrupt, Connect. If you feel frustrated with the foray of negative news and a little helpless when it comes to making a positive change on a bigger scale, join us at The Big Session and find out how you can make a huge difference pretty close to home. From CEO of Gig Buddies looking at how we keep it punk in social care and Dr Mick Taylor of The Hummingbird Project focusing on our community heroes, to Merlin Nation from Working Progress looking at how we create, disrupt, connect and progress for positive change and Mental Health Coach Rich Goddard sharing what our mental health can do for society, you guessed it… there is something to inspire everyone on the main stage. The Social Society founder Toni Finnimore will be joined by Together Co’s Jo Crease for a ‘sofa session’ to talk about the opportunities we have to connect in the community. Check out the full line up and get excited…

2. Take some time out in our Healing Hub
Today is World Mental Health Day, so it’s a good time for us to check-in and make sure we are being as nice to ourselves as we are to everyone else around us. Yes, that means taking some time for you. The Healing Hub at The Big Session is just the place to do that, with yoga from Littlewave’s Liz Naven and guided breathwork and mediation from Emma Bohan. Helen Kathleen will be encouraging the use of Chant Mala in her session, whilst Positive Psychologist Jenna Sinclair of Living Intentionally explores why connecting with your environment is the key to self-acceptance and a sense of belonging. Jan Burgess of Sol Design Collection will be inviting people to come and bathe in the sounds and vibrations generated from alchemy crystal singing bowls that she will be playing. We’ve tried it before and we’d recommend it!

3. Head to our creative corner
Getting creative is good for the mind, so we’ve teamed up with Drawn Together Co, Kalee Jones and Brighton Bricks to bring you some space to get creative out in the marquee over lunch. The quick draw session will encourage you to lose you inhibitions and ‘I can’t draw’ belief, ending up with some art you are proud of (and that may well make you laugh). Kalee’s Paper Play workshop will encourage you to create what you need, whether that’s having the space to play with no rules or expectation, or making a piece of art featuring words that bring positivity to your walls! We like the sound of that. Brighton Bricks will be there too, for all you lego lovers that want to embrace the stuff.

4. Tuck into some local food and drink
Sussex is an incredible region when it comes to food and drink, so we wanted our offering to reflect that. Say hello to Henfield’s very own Craft House Coffee, who will be popping up in our marquee to serve hot drinks throughout the day. Local legend Michael Notman-Watt  (ex 64 Degrees) will also be joining us to showcase what his latest project The Syndicate Kitchen has to offer. On the menu, there will be Wild Boar Shoulder with spiced beans, salsa and crispy shallot topping, with delicious Roast Pumpkin as the vegan option. He’ll be serving up his delicious food around 12.00pm to 3.00pm in the marquee, so make sure you bring some pocket money for that…

5. Get one-to-one advice
As well as the chance to ask questions throughout the day, speakers will be around in the breaks if you want to find out more. We’ve got one-to-one sessions in the morning with Crowdfunder UK’s Jason Nuttall, so if you’ve got an idea and you want to know how you can make it happen with the help of crowdfunding, that alone is worth a visit! ‘I Am’ Career coach Andrea Anderson is using her skills to dedicate time to one to ones with people that want to find out how they can get into climate action. Whether it’s being more sustainable in your work or you’re inspired by the activity happening around Climate Change this week, she will help you find out how to start making a contribution and positive change in your own way.

6. Pledge your time and skills
If you’ve ever wondered how you go about sharing your time and skills with a local charity that you can see make a difference to, then you’ll be able to hear from the charities that The Social Society support om Saturday. Becoming a member of The Social Society is a brilliant way to make positive change locally and be able to support a charity while getting access to their amazing members and events. Could this be the positive pledge you’ll make on Saturday?

7. One ticket, three gigs…
Value for money at The Big Session is high on the agenda, as we wanted to make it as accessible as possible. Not only that, throughout the day we’ve got live music from three incredible talent pools. From local cowpunk band Ciderdogs to acoustically moving guitarist Scott Booth, with a bit of Ben & Alfie (a Sussex two-piece) in the mix too. They will be playing on the main stage in between speakers so come and get your bop on and your money’s worth when it comes to music alone!

8. BOTI readers get cheaper tickets!
Oh yes, because we love you and as thanks for your dedicated eyes when it comes to seeing what we have to say about our city, you can get yourself a fiver off tickets for the already incredibly good value line up. Enter BOTI at the Eventbrite check out and save £5 on every ticket!

9. Create, disrupt, connect
Join us on Saturday and you’ll be part of something amazing happening in the city. We’re creating a space to allow ourselves to disrupt the norm and challenge how we do things, whilst connecting with new people that can come together and make a positive change. People = power.

10. You get to meet us, of course!
See you there.


Saturday 12th October, doors 10.30am for 11.00am start and 5.30pm finish; Student/ members £20 with discount, others £25.
Wagner Hall, 2 Regency Road, Brighton BN1 2RU