- Date: 24 August 2009
- Artform: Visual arts
- Region: South East
The 2009 Brighton Festival was the most successful in the event’s 43-year history, attracting significant critical acclaim and breaking new ground in both sponsorship and audience numbers.
Over 80,000 people viewed a trail of six sculptures by the event’s guest artistic director, Anish Kapoor. These pieces, including two Brighton Festival commissions, were placed in various locations about the city, ranging from a disused market building to Pavilion Gardens to the South Downs. Over 150,000 people enjoyed 11 free events during the 23 days of the Festival.
Brighton Festival 2009 also saw world-class artists descend on the city: the music programme saw special performances by Diamanda Galás, Bon Iver and Orquestra Aragón. Antony and the Johnsons performed the first date of their UK tour to 5-star reviews. Anna Grevelius and Chamber Domaine performed Sciarrino’s orchestration of Rossini’s Giovanna D’Arco among the mounds of Anish Kapoor’s Dismemberment of Jeanne d’Arc.
Brighton Festival Chorus and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performed Johns Adams’ Harmonium and the UK premiere of Tarik O’Regan’s The Ecstasies Above. Handel's opera Arianna in Creta also received a rare airing.
The festival received rave reviews, including coverage on the front page of The Times and broadcasts on BBC 1 and BBC News 24. The successful media partnership with The Guardian continued resulting in increased coverage, including a 4-page feature on Anish Kapoor in the G2.
The 2009 Festival featured 26 premieres and exclusives of which 7 were commissions by Brighton Festival. The event is principally funded by Brighton & Hove City Council, Arts Council England and through the sponsorship department which raises over £700,000 annually.
The 44th Brighton Festival in 2010 will run from Saturday 1 to Sunday 23 May 2010. Visit the website at www.brightonfestival.org.