We're all off to... Brighton & Hove

Located on the doorstep of the South Downs National Park, Brighton & Hove is a thriving hub of arts and culture, music and seaside activities. Event takes a closer look at the city.

The famous Palace Pier in Brighton (photo credit: Adam Bronkhorst)
The famous Palace Pier in Brighton (photo credit: Adam Bronkhorst)

What’s it known for?

The city of Brighton and Hove is known for a great many things, but perhaps most as being a popular tourist destination. Labelled ‘London by the sea’, it is only an hour away from the capital by train, and the city centre attractions are all within easy walking distance from each other.

From beach-seeking tourists in the summer, to hen and stag dos throughout the year, the place has a buzz about it at all times. On the flip side the city is a hub for artists and creatives and houses a number of cultural venues and museums, including Brighton Dome, with the adjoining Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery and Preston Manor.

Brighton & Hove is also a bit of a foodie hub, with restaurants and cafes spilling out onto the pavements at every opportunity, and two food festivals a year.

Famous sights

The city’s two piers – Palace Pier and the iconic West Pier - are synonymous with Brighton and feature on postcards and artwork across the city, although little now remains of West Pier following fire and storm damage. Other well-known sights include the Royal Pavilion, a former entertaining space for the Prince Regent – later George IV, with its Indian and Chinese-inspired design; the refurbished bandstand; and more recently the Brighton Wheel on the seafront.

Regency architecture and the winding streets of some of its distinct shopping areas – the Lanes and North Laines – gives Brighton a distinctive look. Other popular attractions include Brighton Marina, the award-winning Fishing Museum and the Sea Life aquarium.

A hotspot for brands

With a large number of food, arts and cultural festivals taking place across the city throughout the year, there are plenty of opportunities for brand activations. Recent activations have come from the likes of organic chocolate brand Green & Blacks, and AB InBev brand Corona.

Green & Blacks marked the start of its Taste & Colour Tour with a sampling stand on Brighton Pier at the end of May, while Corona recently partnered with beachfront music venue Coalition to bring its Sunset Terrace concept to the city. Aperitif brand Aperol Spritz visited Brighton in early July as part of its summer party series Aperol Spritz Socials.


Sketch Events are an experiential and PR stunt agency based in the city. Its clients include Fairtrade, Skoda, Sainsbury’s and Brothers Cider.

Marielle Baylis, senior account manager at Sketch Events, told Event: "Sketch love being based in Brighton as it’s basically London by the sea.  Brighton & Hove is the perfect place for experiential activity due to its holiday destination vibe and large student & commuter population. Experiential and brand activation in Brighton tends to be quirky & interactive such as twitter activated campaigns in high traffic locations such as the beach, the train station and popular bars and venues.

Go Experience are also based in Brighton. While they predominantly organise ‘experiences’ for consumers, they also have an experiential marketing and live comms arm, which creates experiences for brands, out of the street, at exhibitions, or at their own live event. The agency specialises in using dance, music and film to engage with the public.

Where to host an event

Event space is available at Brighton Museum, in the heart of the city. According to Brighton Pavilion and Museums, the museum is particularly suitable for informal events such as drinks, canapés and networking receptions, for up to 500 people.

For those looking for a bit of inspiration from the Orient, various rooms at Brighton Pavilion are available to hire, including the Banqueting Room, Great Kitchen – complete with cast-iron palm trees, and William IV Room with its hand-painted Chinese wallpaper.

For something a bit more modern, the Café-bar at the Corn Exchange can be used for receptions or private dinners for example, and can hold up to 800 people. Art space Fabrica –a former Regency church - is located in the historic Lanes area of the city, and can host up to 130 people standing.

Other venues with event space to hire include Angel House, My Hotel Brighton, and the forthcoming i360. Or if you’re looking for something a bit different, you can hire a Norwegian tipi on Brighton Music Hall’s beachfront terrace.

Calendar of events

Key events include: Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival (April and September), Brighton Marathon (April), Brighton Festival and Fringe City (May), The Great Escape Music Festival (May), London to Brighton Bike Ride (June) Shakedown Festive (July), Pride (August), Brighton’s Big Screen (August), and Rugby World Cup Fan Zone (September), as well as countless classic car and motorcycle events.

And another thing

A whole host of activity is planned for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, with the city to host a 10,000 capacity Fan Zone, which will feature a giant screen, a Festival of Rugby and The Costume Games – a five day festival where the city of Brighton is invited to dress up as their favourite alter ego, culminating in a parade along Madeira Drive, which takes place today 19 September.

Brighton & Hove is one of the 11 host cities for the competition, with matches taking place at the Brighton Community Stadium in Falmer, today and tomorrow (19 and 20 September).

Top tip

According to VisitBrighton, the city is one of Britain’s liveliest, famous for its bohemian, creative and friendly atmosphere and diverse range of venues.

Julia Gallagher, VisitBrighton Convention Bureau’s head of sales, said: "Once people have experienced Brighton they usually want to return.  Brighton has a creative energy and whatever time of year you visit there’s something special to see.  With an influx of more than 11.5 million visitors a year we’re adept at knowing what people want and expect and the city is geared up to going that extra mile for the people that drive its thriving economy."

More: We're all off to... Glasgow

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