BDBF is the organisation responsible for running Brighton Dome, for curating and delivering the annual Brighton Festival and for providing music education to school-age children by managing the Brighton & Hove Music & Arts Service and the East Sussex Music Service.
Brighton Dome is the South East’s leading arts and entertainment venue. It is Grade I listed with three distinct performance spaces including its 1,800 seat Concert Hall where Pink Floyd first performed Dark Side of the Moon and Abba won Eurovision in 1974. Annual audiences of over 250,000 attend performances from acts such as FKA Twigs, Stormzy, London Grammar, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Royal Blood alongside a diverse programme of theatre, dance, jazz, world and classical music. The venue boasts Britton Symphonia, the Heath Quartet, the Brighton Philharmonic and Brighton Festival Chorus as some of its resident artists and also operates as a conference venue, hosting industry conferences such as Develop (gaming industry), Brighton SEO and Meaning.
As one of Arts Council, England’s leading National Portfolio Organisations BDBF develops, commissions and supports experimental contemporary new work across music, performance and digital culture. Recent works include Gogo Penguin’s film score to Koyaanisgatsi, Magnetic Fields 50 Song Memoir and Dear Esther Live a simultaneous live video game & concert with Brighton-based BAFTA winning games composer Jessica Curry.
The Brighton Festival is the largest, annual multi-arts festival in England, 2nd only in scale to Edinburgh, and taking place across three weeks in May in venues & spaces throughout Greater Brighton. The Festival reaches a live audience of 180,000+ each year through a mix of free and ticketed events. The month has evolved into a ‘festival of festivals’ with a number of additional festivals running concurrently including the music industry conference/expo The Great Escape, Artist Open Houses and Brighton Fringe with pop-up venues such as the Brighton Spiegeltent and the Warren. The Festival has a new guest artistic director each year who co-curates the programme with the roll-of-honour for past directors including music artists Brian Eno (2010), Laurie Anderson (2016), Kate Tempest (2017) and Rokia Traore (2019).
The Brighton & Hove Music Service and East Sussex Music together engage 5,500 children in music education weekly through schools and youth music organisations, ensuring every child gets access to a musical instrument and doing award winning work with young people with special needs and disabilities. The Music Services also support gifted and talented young musicians helping them progress to further and higher music education or careers as professional musicians, engineers and promoters. Since the COVID19 crisis, the two services are delivering music lessons online.