SQ Magazine

The UK's Leading Independent Youth Culture Publication

PREVIEW: Brighton Digital Festival 2013

Posted on Monday, 29 July by

Brighton Digital Festival

Brighton is known for its strong digital culture scene, and that’s a lot down to events such as the ‘Brighton Digital Festival’ – a fantastic grassroots festival that draws together some of the UK’s brightest mind and figures.

Organised by members of Brighton’s digital and arts communities, this network of independent organisers offers a huge and diverse programme that reflects the richness and variety of what goes on across the city.

From small-scale meet ups to big name conferences, from digital artists’ experimental ideas to fully mounted exhibitions, the festival promises something for everybody and because lots of the events are free, plenty of opportunities to discover something new. Hands on, participatory, exciting, challenging, wondrous, fascinating, the Brighton Digital Festival has it all and it uniquely reflects the spirit of the city.

Once again bringing together the city’s arts and digital communities, this year’s showcase of events includes new digital art exhibitions, performances, conferences, hackathons, meet-ups, comedy nights, workshops and outdoor events taking place across Brighton and Hove.

Leading writers and producers will also be talking in the city this September, including broadcaster, satirist and journalist Charlie Brooker who will talk at Duke of York’s Picturehouse following an exclusive Black Mirror screening. Full event details for this and the approaching 100 plus events can be found here.

The festival features performances which combine artistic and digital worlds, such as real life gaming, which allows you to shape the action unfolding around you. Brighton Digital Festival also features a stand up comedy night for the first time, with award nominee David Trent and TV personality Nathan Penlington.

In addition to the conferences, exhibitions and talks, The Brighton Digital Festival also offers a range of family friendly events, including the increasingly popular Mini Maker Faire, which returns for its third year (7 September) to the Corn Exchange. Celebrating the Maker movement, this inventive and creative faire asks those attending to embrace the do-it-yourself mindset with aims to discover new and exciting digital inventions. Having attracted over 7,000 people in 2012 the Mini Maker Faire promises to be a highlight of the festival.

Learn to program with Scratch invites children aged 10 to 12 to learn and make their own computer games and animations. It’s free and takes place at St. Bartholomew’s School on 14 September at 10am and 2pm. Glimmers (1 to 30 September) is another event not to be missed, which takes groups on a fantasy sci-fi treasure hunt around Brighton’s town centre.

Tom Bailey, Brighton Digital Festival Manager, said:

This September we will celebrate our third Brighton Digital Festival. Each year has seen a huge expansion in the programme size and this year is no exception. The volume and diversity of events taking place this year is testament to the vibrant and world-class artistic and digital communities working and living in and around Brighton. This is an amazing opportunity for people to get involved, learn, play and generally be inspired.”

At the heart of the festival is an integrated education programme led by Lighthouse, which takes students out of school and puts them directly into the festival programme, empowering the digital artists and critical engineers of tomorrow. An informal teacher-led event, TeachMeet, will also invite teachers to share good ideas, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology.

Coordinated by Wired Sussex and Lighthouse, you can expect exceptional art and education activities throughout the festival month, taking place from the start of September.

2013 is the second year of a two-year grant from Arts Council England of £200,000.

And, we can’t wait.

Follow ‘Digital Brighton Festival’ on Twitter and Facebook.

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Lewis Scrafton
22. Co-founder and editor of SQ Magazine. Studying at University of Sussex. Interned at MATTER and published in The Guardian.

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