It all began when I exited the train from London Victoria to Brighton. I laid eyes upon the crowds of people, sunshine descending upon the city. I'm not usually a massive fan of crowds, but this crowd was filled with a certain vibe -- happiness, and excitement for this local (but undeniably large-scale) Fringe Festival.
What can I say? Brighton is a beautiful place to be. On this opening weekend the sun was shining throughout, and the various the art forms that I experienced over the three days that I spent in the Southern coastal town were outstanding. It wasn't all entertainment, I even learnt some interesting stuff whilst I was there. One particular show, Burning Love: An interactive show with lasagna by Steve Hili, spoke about the sentimentality of love and the naivety surrounding it when growing up. It really struck me, surprisingly, as I've never had the privilege of a relationship before, and in the past I would often think about being in love with a 'gorgeous' person, and all the days out we would spend together (*regrets choice of words, avoids puking*), but it made me also consider love as a scientific and natural part of being human. I learnt that it should come naturally, and heard some original takes on dating apps...and of course, the social media stalking that ensues. Besides all this, the show was incredibly funny too.
All lovey-dovey aside, what really reeled me into Brighton was the culture. The huge numbers of pubs, people (shockingly), and various art forms on show made me fall into the fringe spirit quickly. Many popular musicians have originated from Brighton; such as blues-rock revivalists Royal Blood, metalcore band Architects, indie rock band The Kooks, and even the hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks. It's easy to see why this is such fertile ground for young musicians. It is certainly a good place for any kind of artistic inspiration, and the cross-arts nature of the place was reflected throughout the fringe programme. There's also a really welcoming aspect to the arts scene, something which often crops up at fringe festivals, but it feels as though it lives here year-round.
It saddens me that scenes like this aren't easy to find, or are simply non-existent, throughout many other areas of the UK. For all you aspiring artists and holiday-makers, I highly recommend you to visit Brighton while the Fringe is still running, to get a glimpse of this rare British arts hub.