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Kate Tempest’s take on the Brighton Festival


Kate Tempest, Brighton Festival 2017, Pay It Forward Day Guest director Kate Tempest has invited Brighton Festival-goers to join the Pay-it-Forward movement.

Brighton Festival 2017’s guest director, poet, spoken-word artist and playwright Kate Tempest, has invited festival-goers to join the Pay-It-Forward movement and enable more people to enjoy ticketed events at the Brighton Festival.

Those booking tickets for the Brighton Festival events are given the option of paying an extra £5 – or an amount of their choosing – as they complete their purchase, which Brighton Festival will match in order to give a £10 Pay-It-Forward Festival Ticket Voucher to someone unable to afford the opportunity.

Vouchers will be distributed at Your Place – new community-led, free performance spaces in Hangleton and Whitehawk running over two Festival weekends – local schools and through the festival’s partner community organisations.

“After something amazing like the opening Children’s Parade where all the school kids in Brighton parade through the streets,” Tempest said, “Pay-it-Forward feels like a useful way of activating some of the feelings that get brought up when you are watching a piece of work together – about community and feeling a part of something.

“It feels like an active way that people can help make the Festival a bit more open and create space for more people to come and check out some of these amazing artists.”

The inspiration for Pay-It-Forward came from the global international Pay It Forward Day, which is now in its 10th year, and hopes to inspire millions to experience the power and positive energy of giving by buying something in advance for someone else.

Pay It Forward is about all people, from all walks of life, giving to someone else and making a positive difference.

At last count, there were more than 5 million people in 80 countries around the world participating on the Pay It Forward Day. This year Pay It Forward Day is 28 April 2017.

For information about Pay It Forward Day UK, click here.

At a political and social moment that feels particularly precarious, Kate Tempest’s programme for the Brighton Festival celebrates what she calls the ‘Everyday Epic’ – art that helps us connect to ourselves and others, explores our individual stories and differences, and encourages audiences to take a walk in someone else’s shoes.

This is part of her vision of opening up the possibility of experiencing the arts to as many people in the city as possible. In her words: “Art is social. It should be a part of life. No big deal – just life itself.”

And Tempest will be performing in a host of special Brighton Festival events, including an exclusive opening gig of music and spoken word; a poetry evening in which she appears alongside the likes of fellow Picador poets Hollie McNish and Glyn Maxwell; and a live orchestration of her recent album ‘Let Them eat Chaos‘, produced in collaboration with Oscar-nominated artist Mica Levi, who also brings her acclaimed live score of ‘Under the Skin’ to the Festival.

Storytelling in all its forms is celebrated in a number of events such as Anna and Elizabeth’s revival of the ancient tradition of ‘crankies’, cloth and cut-paper scrolls depicting stories and scenes from the great ballads unfurled to musical accompaniment. And other Brighton Festival 2017 highlights include a major new co-commission from sculptor Cathie Pilkington and Kneehigh’s acclaimed production of Emma Rice’s staging of ‘Tristan & Yseult‘.

More than half of the ticketed events in Brighton Festival 2017 have prices generally available for £10 or less. There are also 16 free events and workshops including Weekend Without Walls on 13 May, at Easthill Park, Portslade and on 14 May, at East Brighton Park and visual art installations at ONCA Gallery, Fabrica and the University of Brighton running throughout the Festival.

“This year’s theme, Everyday Epic, seems to encapsulate some of my feelings about how music, literature and poetry can give us back our lives,” Tempest explained.

“Singing, playing, dancing, moving, painting life and communicating about that in public spaces. It requires no qualifications, no training to enjoy it.

“It’s truthful communication between humans about humanity and in these times, it feels more important than ever to try and understand what that humanity is and what it could be.”

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