About Brighton Digital Festival

Overview of the Festival

Brighton Digital Festival (BDF) is a platform that supports and encourages people across the city to experience and explore digital technology and culture.

The festival recognises the influential and innovative creativity of the digital economy and culture sectors and provides space for meaningful critique about the role of digital technology in reshaping life and culture.

It brings together diverse sections of Brighton’s population in new settings, as creators, as audiences and as participants, to help shape the future of the region.

How It Works

The Festival runs on an open-programme model, meaning anyone can independently organise an event and submit it to the festival programme.

Whether you want to organise a hackathon, a dance performance, a conference or an open studio, as long as your event provides meaningful engagement with digital culture, you’re good to go.

This open-programme of independent events is augmented by an arts and education strand programmed by the festival team through open calls and curated commissions.

History of Brighton Digital Festival

There have been versions of a Brighton Digital Festival going back to the late 90s. In its current iteration, Brighton Digital Festival has existed since 2011. Originally developed by arts organisation Lighthouse and digital agency Clearleft as a way to bring together the arts and creative industries in the city, it was later managed by Wired Sussex.

Since 2011 Brighton Digital Festival has produced annual programmes of events, taking place over four weeks across the city. The festival celebrated the richness of the creative and cultural industries in our city and explored the ways in which digital technology continues to shape our lives and our thinking. It supported the community to produce an open programme of independent events augmented by high-quality commissioned arts and education programming.

In 2015, Brighton Digital Festival incorporated as an independent Community Interest Company run by the community for the community. Funding from Arts Council England and sponsorship from local companies and institutions ensured that the festival was free for grassroots organisers who want to deliver great events.

Over the last few years, it has been a struggle to fund a year-round, independent organisation that engages with all the different people, businesses and institutions who make up Brighton’s digital creative community. To overcome this, Brighton Digital Festival has become a seasonal programme hosted by Lighthouse, with the Messy Edge conference being programmed and managed by Wired Sussex. Both organisations have a long history of supporting BDF in all its different iterations and offer connections into both the digital business and arts-focused folk who are such a key part of our community.

Past Events

Look back at the Brighton Digital Festival x Lighthouse history

With thanks to

All the Brighton Digital Festival supporters and audiences over the years.
The amazing Brighton Digital Festival Board.
As well as Brandwatch, Wired Sussex & Arts Council England.

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