THIS FESTIVAL IS MORE THAN A FIRECRACKER, BUT A STATEMENT OF CIVIC INTENT
Richard Freeman’s special guest this week is Andrew Comben.
Following a distinguished career in classical music, with both senior artistic and executive management credits, in 2008 Andrew was appointed Chief Executive of both the Brighton Dome arts complex and the Brighton International Festival.
The Festival is now only second to the Brighton Fringe as the largest arts festival in England and brings an eclectic programme of dance, film, comedy, cabaret, music, theatre and visual arts to the south coast each May.
Andrew is widely acknowledged to be one of the most influential cultural leaders in the UK, and he spoke to The Possibility Club podcast a few days before the opening of the 2018 festival to have a chat about his vision for the arts and place-making in these uncertain times.
We talk about the evolution of the festival since its inception in 1967 and how every year Andrew programmes alongside a guest director – in the past this has included Anish Kapoor, Ali Smith, Brian Eno and Kate Tempest.
We talk about the Dome and Corn Exchange as changing spaces for performance and community – and I reflect a little in my personal affinity with these hallowed halls. But then we then put this in the wider context of the identity of a city like Brighton & Hove. Can a place squashed between the sea and the South Downs, so defined by its mythology of music, politics and fashions every really live up to the hype – and what role does someone like Andrew have in steering the conversation?
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The presenter was Richard Freeman for always possible and this podcast is produced and edited by CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts.