My Brighton Digital Festival Highlights

By Festival PR Coordinator John Bannister

Brighton Digital Festival, a month long celebration of digital culture, materialises in the city again this September. The Brighton community has lined up an incredible array of art installations, digital workshops, inspirational conferences, dance shows and interactive entertainment spectaculars.

With such a wide range of events, it’s hard to know where to get started. So I have put together a small selection of highlights from the many events in Brighton Digital Festival 2014’s programme. This is by no means exhaustive though!

Critical Engineering
Lighthouse – 2-26 September
This exhibition will include PRISM: The Beacon Frame, which detects and mimics nearby cell towers. Mobile phones connect to the dummy network, assuming it to be another point provided by the network provider. The dummy cell then sends a text message to connected phones with messages that could induce either humour or paranoia.

The streets of Brighton – 1-30 September – All day
The Festival isn’t just an opportunity to explore other people’s work; it is also an invitation to create as well. This communal writing event gives writing prompts based on your location in the city. Over September, paths and stories will mix throughout the city creating a “jarring, storytelling mosaic”.

Brighton Dome – 5 September – 9am
dConstruct is a one-day technology, culture and society conference. There are so many great conferences, but with questions of surveillance, security and anonymity dominating digital culture at the moment this year’s theme, living with the network, is sure to make dConstruct a stand out.

Brighton Mini Maker Faire
Brighton Dome Corn Exchange – 6 September – 10am
This interactive mini-festival of creativity and invention has been a staple of the Brighton Digital Festival for a number of years already. 2014 will be no different, with antweight combat robots, 3D chocolate printing, live-action Pac Man and toy hacking all on offer. And a word of caution, watch out for roaming Daleks!

Jubilee Library – 13, 20, 27 September – 1:15pm, 3:15pm
Minecraft can be described as a creative tool, inspiring a generation, or condemned as a game far too addictive for small and large children (myself included). BlockBuilders know that it is both, and more. Having already used the game to help children voice their opinions on the nearby Lewes industrial estate urban redevelopment project, they turn their sights on London Road, offering a workshop to engage the town planner and architect in all of us.


How to build a successful tech startup
68 Middle Street – 18 September – 6:30pm
If you’ve always wanted to go your own way with a tech business, Crunch Accounting’s Darren Fell wants to help you do it. With his own experience building Brighton-based email marketing firm Pure 360, and workshops from marketers, accountants and developers, you’ll be launching in no time.


Bring Your Own Beamer
Brighton Dome Corn Exchange – 20 September – 7:30pm
This is one of the festival’s simplest pitches: find a space, invite artists and ask them to bring a projector. Roam around the Dome either as an artist exploring projection and collaboration or as an observer exploring the video installations being created ad-hoc throughout the night.

Laser Light Synths
Brighton Unitarian Church – 6 September – 8pm
Here, passers by can become a skilled musician with custom-made touch-activated musical instruments packed full of LED lights. The sounds played then trigger a massive laser light show all over the façade of the Unitarian Church.


SheSays Brighton: “What’s the Big Idea?”… creativity & innovation
Sallis Benney Theatre – 25 September – 6:30pm
An evening of networking and talks from speakers talking about their big ideas, brought to you by the Brighton chapter of SheSays, a global organisation empowering women in the digital and creative industries. Hear from Caroline Lucas, Katy Beale, Joan Farrer and Rosa Fox.

The Measures Taken
The Old Market – 26 September – 7:30pm
Alexander Whitley’s choreography both dominates and obeys the show’s digital augmentations (projection and beams of light) to explore how dance and technology can create work together, not just decorate each other.

Remix the Museum Family Day
Brighton Museum & Gallery – 27 September – 2:30pm
With workshops and sessions across the afternoon, families can bring the Museum’s collections to life with animation, create their own exhibitions through the power of 3D printing and even explore their own stories with the Brighton Youth Film Festival and Sheepfilms.

This is only a fraction of the exciting creative digital events on offer throughout September. Check out the full line-up at and watch out for me running from one event to the next absorbing every ounce of nerd fun available!