Exciting Outdoor Events in Brighton Not to be Missed

  • By: Carlo
  • Date: September 16, 2021
  • Time to read: 17 min.
Brighton Pride Parade

Brighton is one of Britain’s most exciting cities and you’d be forgiven for thinking that with its museums, concert halls, pubs, shops, restaurants, etc. that most of Brighton’s entertainment options are indoors but nothing could be further from the truth. Brighton has a vibrant outdoor event scene too.

Our must-have 2020 guide to outdoor events in Brighton details nearly 80 events spanning, quite literally, hundreds of days for you to have a great day out at. We’ve split the calendar around seasons with exceptions for the Brighton Arts and Fringe Festival month and for Brighton Pride the two largest sets of events that the city sees. Get ready to have fun in Brighton in the outdoors this year!

January – April 2021: Brighton’s Outdoor Event Highlights

It might be a little chilly in Brighton in January but that doesn’t stop the city from getting outside and making the best of things. There’s plenty going on in the Winter and Spring months.

Event: CBUK Rock & Stroll

Date: Wed 1st Jan

Website: N/A

Location: Seafront

What Is It?

The year begins with one of Brighton’s smallest and saddest events. CBUK Rock & Stroll is a very personal moment for the parents and loved ones who have lost a child. They each bring a pebble, which they have painted or found on the walk, to commemorate their loss and join a walk along the promenade to Hove Plinth where the pebbles are collected and turned into a piece of moving memorial art. This is photographed and then the pebbles are returned to the beach. The stroll is done in the name of charity.

Event: Sussex Schools Cross Country Championships (Cross Country Races)                   

Date: Tues 14th Jan                                        

Website: N/A

Location: Waterhall Park                              

What Is It?

Cross country running championship which brings together the majority of schools in the region.

Event: Brighton Half Marathon

Date: Sun 9th Feb

Website: BrightonHalf Marathon

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

This is a full half marathon to help get the citizens of Brighton into shape. Entries are welcome from anyone who wants to take part. The weather might be cool at this time of year but running should help everyone keep up a sweat.

Event: Architects of Air

Date: Thurs 2nd April – Sun 5th April

Website: Architects of Air

Location: TBC

What Is It?

The Luminaria come to visit Brighton. This is all about sound and light in a way that many of us will never get to appreciate. You really need to check this out in person to appreciate it.

Event: Incarnation Brighton

Date: Sat 4th April

Website: Incarnation

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

Petrolheads might prefer to check our InCarnation in Brighton when the seafront pays host to the best cars in Britain. It’s free to attend, free to drive-in and show off your vehicle and features the performance and modified cars of the UK.

Event: Market

Date: Sun 12th April

Website: N/A

Location: The Level

What Is It?

The first of the monthly markets that run from April to September arrives at the Level on the 12th of April and you can find a full showcase of global street food plus toys, clothes, collectables and much more on display.

Event: Brighton Marathon

Date: Sun 19th April

Website: N/A

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

The half marathon is the warmup to Brighton’s full marathon, it’s not as big as the London marathon but it’s still a fairly significant date in Britain’s running calendar.

April & May 2020: Brighton’s Art Festival & Fringe Festival Events

Possibly the busiest time in Brighton’s cultural calendar is the period from the end of April to the end of May when the city’s Art Festival and Fringe Festival hold sway over the town.

Don’t worry you don’t need to be an art buff to appreciate what’s going on, as there is something for absolutely everyone during this period.

Event: Funfair

Date: Mon 27th April – Mon 4th May

Website: N/A

Location: The Level

What Is It?

Who doesn’t love the smell of candy floss and roundabouts?  The funfair makes its first appearance in town here.

Event:  The Warren

Date: Thurs 30th April – Sun 31st May

Website:  WarrenFestival

Location:  Victoria Gardens

What Is It?

The Warren (a pop-up venue associated with the Brighton Fringe) appears on the 30th of April for a month of exciting performances with everything from family-friendly fun to high-class comedy appearing.

Event:  Foodies Festival

Date: Fri 1st – Sun 3rd May

Website: FoodiesFestival

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

If you love unique and interesting food, this one’s for you. It’s your chance to enjoy food in all its glory!

Event:  Rotunda Theatre

Date: Fri 1st – Sun 31st May

Website: N/A

Location: Regency Square

What Is It?

This is a superb spoken word festival and if you enjoy wordplay and clever repartee then you really shouldn’t miss it.

Event:  Lady Boys of Bangkok

Date: Fri 1st – Sun 31st May

Website: LadyboysOfBangkok

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

Check out the Lady Boys of Bangkok if you’d like to see a very different cabaret on Hove Lawns during May. They bring Thailand’s best-known individuals to Britain for a month.

Event: Brighton Spiegeltent

Date: Fri 1st – Sun 31st May

Website: BrightonSpiegeltent

Location: Old Steine Gardens

What Is It?

You can find a variety of interesting events at the Spiegeltent and there will be dancing in the SpiegelPub as well as theatre at the Bosco and much more!

Event:  Brighton Festival Children’s Parade

Date: Sat 2nd May

Website: SameSky

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

A major highlight of the festival calendar is the children’s festival parade which sees the little ones take their creativity to the city streets.

Event:  Fringe City 2020

Date: Sat 2nd – Sun 31st May

Website: BrightonFringe

Location: New Road

What Is It?

The Fringe is Brighton’s alternative arts festival – things that are new or risqué are much more likely to appear here than at the main festival.

Event:  Historical Commercial Vehicle Run

Date: Sun 3rd May

Website: N/A

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

It’s a long drive with a bunch of historic commercial vehicles, it’s a peculiar festival which is unique to Brighton and it’s a lot of fun.

Event: Luna Cinema

Date: Tues 12th May – Sat 30th May

Website: LunaBeachCinema

Location: Beach/Seafront

What Is It?

The Luna Cinema is a major screen set up on the beach which shows movies, sports and more. It’s a huge draw to Brighton’s beach in the Spring and Summer months.

Event: The Great Escape on the Beach

Date: Wed 13th May – Sat 16th May

Website: TheGreatEscapeFestival

Location: Seafront

What Is It?

If you love music, you’ll love The Great Escape Festival which runs along the seafront during the late Spring.

Event:  Market

Date: Sun 17th May

Website: N/A

Location: The Level

What Is It?

The market at The Level returns this month and nearly every month for the rest of the year.

Event: London to Brighton Mini Run

Date: Sun 17th May

Website: LondontoBrighton

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

There will be no actual running at this event which is, in fact, a collection of British Minis (the cars) driving from London to Brighton. If you love these cars, this is the best place in the country to see them.

Event: The RISE Heroes Run

Date: Sun 17th May

Website: RiseUK

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

RISE is a Brighton-based charity that assists the victims of domestic abuse. This is a run that raises money for the charity.

Event: Hove Carnival

Date: Mon 25th May

Website: Martlets

Location: Hove Park

What Is It?

This is a completely free to attend, family event which brings stallholders and entertainers together to enjoy the weather and to raise funds for care.

Event:  Brighton Run2Music 2020

Date: Sat 30th May

Website: BrightonRun2Music

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

This is a charitable event where participants run to music. There is also a “Scootathlon” for kids which involves using a scooter, then a bike, followed by a short run.

Event: Classic Car Run

Date: Sun 31st May

Website: N/A

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

The classic car run is a collection of classic cars and it’s one of the best car events in the city in 2020.

Event:  International Circus

Date: Weds 13th – Sun 17th May

Website: N/A

Location: Preston Park

What Is It?

If you like the circus then you might want to head to Preston Park for the International Circus when it arrives in May. This is a cruelty-free event.

June & July 2020: Summer Fun in Brighton

It’s summertime in Brighton and as you’d expect in Britain’s busiest seaside resort town, there’s a huge number of exciting things happening that you can take part in.

Event: Kemptown Carnival

Date: Sat 6th June

Website: KemptownCarnival

Location: St Georges Road & Upper St James Street

What Is It?

Summer starts with the Kemptown Carnival a free festival in Kemptown which runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the 6th of June. Live music, dance troupes, street theatre, games and much more bring residents and visitors together in celebration and for a giant custard pie fight!

Event: Land Beyond Music Festival

Date: Sat 6th – Sun 7th June

Website: EventsRunway

Location: Wild Park

What Is It?

It’s a music festival! We have no idea who will be playing as their website is a little reticent on the subject but last years was a great time!

Event: Luna Cinema

Date: Fri 12th June – Sun 12th July

Website: LunaBeachCinema

Location: Seafront

What Is It?

The Luna Cinema is a major screen set up on the beach which shows movies, sports and more. It’s a huge draw to Brighton’s beach in the Spring and Summer months.

Event: Lions Fayre Rottingdean

Date: Sat 13th June

Website: Rottingdean&SaltdeanLions

Location: Rottingdean Village Green & Kipling Garden

What Is It?

A traditional British summer fayre. If you want to get out and about for a good cause, don’t miss it.

Event:  Brighton Bed Centre Classic Car Show

Date: Sun 14th June

Website: N/A

Location: Hove Park

What Is It?

The Classic Cars return to Brighton and you simply can’t miss that. If you love a bit of history and a lot of cool chrome, it can’t be beaten.

Event:  Funfair

Date: Thurs 18th June – Sun 21st June

Website: N/A

Location: Victoria Rec

What Is It?

The funfair makes another appearance in the city, this time at the Victoria Rec.

Event:  TAKE PART

Date: Sat 20th June

Website: N/A

Location: TBC

What Is It?

TAKE PART is Brighton’s pop up fitness show and it will be doing its best to encourage everyone to get in shape.

Event: London to Brighton Bike Ride

Date: Sun 21st June

Website: BHF

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

If you’d like to show off your fitness, then the London to Brighton bike ride hits town in June. It’s one of the year’s best events but we warn you – it can be really hard to get a bike on a train that weekend.

Event: Race for Life 5K

Date: Sat 4th – Sun 5th July

Website: RaceForLife

Location: Stanmer Park

What Is It?

It’s a fun run to raise money for charitable endeavours. You will need to sign up in advance to participate.

Event: Paddle Round The Pier Festival

Date: Sat 4th – Sun 5th July

Website: PaddleRoundThePier

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

Where everyone, quite literally, tries to paddle around the pier. It’s also a fun festival with many different events all centred around the pier.

Event:  Market

Date: Sun 5th July

Website: N/A

Location: The Level

What Is It?

The market at The Level returns this month and nearly every month for the rest of the year.

Event: Kite Festival

Date: Sat 11th July – Sun 12th July

Website: BrightonKiteFlyer

Location: Stanmer Park

What Is It?

The annual kite festival and if you want to see daring aerial acrobatics, it’s the place to be.

Event: Brighton Pride Dog Show and Community Day

Date: Sun 12th July

Website: BrightonPride

Location: Preston Park

What Is It?

You’d have to be barking mad to miss the dog show for Brighton Pride on the 12th of July, it’s a taste of what’s to come at the biggest event of the LGBTQ+ calendar year.

Event:  Disability Pride

Date: Sun 12th July

Website: N/A

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

An event that celebrates the contributions of the disabled to the community of Brighton and the UK at large.

Event:  Brighton Comedy Garden

Date: Wed 15th July – Sun 20th July

Website: BrightonComedyGarden

Location: Preston Park

What Is It?

A guaranteed laugh a minute as several comedy acts converge on Brighton to entertain the masses.

Event: Brighton Phoenix 10K

Date: Wed 15th July

Website: N/A

Location:  Hove Lawns

What Is It?

This is the first 10K run of the year in Brighton.

Event:  Run 5.30 2020

Date:  Fri 17th July

Website: N/A

Location: New Road

What Is It?

An early morning run for charity. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.

Event:  Lions Saltdean Gala

Date: Sat 18th July

Website: Rottingdean&SaltdeanLions

Location: Saltdean Oval Park

What Is It?

A gala event to raise funds for the lions. Market stalls and fun are expected.

Event: Noughty 90’s Festival

Date:  Sat 18th – Sun 19th July

Website: EventsRunway

Location: Waterhall Park

What Is It?

90s music galore is what we’d expect at this music festival in Waterhall Park.

Event: RSPCA Brighton Open Day & Dog Show

Date: Sun 19th July

Website: RSPCA-Brighton

Location: Braypool Sports  Field

What Is It?

It’s a dog show and you don’t need a dog to go along and support the worthwhile work of the RSPCA, Britain’s oldest national animal charity.

Event:  Funfair

Date: Thurs 23rd July – Sun 26th July

Website: N/A

Location: Saltdean Oval

What Is It?

There’s another chance to eat hot dogs and jump in the bumper cars when the funfair returns to town this time at Saltdean Oval.

July 2020 – Aug 2020: Brighton Pride Weekend

Brighton Pride weekend is the biggest event in the UK’s LGBTQ+ calendar and 300,000 or more visitors will flock to the city to celebrate Pride. It doesn’t matter who you are or how you swing, everyone is welcome to come and join the fun and follow the parade which starts in Kemptown and runs all the way to Preston Park where the big pride festival will take place. The parade is completely free to attend.

Event:  Brighton Pride Festival

Date: Fri 31st July – Sun 2nd Aug

Website: BrightonPride

Location: Preston Park

What Is It?

For those of you thinking about joining in at the main festival, you’ll need to buy tickets in advance from Brighton Pride, the later you leave that – the more it’s going to cost. 2020’s lineup isn’t public knowledge but headliners in previous years have included Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears and the Pet Shop Boys. We can all get down to that, right?

Event: Brighton Pride

Date: Sat 1st – Sun 2nd Aug

Website: BrightonPride

Location: Old Steine

What Is It?

If you’re not into festivals but you still want to party for the weekend then head town to Kemptown with tickets bought from the Pride Festival website and get into street parties, small music events and other raucous celebrations in Brighton’s main LBGTQ district. This event sells out faster than the festival and you really need to book as soon as possible – all the early bird tickets are gone already.

Brighton Pride raises a lot of money for charity and is considered to be the best event of its kind in the UK and it raises the city’s profile for tourists the whole year round.

Aug 2020 – Sep 2020: Autumn Highlights In Brighton

The pace of events continues in the Autumn with a huge number of events for you to choose from.

Event: About the Young Idea

Date: Wed 5th Aug – Mon 21st Aug

Website: N/A

Location: Seafront

What Is It?

August gets under way with a tribute to Paul Weller and The Jam at the Seafront, the “Jam” Exhibition will host tons of band memorabilia, photographs and fashion and records from one of Britain’s most iconic acts. Paul Weller’s sister, Nicky, has been part of the organizing committee for an event expected to see 50,000 visitors.

Event:  Brighton Big Dog

Date: Sat 8th Aug

Website: BrightonBigDog

Location: Stanmer Park

What Is It?

A Mountain Bike Race that takes place at Stanmer Park and the competition is fierce

Event: Market

Date: Sun 9th Aug

Website: N/A

Location: The Level

What Is It?

The market at The Level returns this month and nearly every month for the rest of the year.

Event: TREK Festival

Date: Fri 14th – Sun 16th Aug

Website: N/A

Location: Hove Park

What Is It?

The TREK food festival is coming to Hove Park, it was held in Amsterdam last year, and we’re interested to see what’s coming.

Event: Magic of Thailand Festival

Date: Sat 15th Aug – Sun 16th Aug

Website: MagicofThailand

Location: Preston Park

What Is It?

If you’ve never visited the Land of Smiles, this is your chance to have it come to you.

Event: Brighton Roaring Twenties

Date: Fri 21st Aug  – Sun 23rd Aug

Website: N/A

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

If you feel like 2020 is too much work, you might want to go back to the swing era of 1920, and you can on the Brighton Roaring Twenties weekend.

Event: Zippos Circus

Date: Wed 2nd Sept – Tues 8th Sept

Website: ZipposCircus

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

You can enjoy the circus returning to town from the 2nd – 8th Sep when Zippos Circus appears on Hove Lawns.

Event:  Brighton International Festival of Choirs

Date: Thurs 3rd Sept – Sun 6th Sept

Website: N/A

Location: Hove Lawns, Seafront Various

What Is It?

Choirs in concert to deliver some of the most beautiful sounds ever heard in the city.

Event: Fiery Foods Festival

Date: Fri 4th – Sun 6th Sept

Website: FieryFoods

Location: I360 Event Space (East)

What Is It?

This event is for the spicy food fans – if you like it hot, then you’ll find it  here.

Event:  Brighton National Speed Trials

Date: Sat 5th Sept

Website: Brighton&HoveMotorClub

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

Cars and motorbikes will race down Madeira Drive to see who is the fastest.

Event: Brighton Burn Up

Date: Sun 6th Sept

Website: LondonAceCafe

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

This is a major motorbike event and it’s one of the best events of its kind in the country.

Event: K9 Challenge 2020

Date: Sun 6th Sept

Website: K9Challenge

Location: Stanmer Park

What Is It?

The smartest dogs in Brighton (and beyond) show what they’re made of in the K9 Challenge.

Event: Brighton & Hove Triathlon

Date: Sat 12th Sept – Sun 13th Sept

Website: Brighton&HoveTriathlon

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

It’s a full competitive triathlon event which is open to the public to watch.

Event: Market

Date: Sun 13th Sept

Website: N/A

Location: The Level

What Is It?

The market at The Level returns this month and nearly every month for the rest of the year.

Event: London to Brighton 2020

Date: Sun 13th Sept

Website: LondonBrightonCycle

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

The biggest event in the UK’s cycling calendar. Thousands of cyclists ride from London to Brighton.

Event: London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride

Date: Sat 19th Sept

Website: BHF

Location: Hove Lawns

What Is It?

For those who felt that riding on the road from London to Brighton wasn’t easy enough – this time they do the same run but without roads!

Event: Reebok Ragnar White Cliffs 2020

Date: Sun 20th Sept

Website: RunRagnar

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

A 170-mile relay run for serious runners only. However, you’re welcome to come along and voice your support if you’re not running.

Event: Boundary Brighton

Date: Sat 26th Sept                                     

Website: BoundaryBrighton

Location: Stanmer Park

What Is It?

It’s a music festival. It’s too early to tell which acts will be on the bill, however.

Event: Brighton Breeze

Date: Sat 26th Sept

Website: N/A

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

If you like VW cars, then this is your chance to see a huge VW meeting. It’s the biggest event of its kind in the UK.

Event:  Apple Day Brighton

Date: Sun 27th Sept

Website: BrightonPermaculture

Location: Stanmer Park

What Is It?

Your chance to try a lot of apples for free and join in a traditional English fair.

Event: Brightona

Date: Sun 27th Sept

Website: Brightona

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

This is the annual motorbike race for charity.

October 2020 – December 2020: Winter Wonderland In Brighton

As you might expect, the Winter calendar is a little less hectic, it can get quite cold outside in the Winter in Brighton but that’s not to say there’s nothing on.

Event:  Market

Date: Sun 4th Oct

Website: N/A

Location: The Level

What Is It?

The market at The Level returns for the last time in 2020.

Event:  Brighton Oktoberfest

Date: Fri 8th Oct – Sun 10th Oct

Website: oktoberfest-brighton.com

Location: The Level

What Is It?

This is when we celebrate beer and music by drinking beer and listening to live music. It’s awesome. If you can’t make it to Germany for the Oktoberfest, Brighton’s the next best option.

Event: London to Brighton Veteran Car Run

Date: Sun 1st Nov

Website: VeteranCarRun

Location:  Madeira Drive

What Is It?

This is the biggest draw of Brighton’s motoring calendar and it attracts veteran cars from all over. You won’t see anything like this anywhere else in the world.

Event:  The Nevill Fireworks

Date: Sat 7th Nov

Website: NevillFireworks

Location: Nevill Playing Fields

What Is It?

Guy Fawkes tried to blow up the British Government. So what do British people do? Celebrate in his honour. One of the best fireworks displays in the South can be found at Nevill Playing Fields for the Guy Fawkes festivities.

Event: Brighton 10k Run

Date: Sun 15th Nov

Website: N/A

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

The last running event of the calendar year, it’s only 10,000 meters which ought to be easy if you completed the Marathon back in April.

Event: Burning the Clocks

Date: Mon 21st Dec

Website: Samesky

Location: Madeira Drive

What Is It?

The sweetest event of the year is when Brighton comes together for Burning the Clocks on 21st of December for a lantern parade throughout the city. If you want to take part, you will need to order (and pay for) a lantern kit but you can watch for free.

Conclusion

As you can see, Brighton is an amazing city for outdoor events and no matter what you’re in to from country fairs to rock festivals, there is quite literally something for everyone. The summer sun makes for the busiest time of the year, but the biggest events are Brighton Pride weekend and the Brighton Arts Festival and Brighton Fringe month.

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