Welcome to Brainchild Festival. We are a DIY powered and volunteer-led festival celebrating the talents and ideas of the people around us.
For three days in July, we stitch together incredible creative projects into a program of live music, jam sessions, spoken word, DJ sets, talks, workshops, film, theatre and installation art.
The festival is a meeting of minds; it is very intimate, with artists, crew and festival-goers all camping together and no VIP areas on site. We push important conversations and interdisciplinary art to the forefront and welcome everybody to get involved. Built up by friends of friends over the years, the atmosphere is warm, open and relaxed. Brainchild is the perfect place to let your guard down, try things out and discover amazing artists. We hope that you will find something you love this year.
Winners of the AIM Award for Best Independent Festival 2015 & 2016!
Over the years Brainchild has become more of a big creative network than a 3 day festival. Every year, over 300 artists contribute their work and ideas across different areas, be they art installations, led discussions or DJ sets. Here’s our first wave of what’s in store, stay tuned for more.
Brainchild set out to connect people in a way that larger festivals can't, nurturing collaboration on a personal level. We started planning the first festival in January 2012, when, amidst endless arts cuts, we wanted to show each other that realising our creative ambitions was still possible.
Now, against a lot of odds, and through the continued enthusiasm, generosity, hard-work and talents of hundreds of people, the festival has now happened four times, in 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016.
We do not focus on any specific genre or art-form. Our focus is on the spirit behind them, and bringing together people who share an open-mindedness and a collaborative approach. We look for work that challenges broken paradigms and shares visions for more sustainable and compassionate societies globally.
Our aim is for everyone who is part of Brainchild to come away feeling inspired, having made new friends, discovered amazing new work and developed their own creativity. So all over site, there are opportunities to perform and get involved.
We’re running in the fields and woods of Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum in East Sussex. There is even a mini railway to take you on a tour round the site!
Our site address:
Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum,
Getting here by train: Nearest stations are Uckfield and Lewes. Uckfield is closer to site than Lewes, although both stations are the same distance from London (roughly 70 minutes). Brighton to Lewes is 15 minutes.
There will be a minibus service from Uckfield Station running every 30 mins on Friday (12pm - 9pm) & Saturday (10am - 4pm). Minibus tickets will be available to purchase soon.
The festival site is intimate, split between one main field and some adjoining woodland. There will be many art-installations and architectural pieces, as well as our six different performance areas.
There's the Brainstage for live music, The Shack for dance music, The Forum for spoken word, talks, theatre and workshops, our cinema for film screenings and the Steez Cafe, a space collaboratively run with Steez, with a bar in one end and jams, improvisations and sets in the other.
We’ve got a big campsite right next to the main festival area, none of the hours of walking that you have to do at big festivals! The camping area is big enough for everyone at the festival to camp together. All you need to do is bring your tent. Please bear in mind we can’t have campervans or campfires at the festival.
Gates open at 12:00 on Friday 7th July, with acts beginning shortly afterwards - the sooner you can get on site the better!
Details of main-gate opening hours during the festival will be published on here nearer the time.
All guests need to have vacated the site by noon on Monday 10th July.
Join the crew! Brainchild is a festival that’s run on the goodwill and hard work of lots of amazing individuals. If you’d like to help us make the weekend happen, then volunteering over the festival is a great way to do it.
As part of the volunteer team, you will see the festival from the inside. The volunteers at Brainchild are fundamental to its success, helping to make sure things are ticking over and doing a variety of jobs, from bar work to catering, ticketing and lots more in between. Every year we’ve met some of the most generous and spirited people on the volunteering team – read on for more info.
How it works:
– Over the weekend, you will help out for 10 hours split up into 3 shifts so you still have lots of time to explore the festival and party. Plus, if you volunteer with a friend, just let us know and we’ll do our best to put you on shift together.
– All volunteers will need to be on site from Thursday evening for a briefing and to be given their rotas. You will also need to be on site until your shifts are complete which might be Sunday night or Monday morning.
– After the festival, when you’ve done your shifts, half of your ticket-price will be refunded to you.
And, if you can stick around, there’s drinking and relaxing to be done with all the crew on the Monday night. We hope you’ll join in, email ‘tomo’ or ‘ali’ @brainchildfestival.co.uk us know if you have any queries.
Please note that the deadline for submissions in music, art, talks/workshops and poetry has now passed. Theatre and film submissions are open until the 10th March. However, if you get in touch we will endeavour to get back to you to discuss your idea, just write to the relevant programming teams at either ‘music’, ‘art’, ‘theatre’, ‘talks’, ‘poetry’, ‘film’, ‘workshops’ followed by …@brainchildfestival.co.uk.
Alternatively, please check out Platform, our HQ in Southwark, London where we are able to put on events and projects – maybe your idea can happen there.