Brighton Fringe festival is the UK’s largest annual arts festival and runs from 6th May – 5th June 2016.
Last weekend I was invited by sponsors Citroën UK to head cross country and see what the festival had to offer and all in a spangly New Citroën C4 Picasso.
I am no stranger to the C4 Picasso having owned one for three years, but they have brought it right up to date with a dashboard to rival the Starship Enterprise with a smart phone inspired 7-inch Touch Drive interface. There is still the three full size, car seat friendly seats in the back, pull-up sunshades on the windows and an extra two seats hidden in the huge boot but it was the little extra’s that sold it to me.
My favourite feature of the car was the massage and lumbar support on the driver and passenger seats. We all know that long journey’s can be a killer on your back but this is a feature I am missing already and I never got to test the adjustable footrest on the passenger seat. I also love that the boot opens by itself and closes again at the touch of a button.
For a big car it is surprisingly light and comfortable to drive and despite getting stuck in a bit of traffic on the way to Brighton Fringe Festival, we arrived excited and ready for the open access arts festival which was launched by the now famous Children’s Parade.
We met the procession along its route past Brighton pier and were greeted with joyful music, colourful costumes and excited children. The procession was so much better than any local carnivals near me and the 5000 participants from more than 80 schools were interpreting this year’s theme of Poetry in Motion in their own inventive ways.
The inspiration for the characters came from a range of well-known poems from across the ages and included things like the Witches’ Spell by Shakespeare, the Lock Ness Monster, Silly Old Baboon, On the Ning Nang Nong and the Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. All the schools that took part made an amazing effort and children and adults alike looked amazing in their costumes.
We followed the parade for a while before heading towards Brighton Pavilion for The Fringe Family Picnic which was a showcase for the family friendly shows that are on during the festival, plus free fun activities for children of all ages.
I had wanted to take the kids to see Twig the Pixie’s Family Funsplosion which was on later that day but sadly it was fully booked, but luckily we got a taster of what his show was all about. Also at the picnic, we got to listen and dance along to some music acts too and were introduced to Kallikids, a website of kids activities that have been recommended by parents, who were giving out goody bags that the kids could colour in when they got home. Baby Ballet were also there, although I didn’t see any dance classes going on.
In one corner of the gardens, with the Brighton Pavilion as a stunning backdrop, Citroën UK had organised an ‘Art Attack’ style event. This was such a fun opportunity for all the children to work together and help to build a giant puzzle. The art piece was bright, colourful, and featured some of the brands quirkiest cars – the C4 Cactus and 2CV. The event attracted lots of attention and there were children running around all over the place, really excited to take part.
We had a lovely time visiting Brighton and hope to head back in the next couple of weeks to catch some of the Fringe shows (the Amazing Bubble Man looks awesome) and to visit the Sealife Centre and try out the British Airways i360, the worlds tallest moving observation tower at 138m tall.
Have you visited Brighton Fringe Festival – what shows would you recommend?