Local Groups Produce Social Sideshow Alongside Brighton Festival

Building on Brighton Festival’s theme this year—‘Everyday Epic’—a range of local businesses, charities, and public sector organisations including the Brighton & Hove City Council are collaborating to curate a series of interactive events showcasing the social good happening in the city.

AOBCalled Any Other Business, the series of events hosted over the week of May 20–26 will serve to highlight the epic character of social good that this city has but that comparatively few know about.

Brighton has been praised as being the most charitable city in the country but the vast majority of donations are sent overseas or made to national charities. “There are an estimated 2,300 community groups and voluntary organisations in Brighton & Hove,” says Sally Polanski, CEO of Community Works. “Many of them rely on volunteers, business support, council engagement and community knowledge to further the impact that they have.”

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival welcomes the collaboration. “We are thrilled to support these events,” says Andrew Comben, CEO “With Kate Tempest as our Guest Director this year and her focus on making the arts accessible to all, the genesis of Any Other Business couldn’t come at a better time.”

Local businesses involved in the week include the British Airways i360, partnering on an event with the Goodall Foundation to scan the horizon for Brighton’s future and promote active citizenship. Other organisations involved in curating the events include the CriSeren Foundation and Community Works, plus a range of nationally recognised organisations such as The Bevy, Pro Baristas, Audio Active, a Band of Brothers and Brighton Soup.

“Our job isn’t to direct things,” says Chris Llewellyn, the CriSeren Foundation’s Director, “but to enable different people to connect. We encourage organisations and businesses to dream up their own events or attend any of the exciting sessions already lined up.”

Any Other Business is hoping to show residents how to contribute to Brighton & Hove. The group wants a broader cross-section of the community to be able to imagine what life is like in Brighton for a range of different people: a teacher, a child, a homeless young person, a social worker or even a business person.

Highlights from the week include a fundraising Q&A hosted by the Brighton Dome, a free breakfast on doing good business hosted by The Platform and the Goodall Foundation, an afternoon of discussion around the role of community hosted by Community Works, and an attempt to hold the largest ever community crowdfunding event in the city, hosted by Brighton Soup.

To find out more, share your own event or register to attend others, visit aobbrighton.org