Nicki Minaj said it first: Let’s go to the beach-each, let’s go get a wave. And what better place to get it during Eurovision 2023 in the United Kingdom than in the beautiful seaside retreat of Brighton? As a number of British cities express interest in hosting the world’s biggest song contest, I’m here to shine a light on Brighton & Hove — the county’s favourite twin cities.
1. Brighton & Hove Pride
Brighton is home to one of the most spectacular and supportive LGBTQ+ events in the country. This year’s event, which runs from 5 to 7 August, will serve another slice of acceptance and love. As ever, the fantastic weekend of Pride helps drive community fundraising. The event has featured global superstars such as Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Dua Lipa, Grace Jones, Chic, Carly Rae Jepson and The Pet Shop Boys. This weekend’s celebration includes a solidarity march around the city, and finishes with a spectacular party at Preston Park. This year will feature live acts including Paloma Faith, The Scissor Sisters and Christina Aguilera. Described by The Guardian newspaper as “the country’s most popular LGBT event,” the Brighton & Hove Pride Festival is a vibrant celebration of all that is wonderful about the city’s diverse community. Twenty-two per cent of the local population identify as a sexual minority: This is a safe space and all are welcome to slay!
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2. Brighton Beach
It’s arguably the UK’s most popular pebble beach. When the sun starts shining, which it often does in mid-May, plenty of locals and visitors grab their suntan lotion and head to beach to enjoy the view of sun-soaked bodies and the taste of fish ‘n chips. The shoreline paths are easy to navigate making Brighton the perfect place to get away from the city, and get back in touch with nature. Walk, rollerblade, run or cycle, the city welcomes all modes of exploration.
3. The American Express Community Stadium
This could be the perfect Eurovision host venue! Also known as The Falmer Stadium, it serves serves as the home of Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion. But this place ain’t just about balls, y’all. The stadium is also designed for music concerts, conferences and exhibitions and can host up to 30,000 people.The stadium is served by Falmer railway station which is a nine-minute journey from Brighton railway station and seven minutes from Lewes railway station, both of which are served by trains from London. The stadium’s current slogan is fitting and perfect for the times: “Standing together with Ukraine for Peace”.
There’s not currently a roof, but hey: Brighton is a city of problem-solvers!
4. Excellent Transport Links
Most Eurovision fans, artists, and delegations would have to fly in. London Gatwick airport ranks in the Top 10 of Europe’s busiest airports for takeoffs, landings, and passenger traffic. It is served by all of the world’s major airlines, and links Brighton on the Main Railway Line in just under half an hour. For those travelling by rail and coaches, Brighton is a major stop on the UK South Coast. Alternatively, if your funds are limitless, you can fly your private jet into Brighton Airport — the oldest purpose-built airport in the world! Yes, that’s right: aviation enthusiasts have flocked to the airstrip and its adjacent museum for decades to get their slice of aeronautic nostalgia.
5. The Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion, and surrounding gardens, is a former royal residence located in Brighton that started life in 1787. Ornate, opulent and strikingly beautiful, this majestic palace is a listed building, and does showcase some priceless art and furniture. Also, it is connected by a tunnel and direct walkway to The Brighton Dome —Eurovision 1974’s host venue. If this backdrop is good enough for ABBA when they won Eurovision in Brighton, and good enough for Måns Zelmerlöw when he hosted Eurovision: You Decide in 2018, then the Dome and its surrounding gardens would make a picturesque Eurovision Village for delegations, artists and fans alike.
6. Brighton Pier
Welcoming over a million visitors annually, Brighton Pier is a throwback to the days of the Great British Coastal Resort town. It has appeared in the music videos of several major British acts including Sam Smith, The Who and Will Young. Eurovision fans would want to picture themselves in a selfie against the backdrop of Brighton Pier. Warm up my ring light girl!
The city of Hove is as tranquil as it gets. If “unwinding” is part of your Eurovision experience, then this is the perfect place to do it. Head down to the beach and drink in the atmosphere of the city’s brightly coloured beach huts — a one of a kind national treasure!
Day and night, Brighton has got you covered. There are numerous bars, pubs and a fantastic range of nightclubs to choose from, no matter your musical tastes or crowd. Also, Brighton has a thriving street busking scene as well as comedy nights, live bands, poetry readings, drag shows, cabaret and much more. A stay in Brighton means that you’ll never be bored.
9. The Great Escape….(and more)
The Great Escape is a three-day festival that takes place every May, and has become one of the UK’s most beloved musical extravaganzas. Scattered around 30 venues across the city, The Great Escape has featured acts including Ed Sheeran, Django Django, Bastille, Stormzy, Iggy Azalea, Skepta and Clean Bandit.
The month of July plays host to Brighton Kite Festival. Imagine kites of all shapes and sizes flying high above the shore. Brighton Kite Festival is one of the city’s most colourful festivals, and it is a sight to behold. Brighton has so many reasons to retain Eurovision crowds. Dip in the city in May, and then book to come back in July.
10. The i360
This is an observation tower conceived by Brighton and Hove councils in collaboration with British Airways. Until recently, the i360 was the world’s tallest moving observation tower. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Isle of Wight! As a Eurovision fan, you would be able to view all the 44 postcards from one spot. You spin me right round baby right round!
Are you excited? Would you like to see Brighton host Eurovision 2023? Let us know in the comments below.