Five Kemptown Summer Events to Book Ahead

Enjoy the Kemptown Summer!

Global music, a trail of cocktails, some bus trips to country walks, a chance to be artistic – and a queen of Motown comes to Kemptown…

We suggest five summer happenings which you might not want to miss.


  • CELEBRATING THE CULTURES OF EXILE: If you enjoy classical music and global music, you may want to check out The Crossing Borders Festival, which runs from June 16-24. Now in its second year, the festival aims to celebrate refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants through their music and art, past and present. It’s part of Brighton’s Sanctuary on Sea initiative — and several of the events will be happening in Kemptown, at St Mary’s Church.  There is Music of the Dispossessed – works by Schoenberg and Tchaikovsky on Saturday June 16; Renaissance polyphony with Byrdsong performing The Travels of Song on June 17 and Calcutta, a performance by the acclaimed Ensemble Tempus Fugit June 21. For details of all the Festival Events and to book tickets, click here.


  • BOARD A BIG LEMON TO THE COUNTRY: The innovative and award-winning Kemptown-based bus operator Big Lemon has come up with another clever idea: trips out of town for sociable Sunday Walks (and pub visits) in the Sussex countryside, with a cheerful yellow bus to pick you up at the end. There are three to choose from in June – July: Blackcap and Plumpton on June 17, Butcher’s Hole Bottom, Filching Manor and The Long Man on July 1 and The Greengage Trail on July 22. All trips leave from the Old Steine at 1030. For details of distances and how to book tickets, click here


  • SHAKEN OR STIRRED: How better to spend a summer by the sea than with a cocktail in your hand – and Kemptown makes a good showing in Brighton Cocktail Week, which runs from July 6-15. The way it works is that you buy a wristband (£10) and can then enjoy cocktails for £5 each at nearly 30 bars and restaurants across the city. Participating venues in Kemptown include The Black Dove, Blanch House, Brighton Rocks, Curry Leaf Cafe, Drakes, Metrodeco, Pike & Pine and The Plotting Parlour. To find out more, and to buy a wristband, click here.


  • FROM MOTOWN TO KEMPTOWN: Martha Reeves is a Motown Icon, as the lead singer with Martha Reeves and The Vandellas or solo. Her hits included Dancing in the Street, Heatwave, Jimmy Mack and Nowhere to Run. She also served on the Detroit City Council from 2005 to 2009. Still in huge demand at festivals, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas will be performing on Saturday July 7 at Concorde 2, on the seafront just below Kemptown. To see her in action in the 60s, click here. For details of the event an tickets, click here


  • CUTTING IT:  You may already be familiar with the lovely prints produced by artist Helen Brown, many of which depict the rolling scenery of the South Downs (see image above). Helen teaches Soft Woodcut, Linocut and Vinyl at the pleasant Bip-Art studio, tucked away in a tiny mews behind Arundel Terrace  – and this month she’ll be hosting a three-week course on Wednesday evenings (June 27-July 11, £90) and a four week course on Thursday mornings (June 28-July 19, £120).  For course and venue details, click here.