Brighton Fringe venue ‘Shiny Town’ fails to get planning permission

Shiny Town was set to  be a new venue at the Royal Pavilion Gardens (Photograph: Slawek Staszczuk/ Alamy Stock)
Shiny Town was set to be a new venue at the Royal Pavilion Gardens (Photograph: Slawek Staszczuk/ Alamy Stock)

A new Fringe venue at the Royal Pavilion Gardens has been refused planning permission as the festival gets into full swing.

The pop-up venue was set to appear in the gardens from May 25 to June 4, with outdoor stages, an artificial lake, food stalls and bars.

But Brighton and Hove City Council said the event did not meet the requirements needed to put an event on at the Grade-I listed site.

Shiny Town organisers said: “We regret to have to announce that Shiny Town won’t now appear as part of Brighton Fringe this May. Unfortunately we didn’t get the required planning permission, as we’d hoped, for the event to take place in the Royal Pavilion Gardens.”

The venue was set to set the stage for shows such as: Trade Winds, a reimagining of voyages, meetings and exchanges between different cultures across the sea; Mother India 21st Century Remix, an audio visual music masterpiece, marking the 70th anniversary of the partition of India; a surreal rock roadshow Bramble FM and Brighton based DJ; and cabaret and performance artist Boogaloo Stu.

The spokesperson for the venue said: “Shiny Town is an ambitious project that promised to transform the Royal Pavilion Gardens into a spectacular live arts and entertainment destination for the final two weeks of this year’s festival. We have always been aware of the sensitivity of the Grade-I listed building and the Regency Gardens and we had worked hard to produce a design that we believed was sympathetic and complimentary to the heritage and significance of such an important landmark. Unfortunately on this occasion it hasn’t worked out for us.

“We are enormously disappointed that we are unable to bring Shiny Town to Brighton at this time but are also very grateful for the enthusiasm and support we’ve had for the project from local communities and businesses, the arts world, and the Royal Pavilion and Fringe teams.

“We are already looking to find an alternative site to stage the event in Brighton in the not too distant future and will continue to work with the relevant authorities to make this happen. In the meantime we’d like to wish Brighton a very happy and fun Festival and Fringe!”

A council spokesperson said: “All events staged in the Royal Pavilion grounds that involve the creation of structures are subject to planning permission. The Royal Pavilion is a Grade-I listed building and, as such, protected by Historic England and other bodies responsible for safeguarding heritage properties. The organisers of Shiny Town did follow the usual planning process but unfortunately on this occasion, their event did not meet the requirements set out and so the application was refused.

“We understand this is disappointing for the organisers and will work with them to find a suitable licensed space so that their event may take place in the city at some time in the future.”

A spokesperson for Brighton Fringe Ltd said: “We are very disappointed to hear that Shiny Town will not be a part of this year’s Brighton Fringe and are in the process of informing and fully refunding anyone who had booked tickets to see shows there.

“We are always looking to involve venues and producers that will bring new artists and events to Brighton, so have worked hard over the past two years on it and were looking forward to the exciting programme Shiny Town had planned. We hope to welcome them to Brighton Fringe in the future and in the meantime look forward to working with more than 150 venues to entertain and excite audiences throughout May and into June.”