Spoken word artist Kate Tempest returned to Brighton Festival to debut her new album for the first time at Hangleton Community Centre.
Tempest was the guest director of the Festival in 2017, and made a return to the city on Saturday, May 19 for a secret gig as part of the Your Place project, which brings arts to outlying communities.
Billed only as a ‘special guest’ at 5pm, the sold-out show rounded off a day of free entertainment for residents of the Hangleton area, presented by Brighton Festival and Brighton People’s Theatre.
Tempest told the crowd that she was 'thrilled to be back' and asked for no filming of the work from her upcoming third solo album.
She said: “This year I’ve come back to play a little unannounced gig at Hangleton Community Centre, which is one of my favourite places ever to play a gig, to be honest.
"I had this idea as part of my guest directorship that what would be the most exciting way to use that opportunity would be to bring some of what was happening in the Festival out to the communities around. And one of the most important things about that idea was that it had life after our year.
"It was such an exciting time for everyone, for the people that run the Festival to meet the community steering groups, and everyone was so blown away by how much enthusiasm and excitement there was. And now I’ve come back and it’s popping off basically, there’s a massive bandstand, everyone’s dancing, it feels really good here. I feel really chuffed and really happy to be back.”
Saturday’s line-up at Hangleton included a dance-a-thon through the decades from the Charleston to the Macarena with The Ragroof Players’Happy Feet, as well as an interactive game zone for all ages with The Actual Reality Arcade.
Brighton and Hove Music and Arts (which united with Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival last year) presented performances by inclusive music group Orchestra 360 and the dustbin-utilising Percussion Ensemble at Morag Myerscough’s touring Belonging Bandstand, and the Brighton-based all-female group Qukulele and Brighthun Voices’ showcase of the rich musical heritage of Hungary were other highlights on the day.
Hosted by local community centres, and programmed in collaboration with local residents and artists, Your Place brings a diverse line-up of free performances, workshops and activities to the Hangleton and East Brighton communities.
The project, which launched last year, reflected Tempest’s belief that 'the arts should be in our communities, not only on elevated platforms or behind red velvet ropes'.
The East Brighton-based second Your Place weekend runs over Saturday (May 26) and Sunday (May 27) and will see The Ragroof Players and Culture Clash return, along with free football sessions from Albion in the Community, a singing workshop with Banyan Tree Theatre Group, comedian Jo Neary’s new children’s show Peg in the Gallery, and much more.
To find out more, visit: brightonfestival.org/yourplace