BREMF@home - across the EARTH

The current COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to rethink how we can best present Brighton Early Music Festival this year. Uncertainty around how things will develop over the coming months, a potential anxiety among our audiences about attending public events even were there no restrictions on social mixing by October, plus the understandable re-focusing of funding sources towards crisis response, means that we cannot risk attempting to stage the Festival we were planning.

We understand that this is a huge disappointment to many. Losing the chance to attend concerts after months of lockdown is heart breaking, but we don't want to cancel everything and leave a void. After much discussion we have made the decision to launch a digital festival this year: BREMF@home - across the EARTH.

We want to stress from the start that BREMF@home is not conceived as a poor substitute for the live events. We fully realise that by the autumn everyone will be tired of live streaming, filmed archives and especially concerts from isolation. We would prefer to see this current crisis as providing the opportunity for us, and our artists to work in a whole new way: to build programmes that take advantage of the digital medium and offer features that concerts alone cannot.

Another huge positive is that we can open these programmes to lovers of early music who can't get to concerts, as well as to potential audiences across the globe - highly apt for our original 2020 theme: EARTH.

BREMF@home - across the EARTH will consist of a number of individually devised broadcasts, merging musical performance with film, images, animation and documentary presentation. Each programme will be premiered on YouTube at a fixed date and time, but will be available to view for a week afterwards so that audiences, including those in different time zones, can watch when convenient. PLEASE do subscribe to our YouTube channel, as we need a minimum of 1000 subscribers to unlock more flexibility.

Although these are early days, we have been delighted with the response to our preliminary ideas from enthusiastic artists and Festival partners and supporters. We hope to include many of the artists we had already invited for the Festival, and will be publishing details during May, once we know more about the funding and financial situation.

We very much hope that you will feel inspired to help us turn this enormous challenge into something positive and far-reaching for the future of the Festival, as well as the wonderful performers we want to help adapt to a very different world.

Deborah Roberts
Artistic Director