Monday, 12 May 2008

Brighton Festival press trip

You may remember that a while ago I wrote a delightful little 'A Day in the life..' style post and in that I said I would write again after I had been out on a press trip as that would hopefully be a bit more interesting, so here goes.....

We at VisitBrighton are very keen to spread the word about the fabulous Brighton Festival as it seems to be a little known fact that it is the largest arts festival in England (yes I know Edinburgh is bigger but that is why I said in England not the UK, clever stuff) Therefore we decided to invite a group of journalists from Germany to come and experience it for themselves so that they could write about it for their large national newspapers. Of course it's not just the Brighton Festival, there is the Fringe Festival and the Artist Open Houses as well.

Whenever we do these group trips we try and make sure that we accompany them as much as possible to make sure that they don't miss anything. Which does sometimes mean having to work outside of the usual office hours but it's not often and apart from getting time off in lieu I get to do things I might not otherwise get to do

Anyway back to the point - what did we actually do? Well the group arrived on Thursday and we had dinner at the New Steine Bistro where we welcomed as if we were part of the family. Friday was a jam packed day starting with a walking tour of the city and the Royal Pavilion, lunch at the new Zillis Cafe and a look around the myhotel. Then we went to see An Infinite Line which is a free art installation all about light in Brighton. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but it was actually quite effective, as they had lots of little mini projectors depicting images of Brighton onto little chalk slabs, maybe I just liked it because it was all diddy and mini. I'm sure this is not the most high-brow review of this installation but at least I'm being honest ;)

Then after a quick rest we went to the Heist bar to see some comedy for free courtesy of the Fringe, again this could have been a bit of a gamble but they were actually really good as the two chaps took suggestions from the audience and then dubbed new dialogue over well known film clips, silly but funny. Then we had cocktails at the very swanky new Okinami owned by Slim boy Fat, well that's what one of the journalists thought he was called and was slightly surprised when I told her he wasn't actually fat at all! Then we had dinner at Terre a Terre before seeing Le Scandal at the Udderbelly which was a burlesque cabaret show, some of the acts left me thinking - very clever but what's the point? Although I did like the juggling chap as everyone knows juggling is a very useful skill to have particularly if you can juggle a Norch (knife with a flaming torch strapped to it) whilst riding a unicycle and wearing a helmet which has a firework coming out of it!

Saturday was the last day and we started off looking at some of the Kemp Town Artist Open Houses before having lunch at Due South, then we had to make a slight change to the itinerary as I had not allowed enough time for shopping or even for resting weary feet after walking all over our compact city. The trip was rounded off by dinner at English's, where we sat outside, there was a lady singing opera and we were bathed in moonlight eating delicious seafood and trying to get something edible out of the lobster shell. As one of the journalists commented it was rather like being in a film, and I had to agree it was rather idyllic. He also asked what I would tell my colleagues about the group, and I was able to truthfully say that they had been a lovely group, a really relaxed bunch who seemed to genuinely enjoy being in Brighton.

So there you have it, a hectic weekend of work but I am sure there are worse ways to earn a living :)


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