Anja Ngozi is a London-based DJ and producer, whose music and sets centre around soulful tunes, lo-fi beats and experimental vibrations… She runs Síbín, a club night and label (founded by herself and the infamous Maxwell Owin), with two new monthly shows on Reprezent and rundemradio. We love this tune, Pastor, which she and Max made featuring O the ghost; this Frank Ocean Mix Anja put together, and her recent edits of American R&B artist India Arie.
9-11 July 2021
Welcome to Brainchild Festival, our three day festival celebrating creativity, bold ideas & DIY spirit at a peer-to-peer level.
We connect and stitch together the collectives, communities and creative projects that inspire us into a program of live music, jam sessions, spoken word, DJ sets, talks, workshops, film, theatre and installation art.
The festival is not-for-profit and was started by a group of friends in their first year of university, growing organically every year since. It is now a celebration and gathering of an ever-growing network of creative people, with a capacity of 2500 people. Artists, crew and festival-goers camp together, with no VIP areas on site.
Across the weekend, we create opportunities for valuable conversations, exchanges and collaborations and welcome everybody to get involved. Built up by friends of friends over the years, the atmosphere is warm, open and relaxed. Brainchild is the perfect place to let your guard down, try things out and discover new wonders.
Winners of the AIM Award for Best Independent Festival 2015 & 2016
★★★★ - The Independent
Tickets for Brainchild Festival 2021 have now sold out! We’d never in our wildest dreams have anticipated being sold out by the end of February, but we are hugely grateful to everyone who’s booked us in for their first summer of partying since Covid began. Since selling out, we have also been overwhelmed with interest in volunteering and can confirm that we are no longer taking inquiries about these tickets.
This year we introduced a form at checkout to help us understand who’s coming to Brainchild, giving us insight into our returning audience, providing a benchmark on our progress to becoming a more inclusive, diverse and anti-racist organisation & helping us feedback to our funders. Because tickets sold in such a rush toward the end, we imagine many more of of you would have skipped past it than you might have normally. So we ask everyone who’s bought a ticket to Brainchild this year to pleas consider filling this out – it would be incredibly helpful for us 😊
Join the crew! Brainchild is a festival that’s run on the goodwill and hard work of lots of amazing individuals. If you’d like to help us make the weekend happen, then volunteering over the festival is a great way to do it.
As part of the volunteer team, you will see the festival from the inside. The volunteers at Brainchild are fundamental to its success, helping to make sure things are ticking over and doing a variety of jobs, from bar work to catering, ticketing and lots more in between. Every year we’ve met some of the most generous and spirited people on the volunteering team – read on for more info.
How it works:
– Over the weekend, you will help out for 12 hours split up into 3 shifts so you still have lots of time to explore the festival and party. Plus, if you volunteer with a friend, just let us know and we’ll do our best to put you on shift together.
– All volunteers will need to be on site from Thursday evening for a briefing and to be given their rotas. You will also need to be on site until your shifts are complete which might be Sunday night or Monday morning.
– After the festival, when you’ve done your shifts, half of your ticket-price will be refunded to you.
Here is the first taster of our lineup for 2021! We have SO MANY more things to tell you about, including our whole theatre, comedy, film, poetry, workshops & talks lineup, our installation artists and the rest of the music programme. But for now we wanted to give you these gems to get stuck into. It’s safe to say they are each absolute fire, we dream of their sets at the festival on a pretty much daily basis!
Please note that we’re no longer accepting applications to play or perform at Brainchild 2021. Thank you very much to everyone who applied!
Photography: Hollie Fernando
What’s Brainchild all about?
Brainchild set out to connect people in a way that larger festivals can’t, nurturing collaboration on a personal level. We started planning the first festival in January 2012, when, amidst endless arts cuts, we wanted to show each other that realising our creative ambitions was still possible.
Now, against a lot of odds, and through the continued enthusiasm, generosity, hard-work and talents of hundreds of people, we’ve run seven festivals. After six years as an entirely volunteer team, we are now able to offer paid festival production work and are still brand-sponsor free, with a focus on retaining an affordable ticket-price.
We do not have a bookings ‘policy’: we focus on connecting music & art across art-forms that have a shared energy and intention, bringing together people who share an open-mindedness and a collaborative approach. We look for work that challenges broken paradigms and shares visions for more sustainable and compassionate societies globally.
Our aim is for everyone who is part of Brainchild to come away feeling inspired, having made new friends, discovered amazing new work and developed their own creativity. So all over site, there are opportunities to perform and get involved.
Where is the festival and how do I get there?
We’re running in the fields and woods of Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum in East Sussex. There is even a mini railway to take you on a tour round the site!
Our site address:
Bentley Wildfowl & Motor Museum,
Getting here by train: Nearest stations are Uckfield and Lewes. Uckfield is closer to site than Lewes, although both stations are the same distance from London (roughly 70 minutes). Brighton to Lewes is 15 minutes.
There will be a minibus service from Uckfield and Lewes train stations, meeting the trains as they arrive. Tickets for these will be available from one month before the festival. Please note that minibuses tickets the Monday morning are sold on a first come first serve basis.
We always encourage festival-goers to reduce their carbon footprint, so if you want to make some new friends then lift-sharing your way to the festival may be a good idea. After the success of last year’s, we’ve made another Lift-Sharing Group, join it here. Car park passes are available with our main tickets The Ticket Sellers.
I can’t come anymore, can I refund or sell my ticket on?
Unless the event is cancelled or postponed, Brainchild Festival tickets are non-refundable.
The TicketSellers (TTS) are our sole ticket agent, no other body other is officially authorised to sell tickets. In efforts to prevent ticket touting, if we learn of tickets being re-sold above the price they were originally purchased at, we reserve the right to cancel that ticket with no obligation whatsoever to refund.
However, given our early sell-out, and the difficult circumstances of this year, we acknowledge there may be increased uncertainty around plans and you may realise you can no longer attend the festival. Whilst as a general rule we do not offer refunds, if TicketSellers are able to re-sell your ticket, then you will be entitled to a refund. To be clear: this is not guaranteed and you will only be refunded if your ticket is able to be re-sold by TicketSellers.
If you can no longer attend and would like your ticket to be added to the re-sell list please contact Ticket Sellers directly. TicketSellers will not attempt re-sells beyond Friday 11th June.
It is also possible to amend the attendee name & contact on your ticket by logging into your TicketSellers account, but you can only do this once. All e-tickets will be sent to the email address of the account holder, the person who originally purchased the tickets – this email address cannot be amended. All e-tickets will be sent out via email on 28th June 2021, beyond this point you cannot change the attendee names associated with tickets. All attendee names on tickets will be cross-referenced against ID (driver’s license or passport) at gates upon entry to the festival.
This means that you can make changes to the names associated with a particular ticket but you do so only at your own discretion, and any financial arrangements in this exchange are undertaken at your own risk. We strongly discourage you to enter into an arrangement with somebody you do not know personally. If it is not a friend, please contact Ticket Seller’s directly to see if you can be added to the re-sell list.
I didn’t manage to get a ticket, will there be another release?
We know lots of people have missed out in the unprecedented rush for tickets this year. While we can’t guarantee how many will become available, TicketSellers will be operating a waiting list on a first come first serve basis – please sign up here. If tickets do become available, The TicketSellers will contact you directly and you’ll be given a link to purchase a ticket for Brainchild Festival 2021.
Please be aware that Volunteer positions are also now all oversubscribed. You cannot convert a volunteer ticket to a general release ticket (because they have sold out), if you have changed your mind and no longer want to volunteer, you must try to re-sell your volunteer ticket (via TicketSellers) and then join the general waiting list.
I can’t see my e-ticket in my inbox, where is it?
What’s on the festival site?
The festival site is made up of a main field, two camping fields and some woodlands. In addition to our performances areas & festival stages, there’ll be many art-installations and architectural pieces to explore.
The Kiosk is our on site shop where we sell all the wonderful things made by the artists and makers in the Brainchild networks. Stop by and browse through everything from records to books, DIY zines or hand-made bras or vintage clothes. There is also an opportunity to charge your phone but bring your charger!
What’s the deal with camping?
We’ve got a big campsite spreading over 2 fields adjoining the main festival area, so none of the hours of walking that you have to do at big festivals! Everybody camps together, there’s no VIP camping. All you need to do is bring your tent. Please note that campfires are not allowed at the festival.
For the first time, we will be introducing Camper Van pitches to the festival in 2021. Please stay tuned for more information on this coming out soon.
What should I bring with me?
Essentials: your ticket and some valid ID. Brainchild is an 18+ festival and you will need this and your ticket to get your wristband and gain entry. There is not a cash point on site so if you wish to carry cash bring it with you, but all the vendors have card machines.
Please do bring: things that will help you gain from the festival, so notebooks, yoga mats, cameras, instruments for the jams…
Please don’t bring any glass, fireworks or illegal substances. We have a zero tolerance approach to illegal drugs and psychoactive substances. Unfortunately, we can’t be responsible for anything hanging from trees, such as silks or hammocks as they are not covered in our insurance.
Alcohol: Per person, alcohol is limited to either: a 70cl bottle of spirits OR one crate of beer/cider/ale (12 cans) OR 1.5L of wine. Alcohol can only be brought in on first entry and must be decanted out of glass receptacles into plastic.
Is the festival family friendly?
Sadly not, Brainchild is an 18+ festival.
How accessible is your site for people with disabilities?
We are committed to supporting you in coming to Brainchild. Free Personal Assistant (PA) adult tickets are available for attendees with PIP, DLA middle or higher rate allowances, CredAbility Access Card, evidence of being registered severely sight impaired and a recognised Assistance Dog ID Card.
Please don’t worry if you do not have any of these things and still require support – it’s best to speak with us directly about your requirements so we can make the best possible arrangements for you. Please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
When does the festival start and finish?
Gates open at 12:00 on Friday 9th July, with acts beginning shortly afterwards – the sooner you can get on site the better!
Details of main-gate opening hours during the festival will be published on here nearer the time.
It’s definitely worth staying the whole weekend because things are still in full flow Sunday day and night time. All guests need to have vacated the site by noon on Monday 12th July.
How might Covid affect the festival?
This is the million dollar question we know will be on many of your minds to ask us. We wish we could tell you with certainty the exact ways in which live events in July may be altered, however at this stage, we cannot and it could be potentially misleading for us to go into detail on any one particular strategy.
Please be assured that we will take all reasonable steps to comply with any relevant guidelines intended to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and that we will only be running Brainchild if it is safe to do so. We will make you aware of these measures in advance of the festival dates.
We also promise to be transparent with you and publish updates on our plans and any changes we’re making when it is sensible to do so. If in the meantime you want to discuss any of this or have a specific question, please email us on email@example.com.
Get In Touch
For job opportunities, volunteering & artist submissions for our events or the festival, please head to our Get Involved page.
If you’re a catering company or food stall and are interested in trading at Brainchild Festival please fill out this initial form.
If you would like to be included on the Brainchild Media List (to receive our press releases) please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For general enquiries email email@example.com
We’ve opened up a Community Feedback survey for the Black people & People of Colour in our community to tell us about their experiences of Brainchild. It’s totally anonymous and we welcome responses any time through the year. We really appreciate the feedback, and the findings so far have gone directly to inform the changes we’re enacting within our organisation. So if you have something you’d like to tell us about – good or bad – please tell us. We promise it will be read, digested & acted on. Head here to see the Community Feedback survey.