Welcome to Brainchild Festival, our three day festival celebrating the DIY spirit, art, music and ideas of the people around us.
We connect and stitch together the collectives, communities and creative projects that inspire us throughout the year into a program of live music, jam sessions, spoken word, DJ sets, talks, workshops, film, theatre and installation art.
The festival is a meeting of minds; it is very intimate, with artists, crew and festival-goers all camping together and no VIP areas on site. We push important conversations and interdisciplinary art to the forefront 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 amazing artists. We hope that you will find something you love this year.
Winners of the AIM Award for Best Independent Festival 2015 & 2016!
★★★★ - The Independent
Brainchild has become a big creative network of people who share values, and the festival is our 3 day celebration to bring as many of them together as we can. Every year, over 300 artists contribute their work and ideas, be they art installations, led discussions or DJ sets.
Our 2018 festival programme is currently being cooked up. Stay tuned for our first announcements coming at the end of February.
If you want to play, perform a show, lead a workshop or talk, make an installation or bring another kind of project to the festival, please fill out the appropriate form below:
Programme Submission form (live music, DJ sets, film, poetry, theatre, talks and workshops), deadline is the 2nd March.
Art Installation Proposal form (art installations and visuals), deadline is the 10th February.
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, the festival has now happened five times, in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016 & 2017.
We do not focus on any specific genre or art-form. Our focus is on the spirit behind them, and 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 go on sale nearer to the event.
You will be able to purchase a car park pass soon from our main tickets page.
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’ll make a lift-share group 6 weeks before the festival and post it on here.
What’s on the festival site?
The festival site is intimate, split between one main field, one camping field and some adjoining woodland. There will be many art-installations and architectural pieces, as well as our six different performance areas.
There’s the Brainstage for live music, The Shack for dance music, The Forum for spoken word, talks, theatre and workshops, The Den for skill-sharing sessions, screenings and multi-media shows, and our brand new bar space for live music and collaborations with organisations and nights we love.
What’s the deal with camping?
We’ve got a big campsite right next to the main festival area, none of the hours of walking that you have to do at big festivals! The camping area is big enough for everyone at the festival to camp together. All you need to do is bring your tent. Please bear in mind we can’t have campervans or campfires at the festival.
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.
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 legal highs.
Is the festival family friendly?
Sadly not. Brainchild is an 18+ festival, so we can’t allow kids on site.
How do you cater for disabilities?
Please get in touch with us about any requirements that you have and we can arrange priority parking spaces, camping and stage seating.
When does the festival start and finish?
Gates open at 12:00 on Friday 7th 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.
All guests need to have vacated the site by noon on Monday 10th July.
Get In Touch
To apply to play, perform, make an installation or tell us about another idea, please find the appropriate form in our lineup section.
For London based projects please check out Platform, our HQ in Southwark, London where we put on events and projects – maybe your idea can happen there.
For volunteering inquiries, email tomo
For site and production email matt
For food traders email jasper
For press and partnerships email alice
For any other enquiries email team