Festival 2019

12-14 July

East Sussex


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 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 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 just under 3000 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. We hope that you will find something you love this year.

Winners of the AIM Award for Best Independent Festival 2015 & 2016!

★★★★ - The Independent

Festival Tickets




Each festival, over 300 leading & emerging artists contribute their work and ideas, from art installations and led discussions to DJ sets. So far, we’ve been lucky enough to work with artists including Sons of Kemet, Shanti Celeste, PECS Drag Kings, Kojey Radical, Nubya Garcia, Dego, Ross From Friends, Caleb Femi, Ezra Collective, Loyle Carner, Moses Boyd Exodus, Alice Phoebe Lou and hundreds of other brilliant people.

We’ve just released our first wave of music for Brainchild 2019, stay tuned this month for more releases! 👀

Hip HopMusic


“There’s always that weird thing that the Irish mentality doesn’t really lend itself to hip-hop in the traditional sense of braggadocio. We’re very self-deprecating people.” Kojaque

Dublin rapper Kojaque is an artist steadily gaining ground on the Irish and international music scene, thanks to his production style, stunning visuals, and biting lyrics. Co-founder of independent label Soft Boy Records, Kojaque mixes sampling and jazz beats with dynamic, poetic lyrics, showcasing life as a modern Dubliner. An established film-maker and visual artist as well as a musician, Kojaque’s multimedia performances and projects are unlike anything else in Irish hip-hop; brutal, honest, and beautiful at once.

The Dublin MC’s latest project is a concept-album called Deli Daydreams, which follows the life of a deli worker, deli’s being something of a great mundane leveller in urban Irish life. Characters and their perspectives populate Kojaque’s work across tracks, music videos and other film projects.



Allysha Joy

‘Allysha’s presence lingered over the entire room as she performed with the elegance and substance of Erykah Badu… With a soul as big as her talent, it’ll not be long before the rest of the world is at her feet with us.’  The AU Review

Allysha Joy is best known for performing in Melbourne Hip Hop collective 30/70, and their success over the past few years lead her to further challenging her expression in a project of her own. Allysha is pushing boundaries as a keys player, poet, singer and producer, and released her first solo record Acadie : Raw in 2018 (hailed as ‘Album of the Week’ by Music is my Sanctuary).

Whether performing solo on Fender Rhodes or accompanied by her band, featuring members of 30/70, Allysha’s steady groove, husky vocal tone and unique style of writing emanates her own personal truth and powerful energy.

Allysha Joy has performed alongside acts such as Sampa the Great, Man Made Mountain, MKO and Simon Mavin, of Hiatus Kaiyote.


Ben Hayes (Live)

Based in south east London, electronic musician Ben Hayes creates music somewhere between spiritual jazz, dance music, and experimental electronica. Lacing synthesisers and live instruments with found sounds, he expertly layers organic textures with punchy lopsided beats, whilst pulling out sounds of minute beauty that would otherwise pass us by.

Active in the bubbling south London scene, his work is interwoven into the sound of the area, having produced for Puma Blue, Poppy Ajudha, Oscar Jerome, Maisha and Carmody, collaborated with Nubya Garcia, Joe Armon-Jones and Maxwell Owin, and remixed Vök, Otzeki, Flamingods and SumoChief.

Facebook / Instagram / Bandcamp / Spotify


Brother’s Testament

Brother’s Testament are a groove based jazz fusion band from London. Consisting of Mark Mollison, Hugo Piper, Jack Robson and Munashe-Caleb Manyumbu, their sound amalgamates powerful grooves and stirring melodies whilst also being rooted in the jazz tradition. Brother’s Testament perform from the heart and embrace improvisation, so that the set manifests organically on stage differently each time.

Brother’s Testament have already captivated audiences at Jazz Cafe (supporting Antonio Sanchez), London Jazz Festival under the #jazznewbloodALIVE2018 series, Vortex Jazz club (headline show), Wilderness Festival (in association with Jazz:refreshed) and Jazz FM’s Jazz in the Round.

brainchild festivalHip HopMusic

Jerome Thomas

A true ‘genre-defying’ artist – Jerome Thomas is best known for his distinct and soothing sound, which samples various genres of music from Soul, Jazz to Jungle, R&B and Hip Hop.

In a year the vocal powerhouse’s musical status has boomed, headlining sold out shows at Camden Assembly, Hackney Empire, Queen of Hoxton; as well as collaborating on projects with industry pioneers BONDAX, Ty Macklin (Erykah Badu, India Arie.), Serious Klein, Ezra Collective’s Joe Armon-Jones, as well as Soulection’s Jarreau Vandal.

Already having strong support from key tastemakers under his belt from the likes of Afropunk, Earmilk, Clash, Complex, GENUIS, i-D, Highsnobiety, MTV, BBC 1Xtra/Radio 1 and Skull Candy, the Dalston native has cemented himself in his very own lane as one of the most dynamic and authentic voices to have emerged from the UK.



Lunch Money

Lunch Money first met at a local library as part of a rapidly expanding philosophical reading group. Forming the cultural arm of the organisation were the musicians that would later be known as Lunch Money.

Soon becoming dissatisfied with the direction of the group, they split to form a purely musical cell, whose wordless communications would prove the most effective medium for their message.

(In their own words)

Lunch Money are not your standard band. Comprised of members of Touching Bass Church Of Sound and Total Refreshment Centre they make music with synths, live instrumentation including trombone, sax and whatever they have to hand – all generated with a bag of forward motion. It’s going to move you. It’s going to surprise you. It’s just…. Going.


brainchild festivalMusic


Maisha are a six-piece group, led by bandleader Jake Long, who bring a fresh slant to the weighty spiritual jazz tradition, whilst filtering their own influences from jazz to hiphop to Afrobeat. The six-member collective includes Amané Suganami on piano/wurlitzer, Twm Dylan on double bass, Tim Doyle & Yahael Camara-Onono on percussion, Shirley Tetteh on guitar and features Nubya Garcia on saxophone. Expect trance-inducing rhythms, musical interchange, and deeply enriching melodies.

Their debut album ‘There Is A Place’, released on Brownswood Recordings in 2018, was called ‘a celebration of young, eclectic Britain’ by The Guardian, and reflects the scene and surrounds that shaped it – from the rehearsal rooms and friend’s houses that nurtured the band, to a peaceful, secluded park that prompted moments of reflection from bandleader Long.

Their debut EP was released through Jazz Re:freshed, and they were part of We Out Here, Brownswood’s early 2018 record documenting London’s genre-bending, jazz-influenced underground. They’ve been featured on Boiler Room, supported the Sun Ra Arkestra, and played at Church of Sound, a live series that’s quickly become a staple of this emergent scene.



Plumm is a London-based vocalist, instrumentalist and producer. Her dark, jazzy vocals are a distinctive feature of her unique sound, which is both gritty and evocative.

With her newly released EP entitled The Shed, Plumm’s influence from strong female jazz greats of the past, is married with an eclecticism in production and inspiration. The outcome is an eccentric sound, which is accentuated by the Plumm band when they perform live – bringing a whole new beautiful and ethereal dimension. 

Plumm trained in Jazz at the Julian Joseph Jazz Academy along with a degree in Ethnomusicology at SOAS, specialising in North Indian Classical music.

Spotify / Facebook / Instagram / Soundcloud



Sawa-Manga is the creative child of beat wizard D’Vo and vocalist/poet And Is Phi, joined by a string section comprised of Maria Osuchowska on Harp, Mark Mollison on Electric Guitar, and Saskia Horton on Electric Violin. It is an exploration of musical landscapes, deep sea diving into liminal places for storytelling. It is sway, funk, blue flame. It is an ethereal electronic driven exploration rooted in a fusion of hip hop, r&b, soul and jazz.

Hip HopMusic


Shunaji is a lyricist, producer and MC. Her sound is inspired by a wide array of genres, such as abstract hip hop, trip hop, lo-fi and synthwave. Shunaji likes to keep her influences fluid and uses visual arts as a reference.

Her lyrics addess topics such as womanism, mental health, race and class, and she has a series of alter egos such as Sick Ranchez, Princess Solo and Yagalla Molasse, which enable her to change direction with her music, and reflect her erratic personality.

She was recognised by Brownswood Recordings in 2017 when she joined the label’s Future Bubblers programme. She has been the recipient of MOBO Help Musicians Fund and in 2018 she became a resident artist at Roundhouse. She is soon to release her sophomore project in 2019 following her debut Midnight Movie in 2018.

Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Spotify


Steam Down

Steam Down is an artist collective, weekly event and music community based in Deptford, South-East London.

Founded by Ahnanse in May 2017, Steam Down is comprised of Alex Rita, Brother Portrait, Sawa Manga, Theon Cross, Nadeem, Benjamin Appiah, Dominic Canning and Nache. Their weekly sessions are a magical explosion of Afrofuturism, grime and future soul, fused together with the spontaneity of jazz.

Previously having had guest appearances from the likes of Kamasi Washington, Sampa The Great, Nubya Garcia and Sons of Kemet, these exuberant congregations are an immersive musical experience for audiences, where healing vibes and compulsive dancing are just as important as the music.




Get In Touch

For job opportunities, volunteering & artist submissions for our monthly scratch night ‘Hatch’, please head to our Get Involved page.

For press/marketing requests email lucy@brainchildfestival.co.uk

For food trading enquiries email jasper@brainchildfestival.co.uk

For general enquiries email team@brainchildfestival.co.uk

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