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Our mission is to give emerging artists & young adults the space and community they need to creatively engage with what matters to them. Over eight years, we have provided commissioning, performing & development opportunities to over 2000 artists and thousands more wonderful people who have made the festival so special every year.

We’ve fought hard to keep Brainchild going against the odds, volunteering all our time for six years to keep it alive. We’d finally set out a plan for our future that could protect us as a sponsor-free, values led event that paid its team when this pandemic hit.

This crisis presented by Covid has been our greatest challenge yet. In 2020 we lost all our income, and it was only thanks to the Arts Council and our incredible Crowdfunder supporters (thank you!) that we were able to survive. Whilst we’ve got through 2020, our business model is still entirely broken and every single donation made will help us to survive through to the other end of this pandemic.

So if you’ve had special memories, learned something new, met people you love or discovered artists that changed your life at Brainchild then please consider making a donation.

Audience & Artist Testimonials  

“Brainchild isn’t just a festival but a community of​ ​artists dedicated to nurturing and furthering each​ ​other’s work. I went from attending Brainchild to​ ​performing there to receiving work opportunities​ ​from those performances. Brainchild has created​ ​a growing family of often marginalised voices​ ​and given them a space to connect, flourish and​ ​breathe together. I have made some brilliant​ ​connections and friends through Brainchild and at​ ​times like these – this is essential for the arts.” Rachel Nwokoro (poet)

‘Before Glastonbury, Bestival, North Sea Jazz Festival or SXSW, Brainchild gave me, the independent artist with a small fan base and no money the platform and opportunity to build upon that. Brainchild Festival was one of the first. And they continue to do that each year with a line up that champions the smaller artists that need that platform.’ Femi Koleoso (musician, Ezra Collective)

“The general feeling that women, femmes, trans-women and nonbinary individuals were not only able to take space but actively encouraged to. That was hugely important and moving for me, and drew my attention to how in real life the opposite is nearly always true.” (audience member, 2019)

“It is just such a refreshing reminder of the creativity of all of us, whether we can play an instrument or not. I’ve come away inspired by the kindness and beauty and joy in everyone in that field that weekend, bigged up by the fearlessness of particularly all the women/nonbinary people who showed up and off and were unapologetically themselves. Its the most diverse festival I’ve ever been to and the most accepting, and I’ll bring that with me everyday and wherever I go.” (audience member, 2019)


“Not least among these was Brainchild, a place which has, and continues to bring artists of all stripes and backgrounds together with a singular energy and determination, forging partnerships, both personal and creative as it goes. And it is this which pertains to the true brilliance of Brainchild: it is less a festival in the standard sense than it is a community of likeminded people, engaged in a common artistic endeavour and united by a shared ethos. Moreover, like all good communities, it isn’t a closed one, but rather one which grows organically, permitting membership to anyone who shares those same vision and ideals.” Loose Lips

‘DIY Festival proves the future of British art is in safe hands.’The Independent