Sat 5 – Sun 27 May

The largest annual, curated multi-arts festival in England, has announced its Guest Director for this year will be Turner Prize-nominated visual artist and Brighton resident David Shrigley. Known for his darkly humorous works whoch comment on the absurd, inconsequential and disquieting elements of daily life, the artist’s offbeat take is reflected in an eclectic programme spanning music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate.

From Brighton Festival commission Problem in Brighton, a brand new alt rock/pop pantomime written and directed by David Shrigley himself, to a live durational reading of Camus’ seminal The Myth of Sisyphus, and appearances from award-winning stand-up Bridget Christie and genderqueer rock’n’roll hero Ezra Furman, it’s set to be a provocative and inspiring season.

David Shrigley makes a number of appearances in the programme including Life Model II, a follow-up to the artist’s Turner Prize-nominated installation of the same name, an illustrated talk billed as a containing numerous rambling anecdotes not in the slightest bit boring’, and a screening of a documentary about his work titled A Shit Odyssey.

Events close to the artist’s heart include an exclusive collaboration between orchestral collective Stargaze and one of his favourite bands, Deerhoof; an exhibition by San- Francisco-based artist and trucker Brett Goodroad; and a double bill from his friend Malcolm Middleton, one half of Arab Strap, and Scottish musician Iain Shaw, whose quirky folk song-smithery has turned Shrigley’s poems into incisive songs on albums like Awesome and Listening to Slayer.

Other highlights include: Calixto Bieito’s The String Quartet’s Guide to Sex and Anxiety, a remarkable new production from one of Europe’s most exciting theatre directors; Grand Finale by 2014’s Guest Director Hofesh Shechter; and The Arms of Sleep, an overnight choral sleepover experience from The Voice Project in which audiences encounter a unique dream-like night of music stories, sound and images.

Brighton Festival also continues its emphasis on programming work in the community with the return of Your Place – two weekends of free performances and arts activities in Hangleton and East Brighton.

Delivered in partnership with Brighton People’s Theatre and community steering groups, both weekends will present international and national artists alongside local artists and community groups. Your Place joins regular free, participatory events such as City Reads and Young City Reads; and Without Walls, two afternoons of free arts in the parks; and the return of last year’s initiative which encourages audiences to Pay-It-Forward by donating £5 on top of their ticket price to be match-funded by Brighton Festival to create a £10 Festival ticket voucher for someone unable to afford the opportunity.

For more details on these shows, and the entire festival season, head to: www.brightonfestival.org