The organisers of a groundbreaking festival have urged community groups to get involved to make it more successful. About 50 people attended the first meeting of Brighton Digital Festival 2014 at the Emporium in London Road. Vicki Hughes, boss at Fugu PR, said last year’s event was the biggest ever, featuring 174 events and attracting 40,931 people, an increase of 63% on the 2012 festival. Phil Jones, managing director of Wired Sussex and a member of the festival’s management consortium, said they would be submitting a bid to Arts Council England for funding of around £200,000 over two years. Last year’s event was funded by Arts Council England, American Express and Brighton and Hove City Council. Mr Jones said the bid would draw on the work of Brighton Fuse, launched last year, which demonstrated the link between arts organisations in the city and the technical sector. He said: “The festival will still go ahead if we do not get the funding but it will not be on the same scale as previous events. This is not just about Wired Sussex. We want to be part of the festival but we do not want to own it. We want more the festival to feature more grass roots events.” Jon Pratty, relationship manager, creative media at Arts Council England, said that the festival had a great track record and that if the organisers submitted a strong bid, they stood a good chance of securing the funding. He said: “This is not just about weird niche arts events. It is about helping young people find great careers in industry.” Anyone who wants to volunteer can find more information at the 2014 festivals’ Facebook page. The Argus: sendusyournews

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