Brighton Fringe is turning to the public to ensure the 2019 festival can go ahead as planned after losing more than £70,000 in sponsorship deals since 2016.

The festival’s long-standing headline sponsor, Citroen, has pulled out of its relationship ahead of this year’s event.

The car manufacturer had backed the Fringe since 2011, but in February it decided it would no longer be a sponsor.

The move has almost halved the sponsorship pot for the 2018 festival, which is the largest arts festival in England and run as a charity This has left a deficit of more than 14 per cent in total income this year.

The organisers have now set up a crowdfunding page with a target of £20,000, which they hope they can raise in time for the opening night on May 4.

While public cash currently makes up only a small portion of the Fringe’s budget, it is now needed to secure the future of the festival in its current form for 2019 and beyond.

Rewards for donors include merchandise packs, tickets to shows and VIP invitations.

There is even the opportunity to name the official Fringe cocktail in return for pledging £180.

As well as asking for public support, the Fringe will be looking to raise money from new sponsors and other funders.

The Fringe’s managing director, Julian Caddy, said: “Brighton Fringe has always relied on support from our community.

“We get only three per cent of our funding from public sources, so we are hugely thankful for everyone who gets involved to make Brighton Fringe such an exciting, varied and accessible event.

“The loss of our headline sponsor this year has hit us hard.

But we are resilient and look forward to rolling with the punches and finding new ways to work with our community.

“In these tough economic times, it is more important than ever to make space for open access arts programmes.

“Brighton Fringe offers an unparalleled platform for expression, and this is something we’re so passionate about the value of.

“So please, get involved in the crowdfunding campaign and be part of your festival.”

This year’s festival will run from May 4 to June 3, with more than 500,000 people expected to attend some 4,000 performances across 155 venues.

The Fringe employs 15 year-round staff, 25 seasonal staff, creates hundreds of employment opportunities citywide and awards more than £25,000 in financial support to participants each year.

Visit to donate.