More than 200 artistic delights are on offer at this year's Brighton Festival, which runs from May 3 to 25.

During the festival, we'll be running reviews and previews every day in the Festival Guide and there will also be a daily page of news, pictures and gossip.

Booking opens on February 29. Visit or call 01273 709709.

A nightclub in West Street, a disused pizza parlour and a graveyard are among the unusual venues this year.

Brighton Festival has made promenade performances its hallmark and this year is no exception.

Among the most promising is Happy Together, which takes a look at Brighton's status as a hen and stag night hotspot.

The audience will tag along as two groups - stags and hens - set out across the city, sharing secrets and singing songs.

En route the procession will swell with extra performers and end with a dance-off at Tru nightclub in West Street.

Audience members will sit among the gravestones for performances of Romeo And Juliet in Dyke Road Rest Garden.

So Close To Home tells the story of Robert, a chef who has just found his father and is losing his son.

Staged in the former X-Press Pizza Co restaurant in Circus Parade, this is a new production from Mark Wheatley, of theatre company Complicite.

An Infinite Line, at The Basement, will explore the peculiar quality of light in Brighton, using projectors and live nighttime performances.

Frantic Assembly will stage Bryony Lavery's love story Stockholm.

Actors from the RSC and National Theatre will perform speeches and bite-sized scenes from Shakespeare at Pizza Express in Jubilee Square.

Open air
Wild Park will host a major promenade spectacle called The Bell, one of seven free outdoor events in the schedule.

The 45-minute display will take place at 10pm on Saturday, May 10, and again the following day.

Pyrotechnic specialists World Famous will transform the park into a warring land, razed to the ground by invading forces, with the survivors played by actors from acclaimed company Periplum.

Periplum will also present Arquiem at Brighton College, which will feature stilt walkers, acrobatics, pyrotechnics and mobile structures.

It is inspired by William Blake's The Songs Of Innocence And Experience and Robert Browning's poem Porphyria's Lover.

Portslade's Bafta-nominated Blast Theory will present Rider Spoke, which premiered at the Barbican in London last year.

Audience members saddle up and hit the streets of Brighton, using handlebarmounted video consoles to record memories or eavesdrop on other players.

The Bureau Of Silly Ideas will bring chaos to Jubilee Square for four days with their installation The Burst Pipe Dream.

The floor of the Fabrica gallery will become a screen for Australian company Chunky Move's dance installation Glow.

The audience will watch from above as the solo performer triggers sensors that switch on sound, light and animation.

The Ballet National De Marseille will premiere Metamorphoses, loosely inspired by Ovid's epic poem.

Canadian company lemieux.pilon 4d art will bring film-maker Norman McLaren's abstract animations to life using virtual projections and live theatre, while dancer Peter Trosztmer interacts with the pulsing images.

Bahok is a collaboration between the Akram Khan Company, the National Ballet Of China, composer Nitin Sawhney and a cast of dancers from across the globe.

Brighton Dome's 1936 pipe organ will be put through its paces by Australians The Necks, German electronica innovator Robert Lippok and Matt Stokes, whose venture will see two organists perform happy hardcore and black metal.

South African singer Miriam Makeba is among the musical coups this year.

The star has performed with everyone from Nina Simone to David Bowie.

Funk fans will love the line-up for Still Black, Still Proud - a musical tribute to James Brown.

Sax player Pee Wee Ellis and trombonist Fred Wesley were part of the Godfather Of Soul's seminal line-up. They will be joined by special guests Manu Dibango, Cheikh Lo and Afrobeat pioneer Tony Allen.

Daughters Of Albion features folk artists Norma Waterson, June Tabor and Kathryn Williams.

Fat Cat Nights brings Vashti Bunyan, Vetiver, Nina Nastasia and others together at the Theatre Royal.

Classical fans can enjoy concerts from the Tokyo String Quartet, The Marriage Of Figaro and the Philharmonia Orchestra performing Jonathan Harvey and Mahler.

Books and debate
Jarvis Cocker, Alex James, Mark E Smith and Neil Tennant lend a musical slant to the literary programme.

Pulp frontman Cocker will be exploring the function of lyrics in popular song in his lecture Saying The Unsayable at Brighton Dome on May 23.

Blur bassist Alex James will describe how he swapped champagne and cocaine for cheese-making in the Cotswolds.

Mark E Smith will be spilling the beans on the drugs, incarceration, bankruptcy, divorce and music of his life in The Fall.

Other delights include lectures by James Meek, Val McDermid, Hanif Kureishi, Wendy Cope, Augusten Burroughs, Julie Myerson and Tim Winton.

Five-time Oscar nominee and Bafta winner Mike Leigh will reflect on his work and, during a rare visit to these shores, America's first man of letters Gore Vidal will look back over his 60-year career.

BBC journalist and former Argus reporter Alan Johnston will give an account of his 114-day hostage ordeal and life in Gaza.

The Government's former chief scientific adviser Sir David King will be revealing what our leaders really think about climate change.

And Clive Stafford Smith, the British lawyer who represents prisoners on death row and in Guantanamo Bay, will talk about his latest book.

Former MP Oona King will join philosopher AC Grayling, BBC political editor Nick Robinson and writer Melissa Benn to debate trust in the political process.

Friends of the late comedian Linda Smith will reunite audiences with her comic genius in a two-hour show.

26 Letters is back, with visits from a host of favourite children's artists and performers including Michael Rosen, Lyn Gardner, Ian Whybrow and Cliff McNish.

The Children's Parade will wind its way from Sydney Street to Madeira Drive on May 3.

St Anne's Well Gardens will be the setting for another family day, this year in the company of Peter Pan and friends.

Click here to see the exclusive Brighton Festival preview video

What are you looking forward to at this year's Brighton Festival? Leave your comments below.