Brighton Festival's guest director, musician, DJ and broadcaster Nabihah Iqbal, invites audiences to “gather round” in a celebration of community, collaboration and the joy of shared experiences.

Across the visual art programme, which takes place between May 6 and 28, this ethos is echoed in events including a large-scale outdoor installation that relies on people working together, a soundscape that invites people to explore the Sumatran rainforest from over 6,000 miles away and art exhibitions exploring friendship and family.

The Argus: Nabihah IqbalNabihah Iqbal (Image: Shahir Iqbal)

Award-winning Australian artist Matthias Schack-Arnott fuses sound and movement into evocative, atmospheric experiences spanning live performances, public art and installations.

Groundswell is the UK premiere of a free, immersive installation running throughout this year’s festival, exploring the ground beneath our feet and how we tread upon the earth.

Bystanders are invited on to a raised platform, where every person’s movement sets in motion thousands of illuminated balls to create oceanic waves of sound and light, highlighting the power of collaboration. Groundswell is presented in partnership with Brighton Fringe and made possible by The Pebble Trust, whose annual support of Brighton Festival’s major productions and installations offers audiences innovative ways of seeing and experiencing the city.

The Argus: GroundswellGroundswell (Image: Keith Tucker)

The world premiere of award-winning interactive arts studio Invisible Flock’s immersive soundscape The Sleeping Tree will surround audiences with the sounds of the Sumatran rainforest, from dusk till dawn over Brighton Festival’s opening weekend.

Using field recordings from three-month study of the jungle, the installation changes hour to hour as it follows the path of a family of endangered Siamang gibbons as they wake, roam, and sleep. On May 7, Iqbal and Invisible Flock will collaborate live within the installation for a sound performance highlighting the connection between humans and the forest.

The Argus: The Sleeping TreeThe Sleeping Tree (Image: Invisible Flock)

Another world premiere and Brighton Festival commission is photographer and film-maker Reuben Bastienne-Lewis’s first solo exhibition, Parachute, from May 6 to July 2. Acting as a diaristic photographic record, Bastienne-Lewis uses intimate portraits of people, places and events to form a visual autobiography of South London youth culture, enlivened by friendship, community and love.

Continuing a process the artist began as a teenager, the free exhibition coincides with the release of a photobook of the same name, in a metaphor of growing up, having trust in your process and falling into the unknown future.

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A Future Memory (May 6 to 27) from painter Mohammed Adel is inspired by ideas of existence and remembrance, offering a window into the nuances of a dual British-Bengali identity.

Using his own home as a reference, Adel’s paintings expose the tensions between the familiar and the distant and the personal and the universal, to reflect the gap that exists between identities.

Marking the completion of a major refurbishment project, Brighton Dome’s Grade I and II listed Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre reopen to the community with the immersive Van Gogh Alive as the inaugural event from May 12. The exhibition features over 3,000 images of the Dutch artist's work spectacularly presented in stunning detail, with accompanying sounds, visuals and even aromas of Provence to bring his paintings to life.

Explore the full programme at