The country’s largest arts festival launches today with more than 850 events taking place in the city over the next month.

Brighton Fringe is serving up all genres of arts including comedy, cabaret, circus performances, films, spoken word and exhibitions.

Highlights of this year’s festival include the “seasons programme” with The Dutch Season, which brings the best of Amsterdam Fringe to Brighton for the first time, a pan-African cultural exchange, the Culture Connex Festival hosted at Ironworks Studios and Uncommon Comedy, a clown and mask festival taking place at The Old Market this weekend.

Across the rest of the city you can explore venues from the Houseboat Verda in Shoreham, the Poets Smoke and Ale House in Hove, The Rotunda Theatre in Regency Square, Brighton Spiegeltent in the Old Steine, Arcobaleno in Kemp Town and more than 100 other venues throughout the city.

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New for this year is Caravanserai, an immersive pop-up festival site first established at Camp Bestival in 2013.

The event is built from repurposed caravans with vintage fairground waltzers where hoopla stalls and shoot-out galleries become bars.

It is free to enter and offers delicious street food and a dedicated family area for children.

Caravanserai will host two theatre venues with a programme of theatre, circus and cabaret plus a late-night music programme.

Brighton Fringe chief executive Julian Caddy said: “This is the very best time of year and the excitement is palpable and building.

“Nowhere else in England can you find the scale and scope of creative work that is happening in Brighton and Hove during the months of May and June.

“I’d like to thank the thousands of people involved in making Brighton Fringe what it is. It’s been a long road to recovery but this is already a bumper year in terms of advance ticket sales. I can’t wait to join you on the journey.”