Review: Brainchild Festival, Sussex

Brainchild Festival seems to be more of a community than just a single yearly festival - with events all year round put on by the organisers, featuring their group of musical, thought-provoking and artistic friends.

It’s like going to a house party full of someone else’s close friends where you're welcomed with open arms, given a vegan fried chicken sub, invited to take your top off (but only if you’re comfortable with it), partake in some wholesome and inspiring conversations, dance the night away, and sit under the stars talking in earnest for hours about things you wont remember to someone who’ll be a glittery memory by tomorrow.

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There were SO many stand out activities from the weekend:

 Life drawing and modelling - Taking turns to be the naked model in a small group really created a supportive communal vibe, where you realised the true beauty in everybody’s nakedness and how fun it was to try and capture it on paper.

Alice Phoebe Lou - A petite, incredibly bouncy gal on-stage, warming your heart with her cheerfulness and vulnerability, and then taking your breath away with her soulful singing and jazzy arrangements.

You, Me and the Distance Between Us - A heartfelt and self-aware drama piece about a volunteer’s time spent at various refugee camps. Ellen Muriel expresses her moral dilemma at telling other people’s stories for them, and how volunteers can often do more harm than good. It was compelling with various techniques such as shadow puppetry and singing.

PECS - An inCREDibly fun and sexy drag king show. Funny performer names included Thrustin Limbersnake and Drag King Cole, and we immensely enjoyed every performance, with Izzy Aman’s casual strip act just about topping it off. The compere Loose Willis was also hilarious!

Kojey Radical - one of the only Rap/Grime act (at least that I saw), such a good show all round - the music, the lights, and of course Kojey himself was a great performer, (taking his top prompted many excited ‘wooo’s).

Silent Disco - The open air music stopped at 2am, leaving us to sample the silent disco delight of being able to control your own volume, and taking your headset off to giggle at everyone mumble singing around you. Just don’t made the classic faux pas of wandering into the smoking area and shouting excitedly and incoherently about a song that had just come on like I did.

After getting over the initial festival zombie-hangover, I spoke softer and slower (think surfer dude hazy), felt happier, wished I could be topless all the time, thought about places I could be topless in (nudist beach anyone?), and forgot that not everyone was in the mindset of “ladies, gentlemen and non binaries” (how acts were often introduced).

It was like I had carried the essence of Brainchild home with me, and I know it will last much longer than the glitter and dust that had turned my shower water a delightful sparkly brown. See you there next year! 

Written by Zoe Brownrigg.

Photography by Jordan Matyka. You can find more of Jordan's photography on his website or on Instagram @fotomatyka