38 brilliant things to do in Brighton this May
Brighton Seafront

Filled with delicious foodie events, fab films, great gigs and more festivals than you can shake a stick at, May is shaping up to be a killer month for Brighton.

Check out our events guide highlighting all the fun things to do in the city this May.

29 April until May 2: Beer Fest at The Watchmakers Arms – Brighton ale fans rejoice! The Watchmakers, Brighton and Hove’s first micropub, will be holding a mini beer festival to celebrate their birthday. Be there or be square. (Friday 29 April – Monday 2 May, The Watchmaker’s Arms, 84 Goldstone Villas, Hove, BN3 3RU, more info)

April 30, May 1 and 2: Foodies Festival – Feast in the Street Food Avenue; learn to bake in the Cake and Bake Theatre; enjoy afternoon tea in the Vintage Tea Tent; and taste wine, champagne and craft beer in the Drinks Theatre. Foodies Festival is shaping up to be huge, and is a much see for anyone who loves their grub. (Saturday 30 April to Monday 2 May, from £11, Hove Lawns, Hove, more info).

April 30 – May 30: Artists’ Open Houses – Each weekend over this month, artists in Brighton, Hove, Ditchling, Rottingdean and the Ouse valley will be opening their homes and studios to show you their artwork. More than 1,200 artists are taking part, and will be showing visitors their sculpture, painting, jewellery, ceramics, and textiles. (Saturday 30 April – Monday 30 May, more info)

May 1: Brighton Tattoo Convention After Party – The Brighton Tattoo Convention After Party kicks off at Coalition at 7.30pm. Resident DJs will be performing until the early hours, and the bartenders will be shaking up some great drinks – entry to this event will be with a tattoo convention wristband only so make sure you grab yours whilst you are at the Brighton Centre over the weekend! (Sunday 1 May, Coalition, 171-181 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB, more info)

May 1: Studio Ghibli Forever: Nausicaä of The Valley of the Wind – Throughout May, the Duke of York’s Picturehouse will be hosting a Studio Ghibli Forever season, celebrating the visionary Japanese animation house. It all kicks off with the tale of the warrior and pacifist Princess Nausicaä as she struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves. (Sunday, 1 May, from £9.50, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA, more info)

May 1: Wax Worx @ Coalition – Wax Worx will be bringing house music to Blow After Hours at Coalition this May, along with Enzo Siffredi. (Sunday 1 May, Coalition, 171-181 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB, more info)

May 2: Trash – £150 giveaway – Doors open from 11pm at Coalition with DJ G23 playing the main room until the early hours. Trash cashback gives you the chance to win a cheque for £150! £3 guest list available here. (Monday 2 May, Coalition, 171-181 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB, more info)

May 3 – 7: King Lear – The Shakespeare classic will be hitting Brighton’s Theatre Royal this month, featuring four time Olivier Award nominee Michael Pennington. (Tuesday 3 May – Saturday 7 May, from £12.50, Theatre Royal Brighton, New Road, Brighton, BN1 1SD, more info)

May 5 – June 5: The Warren – A festival within a festival, The Warren will be hosting all Otherplace shows this May. There’s going to be cabaret, comedy, dance and physical theatre, kids and family shows, film, opera, music, theatre and workshops – so something for everyone! (Thursday 5 May to Sunday 5 June, The Warren, St Peters North Church, York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU, more info)

May 5: We Are Scientists – The New York indie rockers will be heading to Brighton on Thursday, May 5. Catch them at Concorde 2 from 7pm. (Thursday 5 May, Concorde 2, Madeira Shelter Hall, Brighton, BN2 1EN, more info)

May 6 – June 5: Brighton Fringe – There are over 900 events in the What’s On listings for Brighton Fringe this year, from cabaret to comedy, and from theatre to dance. Poetry, plays, music, crime scene improvs, and fun of all kind. Be sure to get along to as many Fringe events as possible this year! (Friday 6 May – Sunday 5 June, more info)

May 7 – 29: Brighton Festival – That’s right, not only have you got all the excitement of Brighton Fringe, you’ve also got all the Brighton Festival events to look forward to. LED light drawings at the newly reopened Fabrica, film fests, futurology, and photographic trips down memory lane – Brighton Festival with have something to inspire everyone. (Saturday 7 May – Sunday 29 May, more info)

May 7: The Prototypes Present – After the success of their ‘Odyssey Tour’ THE PROTOTYPES return to Coalition Brighton with their heaviest line up yet. (Saturday 7 May, , Coalition, 171-181 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB, more info)

May 8: Studio Ghibli Forever: Laputa, Castle in the Sky – The Duke of York’s Picturehouse continues it’s Studio Ghibli Forever season with Laputa, Castle in the Sky, a story about two orphans, a flying island, and ecology. (Sunday, 8 May, from £9.50, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA, more info)

May 8: The Howling Hex – Check out the American rock band The Howling Hex as they perform at the Prince Albert this month. Gig starts at 8pm. (Sunday 8 May, £8, The Prince Albert, 48 Trafalgar Street, Brighton, BN1 4ED, more info)

May 8: #WalkForEquality – Want to do something fun and help other people? You can join Stonewall UK in Brighton on May 8 for their Equality Walk. They’re hoping to raise £40,000 to send LGBT role models into schools to inspire young people. (Sunday 8 May, £15 registration, Brighton Royal Pavilion Gardens, 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton, BN1 1EE, more info)

May 8: Tindersticks – The English alternative rock back will be heading to Brighton Dome to perform on May 8. (Sunday 8 May, Church Street, Brighton, BN1 1UE, more info)

May 12: The Nightingales – Championed by John Peel and attaining cult status in the 80s, The Nightingales are now heading to Brighton to perform at The Green Door Store this month. (Thursday 12 May, The Green Door Store, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton Train Station, Brighton, BN1 4FQ, more info)

May 14: The Eurovision Song Contest Party – The Duke of York’s Picturehouse will be beaming this year’s Eurovision contest onto the big screen at the cinema, broadcast live from Stockholm. There’s also going to be a pre-show party mix of classic and perhaps forgotten Euro hits, as well as costumes and decorations. (Saturday 14 May, from £20, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA, more info)

May 15: Sans Soleil – Screening as part of Brighton Festival, Sans Soleil is an essay film, a poetic documentary tour of Tokyo, Guinea-Bissau, Iceland and San Francisco. Catch it at the Duke of York’s cinema at 1.30pm. (Sunday 15 May, from £9.50, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA, more info)

May 16 – 22: National Vegetarian Week at 1847 – 1847, one of the great vegetarian restaurants that Brighton has to offer, will be launching a special ‘free from’ menu to celebrate National Vegetarian Week, demonstrating that food can still be delicious and indulgent without using dairy, gluten or meat. (Monday 16 May – Sunday 22 May, 1847, 103 North Road, Brighton, BN1 1YW, more info)

May 19: Three Chefs Go To The Musicals – Part of the year-round Brighton Food Festival, the Three Chefs will be cooking up a show stopping dinner at Jeremy’s Restaurant in Borde Hill. Tickets £50 in advance, available from the restaurant. (Thursday 19 May, Jeremy’s Restaurant, Borde Hill Gardens, Haywards Heath, RH16 1XP, more info)

May 19: Oh Wonder – Fans of the alt-pop duo Oh Wonder? Then go grab some tickets before they sell out! (Thursday 19 May, £112, All Saints Church, The Drive, Hove, BN3 3QE, more info)

May 19 – May 20: Scuzz UK Throwdown – Fancy two nights of some of the best hard rock and metal in the UK, with free entry? Get down to AIM presents SCUZZ UK THROWDOWN at Alternative Escape during The Great Escape Festival, held at Volks Club this month. (Thursday 19 May – Friday 20 May, Volks Club, 3 The Colonnade, Madeira Drive, BN2 1PS, more info)

May 20: Centenary Celebrations at Charleston – The Charleston Festival is the place for you if you love books, ideas and creativity, and the event, which runs from May 20 to May 30, kicks off with a centenary celebration. (Friday 20 May, £14, Charleston, Firle, Lewes, BN8 6LL, more info)

May 19 – 21: The Great Escape – Be sure not to miss The Great Escape, Europe’s leading festival for new music which will be taking place in multiple locations across the city. Grab your tickets online here. (Thursday 19 May – Saturday 21 May, more info)

May 23: Cocktail Fusion – Join chefs and mixologists as they create a mixed-up, mashed-up cocktail fusion night at The Plotting Parlour from 7pm until 9pm. (Monday 23 May, £25 per person, The Plotting Parlous, 6 Seine Street, Brighton, BN2 1TE, more info)

May 26: Bitter & Twisted – Bitter & Twisted is returning to Brighton so that you can enjoy a night of craft beer and cider tasting with brewers from Sussex and from across the UK. (Thursday 26 May, £25 per person, Hove Lawns, Hove, BN3 2WN, more info)

May 26: Andy Shauf – The folk artist Andy Shauf will be heading to Brighton’s The Hope on May 26, so head along to hear some great, chill out tunes. (Thursday 26 May, £9, The Hope, 11 Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3WA, more info)

May 27-28: Brighton Illustration Fair – Love illustration? Need some artsy inspiration? Head along to the Brighton Illustration Fair to see a plethora of forms from comics, prints, small press, zines, t-shirts, animation, live art and more. The team from BIF will also be pulling together a selected array of screening and talks. (Friday 27 May to Saturday 28 May, One Church, Gloucester Place, Brighton, BN1 4AA, more info)

May 28: Follakzoid – The cosmic psych music group are heading to Bleach this month. Catch them perform from 8pm. (Saturday 28 May, Bleach, 75 London Road, Brighton, BN1 4JF, more info)

May 28: Funk the Festival – An all-day festival for music-loving families, Funk the Family will be hosting a huge range of activities for kids and adults, as well as a great music line-up – and the infamous Club Tropicana DJ tent. (Saturday 28 May, Goldstone Crescent, Hove, BN3 6LS, more info)

May 28 – 30: Beach BBQ Cook Off – This fun barbeque challenge will see two chefs go head to head with meat and marinades. Free entry, and you get to sample tasters of the dishes that the chefs prepare. Come along and cheer your favourite restaurant on. (Saturday 28 May, Hove Lawns, Hove, BN3 2WN, more info)

May 29: Asward – Enjoy the English reggae group perform at Concorde 2 this month. Gig kicks off at 4.30pm. (Sunday 29 May, Concorde 2, Madeira Shelter Hall, Brighton, BN2 1EN, more info)

May 29: The Moon and the Sledgehammer – Another screening as part of Brighton Festival, The Moon and the Sledgehammer is the story of the Page family as they manage without running water, electricity or gas in a rural Sussex home. A rare screening of a cult classic. (Sunday 29 May, from £9.50, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA, more info)

May 29: Lone at Patterns – Electronic innovator Lone will be performing in Brighton this month as part of Patterns’ Sunday sessions. Event starts at 9pm and finishes at 3am. (Sunday 29 May, Patterns, 10 Marine Parade, Brighton, BN2 1TL, more info)

May 29: Freak Bazaar – A night of downtempo, dub beats, progressive and underground trace at Brighton’s Coalition, running from 10pm until 4am. (Sunday 29 May, £9 advance, Coalition, 171-181 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NB, more info)

May 29: World’s Biggest Cheeseboard – Yep, you read that right. Check out the World’s Biggest Cheeseboard at the official preview before it gets devoured. Only in Brighton. (Sunday 29 May, Hove Lawns, Hove, BN3 2WN, more info)

May 30: Studio Ghibli Forever: Kiki’s Delivery Service – A young witch finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service in Kiki’s Delivery Service. The last in the Duke of York’s Picturehouse’s Studio Ghibli Forever season in May – but don’t worry, there will be plenty of other Studio Ghibli films showing in June and July. (Sunday 30 May, from £9.50, Duke of York’s Picturehouse, Preston Circus, Brighton, BN1 4NA, more info)

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