Welcome to Brighton - one of the most vibrant, creative and colourful seaside cities in the UK, if not Europe! We caught up with Brighton local, and director of Shakedown Festival - Steve Jones, to find out some valuable inside information on the area and the festival that him and his team are busy planning for the summer of 2015.
So Steve, we were wondering what life is like by the seaside and what is it that sets Brighton apart from the rest of the UK?
In the sunshine, Brighton seafront has definitely got a holiday almost Barcelona-esque vibe which is amazing. And even in the winter, Brighton’s uniqueness really comes from its diverse range of characters and things to do. I’ve been here ten years and I’m still discovering new weird and wonderful places to go.
Music wise, what else is going on in Brighton these days?
Musically I think Brighton is having a bit of a resurgence at the moment. As with all UK bars & clubs, I think the recession took its toll, but new investment in Brighton nightlife institutions is really promising for the city’s future. The Arch (formerly Digital) has launched with some awesome techno talent, Audio’s successor Patterns looks equally as exciting, and other iconic venues like Concorde 2 and Coalition are still going strong.
Where are the best places to grab some food and drinks?
Brighton’s so lucky to have some of the best restaurants in the UK. I’m a big fan of Rickshaw on Ship Street for oriental food, and drinks-wise (if its payday!) Bohemia can’t be beaten for posh cocktails. Mash Tun is also a must-visit Brighton pub!
What are your favourite things to do in Brighton?
Probably sat on the beach in the summer having a nice cold cider with some friends! Or when I’m feeling all grown-up, I love a nice walk in the Sussex Downs with my dog.
What are your favourite shops in town - music, fashion or otherwise?
I couldn’t pinpoint just one really. Fashion-wise i’m a label whore unfortunately - more out of laziness than anything - but Brighton’s great for getting unique and quirky presents for people. You can spend hours trawling through the Lanes’ various nicknack shops!
Which has been your favourite music venue in Brighton over the past ten years and why?
Very tricky question but I’d probably say Concorde 2. It might not be the newest venue going, but there’s a very special atmosphere when you get the right acts there. It’s got that indoor-festival vibe that is very hard to get right, and they continue to host some of the biggest electronic acts in the world.
What can we expect from you guys at Shakedown Festival this year? Do you have any tricks up your sleeve that you're allowed to share with us yet?
This year for us its all about bringing the biggest and most credible electronic music acts to Brighton. We’re the city’s homegrown authentic dance music festival for an 18+ crowd. I can tell you though that there is one more stage we’ve yet to announce which visually is going to look amazing.
Tell us a bit about the area in which the festival is held…
Shakedown is back at Waterhall for the second year running. Waterhall is a huge beautiful flat park in north Brighton, and we run free shuttle buses to and from the event from Old Steine in central Brighton.