Life in Brighton

Welcome to Brighton. Beach life reigns supreme here. Sunbathing, BBQs and dips in the sea are a rite of passage for any new resident. And music is in Brighton’s bones.

The city becomes a hive of activity in the spring and summer, with Brighton Pride, The Great Escape, Brighton Fringe and other festivals drawing musicians, creatives and industry professionals to the city. Most summer days, see an eclectic mix of buskers playing around the centre of town, next to the Brighton Dome and the Corn Exchange with their big-name shows and major festivals.

Ask the average passer-by on the street, and they’ll describe this city as creative, progressive, historic yet contemporary, and a magnet for international tourism. And Brighton is a mecca for musicians and music fans alike. With its electric atmosphere, living in Brighton is unlike living anywhere else.

But, don’t just take our word for it. Hear from Ells Sivakumaran, our Event Management graduate, and her six reasons to live in Brighton.

Concorde 2
Madeira Drive

Brighton's top music venue, right on the seafront. Legendary live bands and incredible club nights have taken place here.

Gardner Street

Award-winning venue, Brighton Komedia hosts comedy, music, cabaret and theatre almost every night.

The Green Door Store
Trafalgar Arches

A diverse live music venue and late-night bar/club directly underneath Brighton Station.

Resident Music
Kensington Gardens

Brighton’s award-winning independent record shop and the place to find all the best local gigs.

The Hope & Ruin
Queen’s Road

A lively but laid-back Brighton pub, boasting craft beers, vegan food, and live bands in its upstairs music space.

Brighton church street
Danielle Reginiano - Brighton

"Brighton is such a fun and inspiring place to be. Whatever day of the week it is, there is always something going on."
Danielle Reginiano, Music Business

This city has more music-based businesses per square mile than any other city in the UK, including music venues, clubs, recording studios, rehearsal spaces, radio stations, promotions companies, record labels, publishing houses, management companies, tour management and event production agencies.

And artists such as Rag’n’Bone Man, Royal Blood, ArrDee, Bonobo and BIMM Music Institute graduates, James Bay and Black Honey have all walked Brighton’s streets, played their Brighton venues and gone on to conquer the global music scene.

Dan Fraser - Brighton

"I’ve never been so inspired by one place in my life. There’s always something new to do."
Dan Fraser, Songwriting

BIMM live duo

Brighton’s reputation for unique clubs and bands is known the world over. Yet, the city is also home to independent recording studios, labels such as Small Pond, Fat Cat, Mr Bongo and Tru Thoughts, and independent record shops; check out Rarekind Records, Resident, Uptight Records and Family Store Records.

The live music scene is as vibrant as ever, with venues such as Concorde 2, The Hope & Ruin, The Dome and the Brighton Centre. And it’s no surprise that Brighton is home to Europe’s leading showcase for new music. Every May, The Great Escape Festival showcases over 450 up-and-coming artists based all over the world across 45 walkable venues.


You won’t believe how many pubs, bars and clubs there are in Brighton. Plenty of them offer student deals, so make the most of that. Many great regular club nights offer drinks deals, so plan wisely before a night out.

There is so much to offer in this department. Come summertime, The Tempest and Fortune of War open their terraces as dancefloors. The clubs on the seafront and West Street offer a commercial clubbing experience. In contrast, Patterns, The Green Door Store and Dead Wax Social offer something a little more refined.

Brighton Festivals

Brighton and Hove is a City of festivals with an eclectic annual programme of events, including Paddle Round the Pier, Brighton Pride, and Burning of the Clocks.

The main month for festivals in Brighton is May, as the Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe, Artists Open Houses and The Great Escape take place in the city centre, along with Brighton’s outdoor pop-up pub, Spiegeltent. Love Supreme also takes place on the South Downs. Festival season in this seaside city is the perfect way to discover new music in Brighton – and from around the globe.

The Great Escape

The Great Escape is the festival for new music, showcasing 500 emerging artists from all over the world in 30+ walkable venues across the city and a pop-up festival site on Brighton Beach. It’s the first place to discover your new favourite artist and see them in an intimate setting before they go on to headline major festival stages.

Brighton Pride

Brighton Pride Festival has enjoyed amazing performances from international stars including Britney Spears, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Jess Glynne, Dua Lipa, Years and Years, Sister Sledge, Carly Rae Jepsen, Pet Shop Boys, Fatboy Slim, Paloma Faith, Katy B, The Human League, Boy George, Ella Eyre, Ms Dynamite amongst others. Described by The Guardian as “the country’s most popular LGBT event,” the Brighton Pride Festival is a vibrant celebration of all that is wonderful about Brighton & Hove’s diverse community, with visitors from across the globe enjoying its spectacular celebrations.

There is such a variety of cuisines and places for all budgets. Whether you want a big meal or a light bite, there will be something for you, no matter your dietary requirements.

Since there is so much to choose from, it’s often best to ask for recommendations. Some of our favourites are Franco Manca and Nanninella’s for pizza, The Hope & Ruin’s Beezelbab for a vegan kebab and Burger Brothers, winner of the best burger in the UK in 2016 and 2017. Not to mention central Brighton staple, Pompoko.

And don’t forget to look out for deals, as you’re bound to find one. Wriggle and Too Good To Go are great apps for finding them.

Franca Manca - Brighton

Brighton is known as a great city for shopping and at the centre of it all is Churchill Square. This sprawling modern mall is a retail heaven for students, locals and tourists alike, with late opening hours every Thursday and NUS discounts. It even hosts a Freshers’ event for new students each year with tonnes of great deals to stock up on all sorts of essentials.

You’re also bound to enjoy The North Laine and South Lanes. These are a big hit for students, with all sorts of independent boutiques and thrift stores. Beyond Retro is our go-to come festival season, and it also hosts amazing gigs during The Great Escape Festival.

Brighton vintage clothes market
Brighton Pavilion
Sussex County coastline, white cliffs and the sea

North of Brighton (and just a twenty-minute bus ride away) is the beautiful South Downs. A popular destination for hikers, cyclists and paragliders, this National Park’s landscape of rolling chalk hills is a sight to behold. It covers 1600 square kilometres of breathtaking views and hidden gems.

Follow Brighton Beach to the East, and you’ll hit Peacehaven, Newhaven and the beautiful Seven Sisters Country Park before hitting the larger towns of Eastbourne and Hastings, each home to its own great music venues.

As well as its charming beach, Brighton is full of beautiful green spaces. Take a trip to Royal Pavilion Garden, Stanmer Park, Preston Park or Hove Park and see what they offer. During the colder months, the parks are great for fresh air without bracing the windy seafront!

It wouldn’t be possible to talk about outdoor spaces without mentioning the city’s iconic beachfront. The perk of having a pebble beach is the lack of cleanup – you don’t have to spend hours brushing sand off after a visit. Brighton Beach is a great place if you want to relax or have some drinks or a BBQ, but make sure you clean up after yourselves!

Bonus tip: Hove Lawns is a great place to dog spot and have a casual kickabout!


Brighton is a super cyclist-friendly city with bike lanes and bike storage all over the city. It’s also part of the National Cycle Network and has an official cycle route along the seafront.

You can rent city bikes through the BTN BikeShare App, which costs 3p per minute. If you live a short distance from one of our colleges, it might be the most cost-effective way to travel.


Buses are everywhere in Brighton (which makes getting around super easy). There’s a handy app to plan your route as well. The ‘Brunswick Place’ bus stop on Western Road is directly outside our main college at BIMM West and is serviced by buses all over the city.


There’s no shortage of taxis and taxi ranks in the city centre. The main ones are at Brighton Train Station, East Street, Queen’s Square and Hove Town Hall. Other businesses, such as Uber and Free Now, are also available.


If you’re living outside the city, it’s easily accessible from either Brighton or Hove mainline station. Trains also frequently run to and from London Victoria and London Bridge.


Gatwick Airport is only 45 minutes away from Brighton by car or train. Gatwick Express also runs to and from the airport straight to the station. London Stansted and London Heathrow airports are also accessible by train and by National Express.

Any Questions?

For any questions regarding Brighton student life or if you’d like more information on how to apply to BIMM Music Institute Brighton please contact our Enquiries Team on 01273 840 346 or email [email protected].


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