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.

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

This is Brighton: colourful, quirky and liberal.

Download our Brighton City Guide (PDF)

Ask the average passer-by on the street, and they’ll describe this city as quirky, arty, cosmopolitan, open-minded, progressive, liberal, historic yet contemporary, as well as 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

"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 Brighton music venues, Brighton 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, Bonobo and BIMM Institute alumni, James Bay and Black Honey have all walked Brighton’s streets, played their Brighton venues and gone onto conquer the global music scene. 

"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 one of a kind recording studios (such as Brighton Electric and Metway), labels (such as Small Pond, Fat Cat, Mr Bongo and Tru Thoughts) and independent record shops. Check out Bella Union Vinyl and Resident: winner of the 2019 Music Week Award for Independent Retailer of the Year.

The live music scene is as vibrant as ever with venues such as Concorde 2, The Hope & Ruin, The Dome and 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 35 walkable venues.


There are lots of bars and pubs to suit all tastes, and there are plenty of deals around, especially for students. Bar Revenge in Kemptown has half-price drinks deals Monday to Saturday 5 to 9 pm and Sunday 5 pm till closing. Plus, Freemasons offers exclusive deals for BIMM students. There are lots of great regular club nights that offer drinks deals too, so make sure you plan wisely before a night out.

Stoked and Broke mixes live music with a club night and often offers student discount on drinks. Look out for Fat Poppadaddys events as they are always popular with great deals! You don’t have to spend a fortune to have a great night out in Brighton… just look out for those student deals.

Brighton Festivals  

Brighton & Hove is a City of Festivals with an eclectic annual programme of events including Paddle Round the Pier; Brighton Pride and Burning 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. 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.

Brighton is one of the best places to go out to eat! 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 just ask for recommendations. Some of our personal favourites are Franco Manca and Dead Wax Social (hands down the best pizzas in town), The Hope & Ruin (amazing vegan food) and Pho (great Vietnamese food).

And don’t forget to look out for deals as you’re bound to find one. Wriggle is a great app for finding them!

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

You’re also bound to become a massive fan of The North Laine and South Lanes. These are a big hit for students, with lots of cobbled streets lined with all sorts of independent boutiques amd 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

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 is comprised of rolling chalk hills and covers 1600-square kilometres of breathtaking views and hidden gems.

Follow the 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 of which is home to their 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 have to offer. During the colder months, the parks are a great place to get some 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 clean up – 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 a BBQ.

Bonus tip: Hove Lawns is a great place to dog spot!


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

Plus, you can rent city bikes through the BTN BikeShare app, which costs 3p per minute. If you live a short distance from our college, 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 definitely no shortage of taxis and taxi ranks in the city centre. The main ones are based 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 – either by car or by 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 Institute Brighton please contact our Admissions Team on 0344 2 646 666 or email [email protected].


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