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View to Brighton Pier from the New Steine, Brighton

Archive for August, 2011

Interview with a DJ: Tom Vagabondo

DJ Tom Vagabondo

DJ Tom Vagabondo

Each weekend in Brighton, thousands of punters and clubbers make their way to the coast. With so many clubs and bars, there’s never a shortage of nights out in Brighton – actually, sometimes there’s just too much happening!

But who’s providing the soundtrack to all this? Who are the girls and guys behind the decks serving up the tunes? And what makes Brighton such a special night out?

In the first in a series, we interviewed Mr Tom Vagabondo, a DJ and producer now settled in Brighton.

What brought you to Brighton?

Mainly personal reasons, and great feedback about living in Brighton from my Czech friends.

What’s so special about the Brighton club scene?

There are so many possibilities: pubs, bars, clubs and nights out that you really want to go to – and so many musical styles to sample.

When you are not working, where in Brighton do you like to chill out?

I love the beach in the summer sunshine, just lazing around. I like Brighton’s parks, too. And if you have a car there’s lots of countryside nearby.

You came here from the Czech Republic, is Brighton really inclusive and tolerant?

Well, from my perspective, yes. It’s a friendly, cosmopolitan city with smiley people.

What makes a great DJ set?

Charisma, energy and being able to feel the music.

Who is your superstar DJ?

Me, of course! Honestly, I don’t have really a superstar DJ, probably because I like a mix of DJs and bands, so I’m just listening to as many different styles of music as possible.

You play almost every weekend in Brighton, but who does your flyers? They are excellent!

Thank you, it’s my secret! I’ve an excellent friend in Slovakia who always comes up with exactly what I’m after; she gets it right every time!

Here’s Tom’s latest mix with A-Bee (AKA LazyBoys)

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Bank holiday weekend in Brighton: it’s Mods and Movies

Of all the weekends in Brighton, this is possibly our favourite!

Mod weekend, this weekend

Mod weekend, this weekend, all weekend!

mod_target

The longer the summer stretches, the more precious each weekend feels, so when it’s a bank holiday weekend in Brighton as well, you can guarantee visitors will be making the very most of it.

And the most notable arrivals this weekend will be the Mods. Of all the movements, styles and fashions to have evolved from Britain, it’s the one with the longest and strongest following – and it’s ’so’ Brighton.

Don’t think it’s all about nostalgia, either. The New Untouchables will be in town and have events lined up that celebrate current Mod culture, as well as giving a good nod to its origins.

Check them out across town all weekend, with events at Komedia and The Volks. New Untouchables events

To help the weekend along the way, there’s a special screening of the classic Quadrophenia by Nomad Cinema. Showing at the racecourse, there’s free parking for the scooter and a bar laid on.

Check out the New Untouchables page from the link above, or just share this post and find out more.

Last minute accommodation in Brighton

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Brighton’s Shakedown festival gets green light

Just when you thought the summer was over, it makes a comeback. And just when you thought there were no festivals left, more appear!

The Shakedown Festival

Set in the wonderful, yet often overlooked, Stanmer Park, this could be the final festival fling.  Now with its licence granted by the council, the gloves are off and the big names are lined up for one of the biggest weekends in Brighton this year.

Just out of town, just have to go!

Just out of town, just have to go!

Razorlight top the bill at ‘Brighton’s Summer Closing Party’ along with Example – he’s got a new album out aroundabout now.

If the DJ set from 2manydj’s does anything to get close to their album ‘As Heard on Radio Soulwax pt2′ – which is playing right now as I write – I’ll be most impressed. Zane Lowe makes the line-up as do local pretenders Kovak.

Brighton music fans will know this band well, as they have been building quite a following. Good luck to them, see you all there!

Shakedown festival is on the 17th September, here’s where to get your Shakedown tickets

Here’s a map how to get to Stanmer Park

And if you live local, here’s how to get discounted hotel rooms

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This weekend in Brighton: Pride!

It’s happening, after all the fuss and fannying, Pride is happening and it’s on this weekend in Brighton, woop!

Pride Logo

Ok, it’s ticketed where before it was free, but there’s some justification when you look at the line-up: Joe McElderry, 80s pop icon Sonia and BootyLuv will all be shaking their booties.

As before, it’s all going on in Preston Park, after the Pride Parade, which leaves Madeira Drive at 11am. Once the crowds have been whipped into a frenzy, the boys have squeezed into their Lycra and the queens have perfected their intricacies (probably with a little bit of masking tape) the party gets underway.

The main park event promises much – remember, you need tickets for Pride so don’t just follow the crowd as you did previously.

There’s a community village (for everyone); a BME tent (Black and Minority Ethnic – of course still for everyone); a cabaret tent (for the drama ones); and of course there’s the ‘Bears’ tent (for the hairy ones).

As well as the Live stage, you’ve the Go.Go Festival/Zhoosh Women’s Tent (helped along with Brighton and Hove’s very own LGBT social network ZhooshBrighton.

The Gay Men’s Chorus make an appearance mid-afternoon before the gloves come off and things ramp up in the early evening.

All the fun and a fair!

All the fun and a fair!

And there’s the usual heart-worrying fairground rides – I’d go just for that amazing old-time chair ride (see pic) as it beats even the fastest TurboMegabooster!

More information on Pride in Brighton & Hove

Last minute accommodation in Brighton

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Residents’ discount if relatives want a weekend in Brighton!

If you live locally you can get an automatic discount for families and friends coming to stay for a weekend in Brighton. In fact, we’ll even extend the offer into the week.

In the spirit of all things digital and our new found love of Facebook we’ve got a deal for everyone: All you need do is share this post on Facebook (below) with friends you know who are likely to be interested and ‘Like’ the hotel page and we’ll send you a voucher code that you can use all year round!

Like and get a massive discount

Like and get a massive discount

Obviously, we’ll check to see if your profile says you are from round these parts – wouldn’t want any of those funny folk from Kent joining us on Facebook now would we?

You can get a very healthy 15% off any stay of any duration! This will depend on availability, but there’s no better way to put up your family and friends when they are visiting Brighton. And let’s face it, you don’t want Mum or Dad crashing your bedsit or the inlaws patroling your kitchen every morning searching for the tea bags (wrong type of teabags, no doubt).

And as breakfasts go, we’ve a fine Sussex English breakfast , packed with local produce to set them up for the rest of their weekend in Brighton, and keep them out of your hair and from under your feet.

So, see you on Facebook and look out for the voucher codes – they’ll come in a message from Nick Head, the hotel’s owner and manager.

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Weekends in Brighton: get to the beach!

With the summer enjoying a second stretch, we thought it best to pull together the best bits of Brighton beach. Weekends in Brighton will always feature fun and games on the beach- whether that’s with the family and kids, or with a nightclub random or long-term lover.

Weekends in Brighton: Get to the beach!

Weekends in Brighton: Get to the beach!

The beach is a magnet: Even if your mission is just to go shopping in Brighton, there are few roads that don’t lead to the sea.

For the full-blown Brighton beach experience you’d need to head between the piers. Packed, rammed, chocca, however you want to describe it, it’s going to be busy.

It’s this bustle, and blatant fun and sun-seeking that most people look for. Get yourselves along to the basketball courts, and keep your ears open: there’s this random band that turns up and plays outside of one of the bars.

If your weekends in Brighton are planned to be more family-oriented, look left of the Palace Pier as it gets quieter – but don’t look too far: the closer you get to the marina, the fewer clothes people wear – and the nudist beach in Kemp Town is far from family-friendly!

Headed in the other direction, it’ll take you a good 20 minutes’ walk before the crowds lessen. And for real peace and quiet – more BBQs, fewer boogie boxes – head all the way to the Hove end.

Family beach safety advice (RNLI)

Naked beach safety advice!

Accommodation offers in Brighton

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Freaky and Geeky weekends in Brighton

Now while weekends in Brighton might be more about candyfloss and ice creams, or clubs and bars, it’s definitely a city on the right side of the digital divide.

Digital

And to recognize this, celebrate digital culture, and stimulate our synapses some more, the lovely people at Lighthouse are coordinating the Brighton Digital Festival.

The full line-up is still being sorted, but expect work, talks and creative input from international artists such as Blast Theory, semiconductor, Ben Frost, Joshua Davis and Random Dance.

Schools will get involved too, so watch out for a press team from Longhill High School who are using all tools digital to blog, photograph and film the event.

There’s some fascinating sounding installation on observing the sun ‘from the vantage point of the Earth to our orbit in space’, headscratchings on electronic art, and a showing of the seminal -but recently fleeced -Tron.

The festival runs all through next month, with most September weekends in Brighton having at least one show on offer -although some are one-offs so best check the Brighton Digital Festival site for updates.

And can somebody please tell me: is there free public internet access between the piers? I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked – and if not, why not!

Hotel offers in Brighton

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