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Making Brighton ‘pop’ this summer: local artist & city centre businesses team up to dress the city centre

The city centre’s streets are brightened up this summer by colourful and fun banners, created by Brighton artist Dave Pop! with the support of local businesses, to signal the start of a celebratory season of creativity.

Dave Pop!’s playful illustrations, which take inspiration from traditional, decorative fairground imagery (and a sprinkle of seaside sauce!)  are displayed  across the city centre; on Preston Street, Western Road,  North Street, Market Street and Bond Street. Dave’s work was chosen following a call-out for local artists to submit their ideas for this summer’s banners, earlier this year. 

I fell in love with the decorative fairground style found on Palace Pier when I first visited Brighton many years ago,” Dave Pop!, who was a former chocolatier at iconic Brighton institution Choccywoccydoodah, and is now a full-time artist, says.” I want my designs to capture the fun and joy of Brighton, so using traditional fairground, circus and tattoo style feels like a natural fit. I’m really chuffed to be showing my art all over Brighton this summer. I love living in this city and it’s a constant inspiration to my work.”

The artwork has been commissioned and organised by the 517 businesses who form Brilliant Brighton (also known as Brighton’s Business Improvement District), who each year aim to add extra colour to the city centre streets, from early May through to September, and supported by Gaydio.

The banners are part of Brilliant Brighton’s dressing the city campaign, which aims to brighten up the city centre during the summer months for visitors, holidaymakers and residents alike to enjoy. The campaign also includes cheerful bunting displayed in North Laine and The Lanes and blooming floral hanging baskets.

This year, to further celebrate the creativity and colour on the city centre’s streets, Brilliant Brighton are asking members of the public to share their images of the banners, bunting and flower baskets on Instagram – with one photograph each month winning a £50 Brighton Gift Card to be spent in many city centre businesses, between May and September. 

“We absolutely love dressing the city in the summer, and hope Dave’s fun, tongue-in-cheek, playful designs make you smile whether enjoying a Fringe or Festival event, or are out and about enjoying all Brilliant Brighton has to offer this summer!” Brilliant Brighton’s Marketing and Events Manager Shelley Welti says. “Don’t forget to share your photos of the banners, bunting and hanging baskets with us on Instagram – @BrilliantBrighton – as we’ll be choosing an image each month to win a £50 Brighton Gift card!”

“Brighton is abundant with talent, and it is imperative to showcase what creatives have to offer wherever possible. This initiative does exactly that,” Kellie Miller of Kellie Miller Arts and Brilliant Brighton business member and board director, says. “Selecting Dave’s art to adorn the city centre was a joy. These vibrant banners will undoubtedly make you smile, explore, and discover more. His work is theatrical and fun and will warmly welcome residents and visitors while emphasising the ‘Bright’ in Brighton.”

Kriss Herbert, network content director at Gaydio Brighton, who are supporting the campaign adds: “Gaydio, the UK’s LGBTQ+ radio station, are thrilled to once again partner with Brilliant Brighton in a campaign that celebrates Brighton. Food, dining, hospitality – it’s our pleasure to serve Brighton with the biggest bops and bangers as listeners go about their plans, and you’ll hear more about all things Brighton as Pride season heats up!”

See the Brilliant Brighton banners, designed by Dave Pop! on Western Road, North Street, Preston Street, Market Street and Bond Street  (and supported by Gaydio), as well as bunting in North Laine and The Lanes, and hanging baskets throughout the city centre, between May and September.