Brighton Dome

Brighton Dome Brighton Festival – I Was There project

From Tea Dances to Rock n Roll, Bring Your Stories to Life for Our Heritage Project

Were you mesmerised by Pink Floyd’s first performance of Dark Side of the Moon? Did you sneak into David Bowie’s infamous 1973 Ziggy Stardust gig as a teenager? Have you got a special memory of taking part in Brighton Festival Children’s Parade? Or did you ever perform on the Brighton Dome stage?

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival want to record your memorable stories as part of a new heritage project, I Was There to capture our history for future generations.

Delivering the project is Sussex-based organisation, Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage, who will be training a team of volunteers to conduct oral history interviews with participants.

The interviews and collection of memorabilia will be archived for future generations, and selected stories will be presented in an online exhibition and feature in a public programme of tours and talks at Brighton Dome.

Tea Dances at Brighton Dome 2013

Kate Richardson, Participatory Interpretation Manager, Brighton Dome said:

“We’d love to hear people’s unique recollections or from anyone who has a special connection to Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival – whether it was 50 years ago or more recently. We’re keen to speak to audience members recounting how they felt about seeing their favourite artist or witnessing a sporting event; performers and participants who took part in a show, as well as former employees who can tell us what it was like working behind the scenes.”

Since being converted into a performance venue 150 years ago, Brighton Dome’s three stages have seen a dazzling array of illustrious artists and musical icons such as Patti Smith, Beyoncé, David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix, as well as hosting tea dances, wrestling matches and graduation ceremonies. And since 1967, Brighton Festival has brought thousands of international artists to the city with Guest Directors including Anish Kapoor, Laurie Anderson and Kate Tempest.

Jimi Hendrix on stage at Brighton Dome in 1966

  • The interviews will take place between February and July 2020 and will be conducted by trained oral historians.
  •  A member of our interview team will be in touch to organise where and when the recording should take place, at a time and place convenient to you.
  •  Each interview will take approximately 1 to 1.5 hours.
  • The recordings and edited transcripts will be archived.
  • Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival will have the rights to use archived material as a resource.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting the oral history project as part of their contribution towards the refurbishment of Brighton Dome’s Corn Exchange and Studio Theatre.

If you are interested in taking part or have any questions, please email nicola.benge@brightondome.org