About us

Springboard is a festival of music and drama that is still evolving after 90 years. It involves nearly 1,000 local performers. Most are aged between five and 25, but there are also opportunities for adults to perform.

There are a wide range of activities, from competitive classes with cups and certificates to workshops and non-competitive classes, all adjudicated by nationally accredited specialists.

Springboard also arranges performing opportunities with local organisations and orchestras.

The history of the Festival

The Festival was formerly known as the Brighton Competitive Musical Festival and started in 1925 under the auspices of Brighton Borough Council. Competitions were held in the Pavilion Estate, including the Corn Exchange, Royal Pavilion, Dome and Pavilion Theatre.

The development of the Festival was largely the work of Olive Von der Heyde, who remained involved from the beginning until her death in 1997.

Two current members of the Piano committee, June Ingleton and Linda Bhattacharya, were recently awarded British and International Federation of Festival medals for 50 years’ service.

The modern Festival


Springboard – Brighton and Hove Performing Arts Festival – is an affiliated member of the British and International Federation of Festivals.

The Festival is managed by a team of Trustees and a part-time Administrator. Each Section has its own Section Secretary and Committee handling the day-to-day management of their specialist area. Springboard receives no local authority funding.