Burning the Clocks Brighton

21 Dec 2017
Brighton, England

With around 20,000 spectators and 2,000 participants, Burning the Clocks is a community event in Brighton with a spectacular fire show, live music and huge fireworks.

  • When? 21 December 2017
  • Where? Brighton seafront
  • Price: Free

Haven't got the stamina or cash for Burning Man? Try something a bit more chilled (and wallet-friendly) at Burning the Clocks on Brighton seafront. Held every December on the shortest day of the year, Burning the Clocks features fireworks, live music and a buzzing community atmosphere and finishes up with thousands of lantern-holding spectators on the beach.

This winter solstice festival, which was started by Brighton's community art charity Same Sky, has been growing in size since it began in 1993. It's a unique affair held to celebrate the end of the year regardless of faith or religion. Named to symbolise the passing of time, the festival has become something of a Brighton tradition and last year attracted no less than 20,000 spectators and approximately 2,000 participants.

Those who choose to participate in Burning the Clocks begin by assembling their paper and willow lantern kit. Same Sky also hold free lantern making workshops epitomising the community spirit surrounding the celebration. Come early evening, all participants are in position and ready to march through the city towards Brighton's famous coastline. At the end of the parade, the lanterns are thrown into a fire on the beach as a symbol of the year's end. The huge bonfire attracts spectators from all over the city with families, couples and locals gathering to enjoy live music, a spectacular fire show and a fireworks display.

Burning the Clocks has a different theme every year; previous ones include 2013's 'The Deep' and 2014's 'The City - Urbano'. Many go all out and dress in costumes displaying clock faces on the front before heading into the city's bars and pubs for a heavy Brighton pub crawl.

True, it's not quite Burning Man, but at least this is one event that doesn't come with burnout.

  • Get there: Take Queens Road south from Brighton Station and you'll reach the seafront in 20 minutes. You could drive, but parking is likely to be tricky.
  • Stay: There are plenty of hotels along the seafront though these will book in advance. It's worth getting in there early though - you'll have the best views and none of the winter cold.

*We do our very best to verify the dates of our events but please check with the official event provider before booking your flights. We would hate for you to be disappointed!