Despite the excitement at the launch of the new-look Brighton 7s Festival, the 2022 event has had to be put on hold, due to several external risks that have become too significant for the event to continue.
As well as this, recent increased costs have created a funding gap which meant it was not possible to deliver the event as planned.
Therefore, it is in the best interests of all those supporting and helping to manage the festival, as well as those preparing to participate in the sport, music, or conference, to postpone the event until these risks have been further reduced.
Ben McNamara, Director, Brighton 7s Festival said: “While this is incredibly disappointing, I want to recognise and thank all the hard-working suppliers, consultants, partners, and venues, who have all played a very significant role in the planning and design of the event.
“This gratitude also extends to the many teams, musicians, and speakers who want to be involved in this amazing weekend of rugby, music, and progressive thinking that underpins its ethos.
“It is for them, the participants, the fans, our customers, and the collective desire to ‘unite the spirit of rugby with the spirit of Brighton’ that this event concept exists, and we hope to bring it to you soon!”
All customers are being refunded.
First of its kind rugby festival to encompass competition, thought and entertainment
The inaugural Brighton 7s Festival was today launched ahead of this summer's event, which will see Rugby 7s combined with music and an industry-leading conference.
Brighton 7s Festival aims to unite the spirit of rugby with the spirit of Brighton, capturing the city's eclectic and diverse ethos and creating unity through sport, music and thought.
The festival, which is set to take place across the University of Brighton, and Brighton & Hove Albion’s American Express Community Stadium from 25-26 June 2022, was unveiled today at Brighton's landmark i360, which saw seven rugby players, from a diverse range of clubs, conduct rugby training drills during a flight in the i360's pod.
The launch event also saw the first two of the rugby sides announced. The Ramblin' Jesters, an elite-level invitational rugby 7s side, has confirmed that both male and female teams will be competing whilst international outfit the Philippines Volcanoes are set to make an appearance in Brighton, fielding a young and exciting side in the City this summer.
Festival Director Ben McNamara said: "Brighton is the perfect city to host rugby 7s - both are inclusive, entertaining, and global in their reach. However, what makes Brighton 7s Festival really special is the platform it provides for up-and-coming bands, rugby teams, and leaders in sport to challenge convention. It's an opportunity for fans to discover something innovative and inspirational, and I'm incredibly excited to share all those who will be leading the way at Brighton 7s Festival in 2022”
The Festival is also broadcasting the event, in another industry first, using an Over The Top (OTT) platform to live stream the rugby 7s, music, and conference, simultaneously. The platform, provided by Hopin, allows viewers to comment live during the broadcast, and switch between different 'stages' throughout the weekend, from anywhere in the world.
McNamara added: “The supply-chain was forced to re-invent itself during the past 18 months, and we’ve seen an increase in affordable broadcast platforms that enable us to showcase Brighton 7s Festival to the world, while making it incredibly engaging for fans of both rugby and music. We can provide a truly global experience, that has typically only been available to the big industry players”
The Rugby 7s element of the Festival will consist of an elite and amateur competition, taking place across both days. The event is set to welcome sides from across the globe to come to Brighton, to compete next to the iconic AMEX Stadium, home to Japan’s unforgettable coup over South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, widely regarded as the biggest upset in rugby union history.
Former World 7s Player of the Year, and England captain, Ollie Phillips added his excitement for the event: "Brighton 7s Festival is such an exciting opportunity for rugby players to take their skills and our game’s values to the next level. There is so much unseen talent in the sport that deserves an opportunity to showcase their abilities, and this event is certainly one of a kind.”
The Grow The Game Conference at Brighton 7s Festival will see a weekend-long rugby conference taking place in the American Express Stadium. Leading names from the rugby and sporting industry will unite to discuss the future of the game.
Former Australia and Harlequins star James Horwill is one of many high-profile names confirmed to be speaking at the conference.
The ex-Wallabies captain, who completed a masters at Cambridge University, focused around Private Equity Investment in Sport said: “I can’t wait to be a part of this exciting conference, which is, in my opinion, set to become the world-leading opportunity for thought, networking and leadership in rugby union and 7s.
“The sport has come on so much since entering the professional era, from elite to grassroots, and there are a lot of organisations and teams doing some innovative things, with many that need to be able to learn and ideate in a safe environment, such as the Grow The Game Conference.
“Over the past few years there has been a notable increase in amount of investment activity by private equity firms into sporting organisations, this has been highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s a hot topic right now in rugby, so I look forward to discussing this further, this June.”
Brighton 7s Festival will also help to bridge the gap and unite powerful entertainment and sport, through its music festival. The music is provided by leading independent bands from the city that are making waves in the international scene but have been held back due to COVID-19. It’s one of the few events that offers a fee to all its artists, as the industry looks to recover from the impact of the pandemic. The Electric Chandelier Stage is also where some of the most creative DJs and performers from the LGBTQ+ scene will help provide the party atmosphere and even more fun at the festival.
The festival has been recognised and supported by Visit Brighton, who has included it in its calendar of events, marking the significance of the event to Brighton's tourism and events economy.
Tickets are now available for this year's event, with in-person tickets starting from £55 with access to the rugby, music and conference. Or full livestream access for both days of the festival for only £25. Get your tickets now at Brighton7sFestival.com/tickets