XR Digital

Digital technology is one of the major forces shaping our society, transforming how we communicate with each other, how we learn and share ideas, and what it means to be ‘present’ in a space.

Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival is working with a range of partners to explore how artists and creatives can harness new technologies to create extraordinary experiences for audiences - wherever they are and whatever their needs.

The future of creativity and culture is becoming increasingly about hybrid experiences also known as Expanded Reality or XR. XR encompasses AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) and includes all types of immersive and interactive technologies. 5G is the new generation of networks that enables greater use of these technologies.

Brighton is internationally renowned as a city at the forefront of creative digital innovation with a conscience. Our XR strategy aims to collaborate with partners, artists and creatives to build on this and to experiment across a range of themes central to our mission: bringing history alive, creating art for change, accessible performances, cross-art form practices and international collaboration.

XR will enable remote collaboration and co-production, digitally augmented live performances and experiences and richer content for audiences to enjoy from multiple locations. Better networked technology will enhance the visitor and audience experience and provide opportunities for greater access and personalisation.

Some of the current projects we are involved with include:

5G Testbed

Brighton Dome was one of the first cultural venues in the UK to host a 5G testbed. Launched in May 2019 in partnership with Digital Catapult the UK’s leading advanced digital technology centre and 5G specialist, and Brighton based Wired Sussex to explore the potential of 5G technology for creativity and culture.

The testbed develops new ideas for integrating 5G technology into our venues, such as livestreaming performances in high quality and enabling us to engage and interact with artists experimenting with new work enabled and delivered over the 5G infrastructure. The 5G network is initially deployed in Brighton Dome’s Founders Room and Foyer offering Brighton-based small businesses, community groups and artists the opportunity to test and develop new 5G-enabled applications.

The testbed was funded by the Coast to Capital LEP with a £1.2 million Local Growth Fund contribution to enable the city to be at the forefront of innovation and offer businesses in the area access to new technology.

Find out more about the testbed 

5G Festival


In September 2020, we embarked on an exciting research and development project as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s commitment to putting Britain at the forefront of 5G technology.

5G Festival is the world’s first 5G powered, internationally accessible hybrid immersive festival experience creating new opportunities for artists to experiment and collaborate, new business models for festivals and live performance venues, and enhancing the audience experience wherever they choose to join in – either remotely or in a physical space.

Led by Digital Catapult, the UK’s leading advanced digital technology centre and 5G specialist, we are working with a range of industry partners - global music company Warner Music Group; telecommunications provider Virgin Media O2; pioneers in music production Metropolis Studios (audio mixing, production and venue), Sonosphere (immersive audio) and Audiotonix (audio mixing consoles and AoIP networking); innovative digital technology companies Mativision (360° immersive live streaming and distribution platform) and LiveFrom (blockchain ticketing).

Brighton Dome is playing an integral role as one of the participating venues and is successfully hosting alpha trials with partners to test critical aspects of the technology that will be used to deliver a music collaboration toolset and a unique experience for artists, audiences and venues. The results of the trials will deliver the world’s first 5G powered hybrid immersive festival experience in March 2022. 

Go behind-the-scenes at the 5G Festival Alpha Trials