Growing up in apartheid South Africa, at the height of the sporting and cultural boycott, few international stars visited, and those who did should have become international pariahs for giving comfort to the white minority government.
One thing that continues to amaze me is the stream of internationally known stars and superstars who show up to perform in Brighton each year.
Last year at the local music festival, Together the People, we were graced with the amazing Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Martha, though in her seventies, can still strut her stuff as if it is still the 1960’s.
Brian Wilson will be the headline act this year. It is another coup for the organisers of Together the People. Move over Glastonbury, Brighton has its own festival in Preston Park, and we have a Beach Boy!
But festivals like Together the People are far more than a great weekend out. It used local contractors and local people to staff the event, bringing sticky money to the city – money that is spent here and stays here.
Together the People also supports local charities. Last year BHT was the charity partner, which was great for our profile. More importantly, it raised funds for First Base Day Centre so people who sleep rough in Preston Park throughout the year can get showers, food, medical attention and help to move off the streets.
All in all, Together the People brings Good Vibrations across the city.
(This item was also published in the Brighton Argus on 5th May 2016)