Last year, lost and broken, forced to leave our country because of the war, devastated, but still willing to save our traditions, a group of newly arrived Ukrainian refugees organized a festival, with the help of local people, that turned out to be such a special thing for everybody. Together we sang, danced, taught you how to make Ukrainian crafts, wore flower crowns, played old Ukrainian games and had so much fun. You came to support us and we were there to share our culture with you and to say 'thank you' for your support. Our refugee kids, far from their homeland, had a chance to forget about the war and be a part of something they always knew and loved; our diaspora kids who never celebrated Kupala in Ukraine were able to learn about the culture of their country of origin; local people learned about our traditions and celebrated with us.
                                                                                                                                                                                   Vladyslava Bondar, Kupala festival organiser, 2023

Kupala 2022

Brighton's first Ivana Kupala festival was held in Preston Park on 10 July 2022. It brought together the city's newly-forming Ukrainian community, their hosts and other local supporters, and Ukrainian refugees dispersed around towns and villages across Sussex.

Kupala 2023

The second Brighton Kupala festival took place in Preston Park once again, on Sunday 9 July. It was as wonderful as last year's, if not more so.

Kupala 2023 Photos

Kupala 2024

had to move indoors because of rain and forecasts of thunderstorms, but it was still magical with a roof over its head ...
photo: Best Foot Music

The communities

The Ukrainian communities of Brighton and Sussex are continuing to strengthen and develop. More than 500 Ukrainians have come to live in the city of Brighton & Hove under the Homes for Ukraine scheme. Their organisation, Stand for Ukraine Brighton & Hove, works tirelessly for Ukrainians in the city and people in Ukraine – in 2023, it sent more than 16 tons of aid to the country. It works closely with other local organisations, including Adur Ukraine Support and Best Foot Music, as well with Brighton & Hove City Council.