The Brighton Wheel opened in October 2011, over-looking the city and the sea. It is loosely based on the design of the London Eye. The seafront has nightclubs, bars, amusement arcades and restaurants. Located less than an hour from London by train, Brighton has declared the city a favoured stop. Brighton's beach, which is a shingle beach up to the mean low tide mark, has been awarded a blue flag.
Once a year, during the Brighton Festival, the art community is displayed in an artists' open house. Between Brighton's piers on the seafront is the Artists Quarter, a sequence of Victorian fishermen's workshops modified to small studio areas and galleries, where artists, utilise a range of styles and media, publicly demonstrate their work. Featuring in a number of hit movies including Brighton Rock, The Boat that Rocked, Quadrophenia and The Young Victoria.
Brighton has a number of live music venues including the Concorde2, Brighton Centre and the Brighton Dome. The second biggest arts festival in the UK is the Brighton Festival, this includes the Children's Parade, outdoor spectaculars often in addition to pyrotechnics, music, theatre and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some brought into this use exclusively for the festival. The Artists' Open Houses are the earliest aspect and are homes of crafts people and artists opened to the public as galleries, and usually selling the work of the occupants.
Additional festivals include The Great Escape, presenting three nights of live music in venues across the city; the Soundwaves Festival in June, which displays classical music composed in the 21st Century, and includes both professional and novice performers; Paddle Round the Pier; Brighton Live which each September stages a week of free gigs in pubs to show local bands; Burning the Clocks, a winter solstice ceremony; and Brighton Pride. The Kemptown district has its own small annual street festival, the Kemptown Carnival, and the Hanover area similarly has a "Hanover Day". In 2008 the inaugural White Nights (NUIT Blanche) all-night arts festival began. 2009 saw the first Brighton Zine Fest honouring zine and D.I.Y. culture within the city.
Brighton museums include Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Brighton Toy and Model Museum, Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton Fishing Museum and the long established social epicentre of the seafront, which includes artefacts from the West Pier. Performing as a museum to the British Regency, The Royal Pavilion is additionally open to the public.
Theatres include the Brighton Dome and enlarged Komedia, and the Theatre Royal which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 2007. Smaller theatres are the Marlborough Theatre and Nightingale Theatre. Brighton also has a history of involvement with the film industry, and the Duke of York's Picture House at Preston Circus has been in motion since 22 September 1910. Brighton has a high density of businesses involved in media, particularly digital or "new media", and from the 1990s has been referred to as "Silicon Beach".
"The Lanes" form a retail, leisure and residential area near the seafront, characterised by narrow alleyways following the street pattern of the original fishing village. A shopping centre called Churchill Square has over 80 shops, many restaurants and 1,600 car-parking spaces. Assembled in the 1960's and enlarged in 1998, the multi-level shopping centre is pedestrianised.
There is a yearly beach football contest in a temporary stadium on imported sand on the beach. Football legends Matt Le Tissier and Eric Cantona featured in the inaugural contest in 2002. Brighton Racecourse has an odd factor that when the full length of the course is in use, some of the grass turf of the track has to be laid over the tar at the top of Wilson Avenue, a public road, and as a result closes for the races.