Brighton Fringe

LGBTQ+ campaigner Duncan Lustig-Prean becomes chair of Brighton Fringe

Graham Robson March 21, 2023

Brighton Fringe has announced that LGBTQ+ campaigner Duncan Lustig-Prean has become the new chair of the annual arts festival’s board.

Duncan trained at the Royal College of Music and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire as an opera singer before rising through the ranks of the Royal Navy to become a senior officer, while also pursuing a musical career. He has been instrumental in his campaigning for the rights of LGBTQ+ people in the armed forces and merchant shipping services, successfully leading a case in the European Court of Human Rights against the UK Government the law to allow gay people to serve in the British Armed Forces.

Furthermore, amongst his other work, he has successfully campaigned for better representation of people of colour in the Blue Plaque Scheme and was a Director of Brighton’s LGBTQ+ community and cultural centre, the Ledward Centre.

On his appointment, Duncan said: “The success of a nation is not just judged by its prowess on the sports field but by its thriving artistic and cultural life, yet funding has been poor for decades and now the aftermath of Covid will continue to cause financial difficulty. At whatever level one performs or is involved with the arts, it is life-enriching and has a transformational impact on people; breaking down barriers, helping to see others’ points of view and sharing in a joint creative endeavour.

“Brighton Fringe with its roots firmly in the local community, its Fringe Academy and bursary scheme reaches thousands of people locally while having an international impact. As we emerge from the pandemic we need to hold on to the strength of our foundations while finding new ways of supporting this invaluable work by developing new income streams in this hostile financial climate and broadening our reach to vulnerable communities and minorities.”

Brighton Fringe expressed its gratitude to the outgoing Chair, Jamie Arnell. Jamie took on the position of Chair in June 2020 during the first COVID-19 lockdown and helped steer Brighton Fringe through the most challenging period in its history. Jamie remains on the board of Brighton Fringe short term to ensure the smooth transition between himself and Duncan but intends to step back and return to focusing on his role within the Pebble Trust, which is the principal funder of Brighton Fringe, providing core support for the organisation alongside financial support for participants in the form of bursaries and awards.

Brighton Fringe CEO Julian Caddy said “I am delighted to welcome Duncan, both as Trustee and as Chair of Brighton Fringe. He brings a wealth of experience and a passion for fairness and opportunity for all. He is a fearless campaigner and advocate, and we look forward to working with him to help Brighton Fringe develop and prosper after what has been a particularly difficult time for the arts and live events industries.“

Brighton Fringe 2023 takes place across Brighton, Hove and beyond from 5 May – 4 June 2023. Tickets to over 700 events are on sale now at