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Those items, other than key events and key places and photograhs, namely: calendar, parking, insurance, organising and event

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insuranceWhat makes Madeira Drive a successful outdoor events venue is not just the sea, not just the (possibility of the) sun, but also insurance. If you want to organise an outdoor event in Madeira Drive, you will need to demonstrate to the city council that you have adequate public liability insurance – amongst a string of conditions that must be met. (For the full list, see the council’s Outdoor Events Policy.) Insurance is perhaps not very exciting, but it is integral to the life of modern society. So much so, that as early as the 1840s, the German philosopher, Ludwig Feuerbach, attributed - in part - the decline of religion to the rise of insurance. Religion, he said, was “in flagrant contradiction with our fire and life assurance companies”.

Insurance is a form of risk management. Seven miles west of Brighton the town of Shoreham on the River Adur used to have an annual bath tub race, but in recent years it has been stymied by the crippling costs of health and safety and public liability insurance. It can be concluded that both the risk (likelihood of the “peril” happening) and cost to the organisers (the “premium”) are too high to be viable.

It’s not only event organisers who need to have insurance, many of the participants also need insurance. Owners of veteran and classic cars, motorcycles and commercial vehicles all need insurance. Of course, any vehicle on the road has to have a valid insurance policy, but how do you insure a pre-1915 Douglas or Greaves motorbike? Who would repair it if it were involved in an accident? How many miles do you expect to do in the course of a year? And how much do you insure it for; how much is it worth? Your ordinary car insurance policy of a comparison website is unlikely to be suitable. That’s why specialist insurance companies exist to meet this market niche. For example, Lancaster Insurance started out in the 1980s as an insurance service for members of the MG Owners Club before broadening its range to classic cars generally. Eventually it was bought out by Capita.

Through a specialist insurer it is possible to have an Agreed Value for your vehicle, instead of the Actual Cash Value (ACV), which is the norm when insuring your workaday car. It may also be possible to specify the actual repair mechanics should an accident happen.

Not only machines need insurance, but persons need it too. A lot of athletic events are held in the Drive but how many participants have insurance to cover their sporting involvement? Sports insurance is certainly available.

Cycling events are becoming ever more popular in Madeira Drive. Unlike motor vehicles, cyclists do not have to have accident cover, but the national cycling organisations like CTC and Sustrans do encourage cyclists to at least have some 3rd party liability insurance, and it is also available through those organisations. Even large cycle retailers, such as Evans Cycles, offer insurance to cyclists.

One fraught dimension of accident insurance for cyclists is the thorny question of whether the wearing of safety helmets should be compulsory. A great many cyclists do not and will not wear a safety helmet, and the argument rages over whether the safety benefits of wearing a helmet have been scientifically demonstrated (see Bicycle Helmet Research Foundation). Sustrans and CTC tend to sit on the fence.

However, while wearing a cycle helmet is not compulsory in the UK, failure to wear one can be judged as contributory negligence in the courts in cases where compensation is sought. (See here)

There are around 22 annual outdoor events on Madeira Drive, a couple of biennial ones, and each year sees the odd one-off event, such as the curious Bicycle Ballet of a few years ago. There are also occasional informal and impromptu events. Most events take place at the weekend. Tourism is an important part of the Brighton & Hove economy and the city council is always keen to facilitate events which add to the city's stock of tourist attractions. Most events are clustered in the spring and autumn. Perhaps surprisingly, July and August are underused months. The unpredictable British climate means that that your chosen day could be one of glorious sunshine or lashing rain - whatever season you chose. The Half Marathon in February and the 10K Road Race in November can be sunny days - and just right for runners. The Mini Run in June can be washed out by heavy rain, but is usually sunny. The Pioneer Run in the third week of March hasn't had a wet day in years.

However, if you want to stage an event on Madeira Drive you will need the city council's permission to do so, and the council's Events Office is there to help.

There are many things to consider: health & safety, public liability insurance, additional licences , such as for live music, serving food and / or alcohol, and clearing up arrangements.

The council produces a Guide To Organising Outdoor Events, which you can get a copy of by contacting the Events Office. You can also download an Outdoor Events Application Form from here

Brighton & Hove has many hotels, guest houses, boutique hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accomodation. Some are cheap; some are expensive. If you are coming to an event in Madeira Drive either as participant or as an onlooker, you might want to stay over and enjoy a bit more of what the city has to offer. There's plenty to do throughout the year.

In these recessionary times prices are very competitive.

Things To Do in Brighton & Hove? The photographs below give some hints. 

In the photographs below: dance event in Madeira Drive; sand sculpture at Black Rock; Brighton beach; Bollywood goes to Rottingdean; motorised hang glider; band playing at thhe Ace Cafe Brighton Burn Up on Madeira Drive; Pearly King & Queen; groyne by Brighton Pier; Brighton Pier; swimming event in Brighton Triathlon; Charlie Chaplin in The Lanes; Brighton Unitarian Church (venue for many arts and spiritual events); the engine hall at the defunct Brighton Engineerium; the Hyper Jump next to Brighton Pier; floats at Burning the Clocks; Max Miller statue; feeding the pigeons at Queens Park; poppy field near Rottingdean; Brighton and Hove Albion's new stadium at Falmer as seen from Ditchling Beacon; the Downs behind Brighton; suburban fox; the Undercliff Walk.


When it's not hosting car rallies, cycling events, road running, motorcycle meets, and the like, Madeira Drive reverts to its normal day job, which is being a humble car park.

There are 363 parking spaces. There are also some free parking areas for motorcycles.

The charging method is on-street pay & display.

Disabled Parking is free for Blue Badge holders. 


Cost: Spring/Summer
1 Mar - 31 Oct

1 hour


2 hours


4 hours


11 hours



What the parking charges are during the winter period are not currently advertised, presumably because they are under review. 

There is also a car park at the far eastern end of Madeira Drive at Black Rock. Charges: 1 hour (£1), 2 hours (£2), 3 hours (£3), 4 hours (£4), up to 9 hours (£5).

For every thing to do with parking in Brighton & Hove click here