The full programme for the 50th Brighton Festival was launched yesterday, following the unveiling of artist and musician Laurie Anderson as guest director last month.

 The programme spans the genres of music, theatre, dance, visual art, film, literature and debate, and includes 54 commissions, co-commissions and exclusives. The commissions will include two works celebrating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

“I’m so happy to be serving as guest director of Brighton Festival in its historic 50th year,” said Anderson, “I’ve been part of the Festival several times and it is so big and sprawling and exciting and there’s so many different things going on – it really has a kind of celebratory, crazy, art party feel to it. I love the theme of home and place. It is especially relevant with so many people in the world on the move now looking, like all of us, for a place we can belong. Maybe because I’m a working musician and often on the road, the idea of home is pretty appealing to me. It’s also a great idea for a festival – trying to find out who and where you are.”

The festival will work in a special partnership with Guardian Live to deliver a Books and Debate programme and see the return of a three-day biennial industry showcase of the best new theatre in England.

Andrew Comben, chief executive of Brighton Festival says: “It’s very special for us to be marking the 50th Brighton Festival with Laurie Anderson as guest director. Laurie is well-known and well-loved by the city and has been has been experimenting, creating and challenging audiences all over the world for almost as long as Brighton Festival has existed. Alongside the startling international and newly commissioned work that we’re bringing, she has been particularly enthusiastic about finding ways in which the festival can invite the participation of the whole community – time and again throughout the programme we see opportunities to get involved to explore our own creativity and to celebrate, together, this wonderful festival in its 50th year.”

The full programme of events can be found on the Brighton Festival website.