The Great Escape 2018

There is less than four weeks to go until The Great Escape, tickets are selling fast, and it’s time for the planning to commence. With this week’s latest additions to the bill, the full festival schedule can now be announced (although expect some super late special guests announcements)! You can view the gig planner here:


The latest additions feature, as always, a mix of the known with the unknown. Brighton formed buzz band Dream Wife are a very welcome addition, as is soulful singer Ady Suleiman who, along with Dream Wife, have just released fantastic debut albums. There’s also the new soul sensation NAO, retro rock’n’rollers Trudy and The Romance, Brighton-based melodic rockers FUR, American indie-rockers Bully and avant-garde pop courtesy of Virginia Wing, extrovert experimental pop singer Douglas Dare is also making a welcome return after his appearance last year and, rather intriguingly, Arthur Jeffes, frontman of legendary pop classicists Penguin Cafe Orchestra.

YouTube have also announced they are coming back to TGE, hosting a mega show on the brand new beach site with NAO, Liv Dawson, Nilufer Yanya, Grace Carter and Dermot Kennedy, which you can access free of charge with your festival wristband.

500+ artists is a lot to get through and planning your time at TGE can be tricky. So, get the app which allows you to research the artists, build your own schedule and share it with your friends. The full festival schedule is now available via the app so it’s time to get planning.

Three day and single day tickets are still available.

20th April 2018

The Beach is an exciting new 2,000 capacity festival site, right on Brighton beach, and just to the west of the Brighton Palace Pier. Adding to The Great Escape’s family of 30 incredible venues, the brand new festival site will be home to two music venues, where you can watch the very best new artists from around the globe, as well as bars, food stalls, hang out areas, and pop up performance spaces.

Curators at The Beach include Island Records, AWAL, Dr. Martens and more to be announced very soon. Watch this space for more news soon.

Weekend and day tickets are still available for this year’s three day new music showcase and industry convention. Check out the website for the line-up, but with many more yet to be announced.

We’re less than two months away from the annual new music bonanza that is The Great Escape and, despite the freezing conditions here in Brighton, we’re starting to feel spring in the air, and the buzz in the atmosphere.

As always, The Great Escape have dropped another large tranche (100+) of largely unknown acts onto our collective laps. However, years of experience (13 in fact) have told us that we can expect quality from top to bottom. The Great Escape is, after all, a showcase for new and up and coming talent from around the world, with the odd established act thrown in the mix.

So, in the lead up to the three day festival, we’re exploring (many for the first time) the likes of British punk-rockers Milk Teeth, the all-female East London vocal collective Deep Throat, who are currently collaborating on a project with Simian Mobile Disco, 47 Soul’s fusion of deep electronic beats mixed with sounds of the Middle East and Brighton’s massive drums-meet-synth sounds of AK/DK.

There’s also the retro-soul of America’s Durand Jones & The Indications, Australia’s rave-poppers Haiku Girls, Italy’s experimental indie-rockers Husky Loops, the UK’s Kojey Radical, who experimentally mash up hip-hop, grime and urban as well as the expansive guitar-based sounds of Pale Seas, and Brighton-based indie-jazz-punk four-piece Scuffle.

Also announced are more familiar names, such as the brilliantly high energy party mash-up that is The Go! Team, rapper extraordinaire Ms Banks, and alt-indie foursome Teleman.

Also just announced for The Late Escape strand of the festival are house producer Ross From Friends, Glastonbury’s Block 9 founder DJ Gideon, and electro-dance maestro Erol Alkan.

Festival booker Adam Ryan said, “We’ve been inundated with artists wanting to showcase, more than ever before, the bar has been raised and as a result we’ve curated a line-up of artists who will no doubt set the music agenda for the rest of the year. This year’s festival is going to be the best Brighton has ever seen; with our brand-new beach venue and even more artists to announce in the coming weeks, it’s set to be the biggest year yet.”
20th March 2018

The Great Escape add new venue and artists

The next wave of artists plus the newest addition to the festival, an event site on Brighton Beach, have just been announced, as we gear up for the 13th The Great Escape Festival (17th-19th May), a showcase of exciting new music from around the globe. With more event partners and stage hosts than ever this year, TGE is going from strength to strength, re-affirming its position as the best event of its kind in Europe.

Amongst the 80 artists announced this week are Superorganism, Tom Grennan, Nilufer Yanya, Goat Girl, Puma Blue, Yellow Days, Anna Burch, Tom Tripp, Japanese Breakfast, Sons of Kemet, and Brighton’s Gender Roles.

Adding to the festival’s family of 30 venues, the brand new 2,000 capacity festival site on Brighton beach, located adjacent to Madeira Drive, will be home to two new venues. Beach partners include the legendary Island Records (who in recent years have nurtured the likes of Sigrid, JP Cooper, Dizzee Rascal and Sean Paul), Dr Martens and AWAL (Artists Without A Label).

Rory Bett, MAMA Festivals CEO said, “With demand and drive for new music and an ever-expanding festival, creating our first, very own festival site on the beach is the most exciting news in TGE’s history and we couldn’t have a more perfect spot than right on the seafront. The Beach will become a magnet for music lovers during the festival and we can’t wait to open the doors.”

Also just announced is the partnership with Brighton-based charity FoodShare Sussex. They prevent perfectly good food from ending up in landfill by redistributing surplus from the food industry to over 100 charities and community groups, delivering ten tonnes of food every week to those who need it most.
2nd March 2018

The Great Escape – Future Bubblers

Discover your favourite new band at this year’s The Great Escape

With January out of the way, and the possibility of some much needed green shoots within our barren and chilly cityscape, thoughts turn decidedly to May when Brighton becomes one big festival. Along with the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe (both of whom will be announcing their programmes this month), new music lovers will be itching for the 13th Great Escape, the annual three-day festival of new music, which runs alongside a music industry convention. It’s where all players of the music industry converge with music fans, primarily to watch and discover new talent from around the globe, do some deals, make new friends, and discover their new favourite band. Moreover, it provides a big financial boost to the city each and every year.

Considered the best showcase of its kind in Europe, The Great Escape is host to over 500 acts from 20-plus countries, performing in 30-odd venues. It’s a highly concentrated programme of some of the best emerging talent spanning almost all genres known to man (even the heavier side of things are getting a look in with Download Festival partnering up with The Great Escape this year).

So, with the second tranche acts just announced, the anticipation levels rise yet another notch or two. From here to the beginning of May there will be a steady drip feed of new announcements, of new and exciting bands and artists. Yes, even for seasoned music industry veterans it will look like a list of largely unknown bands. And, for the most part, it is! However, delve deeper and you’ll soon find that they are invariably talked about as ones to watch, the ones with potential: the ones who have basically got that special something.

Personally, I’m aware of the likes of Phoebe Bridgers (who released her stunning debut to very high praise, Stranger in the Alps), or the raucous garage indie-rockers King Nun, and the barely out of her teens but super-talented soul and r’n’b singer/songwriter Mahalia. Plus, there’s Australia’s indie-rockers Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, the chilled 80s indie grooves of Her’s, and Aquaserge, a supergroup of sorts, made up of members of Stereolab, Tame Impala and Acid Mothers Temple.

Delve even deeper and there will be names that will be barely known. Such as South Korea’s surf rockers Say Sue Me, psych-funk-rockers Leah Dou from China, and snotty teenage punks from Ireland, Touts. Or, how about Gus Dapperton, Hockey Dad, Sports Team, Freya Ridings, Tshegue, and Brighton’s Underwater Boys. Relative unknowns all of them, but ready to take on the world.

New partnerships have also just been announced. Along with the aforementioned Download Festival, FADER, Notion and Gilles Peterson’s Future Bubblers (the new talent discovery and development arm of Peterson’s Brownswood Music) will be hosting stages this year. While Steel Bangelz, Fredo and Ebenezer will be joining Mist and MoStack at Brighton Dome on Saturday 19th May for The Great Escape Spotlight Show.

This is, of course, just the beginning. There are still 300 more artists to be announced over the coming weeks, more info on the TGE:Convention strands, networking events and parties, plus a very special new venue.

In the meantime, jump aboard and buy a ticket. Three-day passes are available now. The Great Escape has sold out in recent years as is likely to do so again this year. Don’t miss out!
2nd February 2018

The Great Escape 2018 showcase

As well as being a showcase for some of the best new music from around the globe The Great Escape is also the place for music business people to network, learn and discover via TGE:CONVENTION (17th – 19th May 2018). There will be three full-day conferences this year putting the spotlight on education, AI and China, along with an extensive TGE:IN-CONVERSATION programme with leading industry leaders, a TGE:DIY day of panels and conversations especially for future talent, both on and off the stage, and much else including a whole host of networking events, parties and priority access to festival venues.
23rd January 2018

The Great Escape – Thursday May 17th – Saturday May 19th 2018 – Preview

Is there a better time in Brighton than when The Great Escape Festival rolls through town for three days in May? It is the start of the summer, there is the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe busying the streets around town, and The Great Escape is the musical cherry on top that encompasses everything that is to love about Brighton.

As with each year, The Great Escape will take over an incredible 30 venues across Brighton to showcase over 400 of the most exciting and interesting musicians from all over the world. New for 2018, the festival will also be creating its very own 2,000-capacity venue called The Beach (no awards for guessing where it will be situated) to act as the new hub for festival goers.

Looking through the list of the 241 already announced acts, there is the usual arsenal of new and yet to be discovered acts as well as some rather exciting establish acts. The likes of Goat Girl, Pale Waves, Japanese Breakfast, Her’s, Lets Eat Grandma, Phoebe Bridgers,Superorganism, Yellow Days, Mahalia and The Orielles are all touring acts in their own right which we have all covered on Brightonsfinest, and are sure to make music fans eager to secure a ticket before they all typically sell out.

Brighton’s musicians have always had a main stay on the festival bill each year – Wild Front, Gender Roles, Underwater Boys, Grace Carter and Fine Creatures all deservedly hold spots on the 2018 line-up. As with the last couple of years at the festival, grime, rap and hip-hop takes a spot in the forefront of The Great Escape, with Mist and Mostack taking over the Brighton Dome for one of the special Spotlight Shows at this year’s festival.

There is no doubt jazz music is in the middle of a resurgence, taking perhaps an unexpected step into the public eye, and the 2018 festival bill represents some of the most impressive talent out there at the moment, with the likes of Kamaal Williams, Sons Of Kemet, Poppy Ajudha, Puma Blue, Mali Hayes, Three Body Trio and Yussef Days showcasing modern jazz at its best.

Keep up to date with all The Great Escape Festival news on our News page here.

For more information on The Great Escape Festival, visit their website here

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