COMING UP: The Great Escape, Brighton

Brighton has always been one of the most forward-thinking towns in the United Kingdom, so it makes sense that The Great Escape, a festival of new music, would make Brighton its spiritual home.

The festival takes place in the town every May, and this year will be occurring over the weekend of the 18th-20th May. The festival follows a similar format to some other city-based festivals, such as Manchester’s Dot-to-Dot, Sheffield’s Tramlines, and previous Sound City events in Liverpool, in that it is a multi-venue event. This format clearly has its advantages, as it enables a huge volume of artists to be incorpotated into the line-up.

Photo: Carolina Faruolo

With hundreds of different artists set to play across dozens of venues over the three days, the festival has all bases covered, and given Brighton’s progressive attitude, the festival should feature tonnes of artists who regularly push the envelope in terms of innovation.

A cursory glance at the line-up confirms this to be true. Slaves, who’s punk aesthetic flung them into the limelight back in 2015 with the release of their album Are You Satisfied? will be playing Brighton Palace Pier on the Thursday night at 9.45 pm. Be aware, for spotlight events you will need to purchase a separate ticket for the gig.

After an incredible breakthrough year, multi-award winning Rag’N’Bone Manreturns to the festival off the back of his Human album, for which he gained much critical acclaim. You can catch him at Brighton Dome Concert Hall at 9pm Saturday night. Support for this show comes from Ray Blk

The third spotlight headliner is critically acclaimed British rapper Kano. After returning to the fray with Made In The Manor in 2016, Kano heads to The Old Market, Brighton with an incredible back-catalogue of music spanning ten years.

Copenhagen duo Code Walk, who have been garnering plenty of attention from the likes of BBC Radio 6, Rinse FM, and 1Extra, will be bringing their own brand of bleepy, instrumental electronics to Brighton all the way from their home country of Denmark. The pair are set to play at Komedia Studio at 12.30 am on Friday.

The haunting vocal delivery of Icelandic singer-songwriter, Asgeir will also be present at this year’s Great Escape Festival. His twist on melodic folk music is one that is truly captivating and will go down well with attendees who like their folk with a soulful edge. Asgeir plays at The Arch on Saturday at 9.45pm.


There are over 30 venues (35 to be exact) in which gigs, talks, and other performances will be taking place across the Brighton and Hove area. These include the Paganini Ballroom, Jubilee Square, Brighton Museum, and Wagner Hall amongst many others.

In addition to the musical aspect of the festival, there is also the opportunity to attend The Great Escape Convention, in which all manner of media bods will be giving attendees the chance to learn about the industry, network with industry peers, and discover media innovations. With topics such as music, drugs, and the digital age on the cards, it is well worth picking up a ticket for the convention as well (plus you might bump into the odd idol or two!).

Three day tickets for the festival start at £65, Spotlight tickets and day tickets are now sold out.


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