The fact that it’s taken me my entire life to seriously entertain the thought of attending The Great Escape is frankly, upsetting. A festival that’s essentially hundreds of tiny gigs across various venues, in one of the most brilliantly alluring cities in the south, with a line up featuring the next big things in music? Sign me up.
With over 450 artists performing in over 30 venues over three days, The Great Escape is touted as being THE place to see your future favourites in probably the most intimate place you’ll see them before they’re off to all the big festivals, or sell out venues and tours. See: ALMA, Childcare, Will Joseph Cook, Dagny, dodie, Fickle Friends, Jerry Williams, Raye, Sigrid. And that’s just people from the 2017 lineup who are, for context, either a fantastic Norwegian songstress like Sigrid, a Londoner with over 3 million monthly Spotify listeners and collaborations with Charli XCX and Jax Jones like Raye, or just someone who makes very good music like all of them.
New for this year, they’re making full use of Brighton beach with a 2,000 capacity festival site – ‘The Beach’. Nothing if not to the point with its name, it boasts two music venues, food stalls and bars, and “pop up performance spaces”. Can you think of anything better than seeing the next big thing in music on Brighton beach? Because I’m struggling to. No battling through the mud or standing half a mile away from the stage, and you might see the next Bon Iver or The xx much like 2008 and 2009 attendees were lucky enough to.
But who’s actually going? Who ISN’T going is more the question you need to ask: Børns, the 25-year-old dreamy indie pop artist; Jerry Williams, a BBC Introducing, unsigned, self-funded/releasing singer from Portsmouth who recently crowdfunded her way to SXSW; Le Boom – a new favourite of mine, this Irish duo list Jamie xx and LCD Soundsystem as influences which means their electro-indie-house-pop is basically guaranteed to be good; Superorganism, The Edge’s most recent cover stars (all eight of them) who live together and make ridiculous and brilliant music; and of course, Wild Front, possibly my favourite Southampton band who make dreamy indie pop music and are big fans of hummus.
The Great Escape tickets are available from their website, here. A visual guide to the festival in the form of a highlights video is available below: