There's an unspectacular, rusty-looking rollercoaster situated at the end of Brighton Pier. As the weekend drew to a close I hobbled past the miserable vomit-inducing eyesore and saw a young boy crying as he, also, hobbled off - he looked broken. That's when I realised; three minutes on this rollercoaster brings about the same feeling of tiredness, emotion and physical pain as three days at The Great Escape.
But, compared to this rollercoaster, The Great Escape is oh-so worth it.
There are some great multi-venue city festivals across the UK but The Great Escape still tops them all. It's the Big Dipper of the city festival. It starts with the organisation, the atmosphere aids it and the people confirm it. This is before we've even got to the line up.
Continue reading: The Great Escape 2016 - Review
As I'm sure we are all aware, there just aren't enough lists and top tens on the ol' internet these days. "We need to talk about..." this, "Ten things you'll know if..." that. So, here I am, attempting to revolutionise the world of festival previews. Ready?
Here are the nine (yes, nine, not ten) artists you don't "have to see" at The Great Escape, because that's just rude and presumptuous, but should certainly scribble down on a bit of paper with your favourite HB pencil.
Mt. Wolf, St. George's Church, Thursday: 20:00-20:30
Undoubtedly one of the most exciting, emotive and atmospheric artists in the world right now; I'd be willing to put a few quid on Mt Wolf, in a church, being the highlight of your festival. Arriving in Brighton off the back of their brilliant EP 'Hex' and SXSW success, make sure you're at the church on time.
Continue reading: The Great Escape 2016 Preview
The countdown to this year's The Great Escape - the UK's answer to SXSW - is well underway with a little over a month of careful planning time left.
It's the Brighton weekend where every new and exciting artist, from across the world, gravitate to the south coast for an undisputed highlight of the festival calendar. The festival recently announced the final additions to the 450-strong artist line up and, as you would expect, include some of the most exciting talent around right now. Highlights from the recently announced acts include Tusks, Young Native, Babeheaven, Johnny Foreigner, The Amazons, Muna and Leif Erikson.
The brand new additions join an already sumptuous looking line up, adding to the sense that this could be the best TGE yet. Fresh from their astonishing return, Mystery Jets will be gracing the south coast and bringing with them their critically acclaimed new album 'Curve of the Earth'. Other highlights from across the weekend will include Teleman, Band of Skulls and, of course, Craig David.
Continue reading: The Great Escape 2016 Line-Up Is Almost Complete
Gaz Coombes and Lion Babe among final additions.
The Great Escape Festival is set to return to Brighton for its 10th anniversary, bringing with it yet another year of remarkable up and coming bands. The final 150 acts have now been announced, and there's plenty to look forward to.
The SXSW of the UK, Great Escape has played host to some of the best bands the world has to offer, and this year is no different. Across more than 30 venues, the festival will be showcasing hundreds of acts with a massive 18,000 fans expected to show up to experience the meaning of music. So just who's turning out to celebrate 10 years of awesome sounds?
It was another successful year in Brighton for The Great Escape.
Brighton's Great Escape Festival took place over the weekend and, as the UK's largest street festival, gave music fans a very enjoyable weekend as it does every year. Over 400 acts played, giving the punters chance to see plenty of acts; be it established acts such as Example, These New Puritans, Pulled Apart By Horses and Twin Atlantic, or newer artists such as Gnarwolves, Big Ups, Circa Waves, Prides, MØ and Brawlers. This gave the festival goers a chance to see some old favourites, as well as check out the new talent.
Nu-rave heroes Klaxons played a secret show on Thursday at midnight in The Warren, a 400 capacity venue, giving their fans a chance to see them in a smaller setting than usual. Klaxons expressed their love of the festival, saying that they enjoyed coming as fans just to see bands. They're especially keen on the intimacy of the festival: 'They've got people right in front of your face; it's brilliant, the connection. You can look people in the eye and they're not miles away'. The band played a mixture of both old songs and new ones that they haven't had chance to play live yet. Co-vocalist and keyboardist James Righton showed his enthusiasm for the new songs saying he couldn't wait to play 'Show Me A Miracle'.
Continue reading: The Great Escape Festival 2014: Which Bands Shone Brightest?
Kaiser Chiefs exploded onto the stage in Brighton last Friday as fiery and energetic as ever. This time, however, with what seemed to be a little vengeance on their sleeve. Challenged by a 1pm stage-time, it seems the Kaiser Chiefs were more than prepared to shake-up the Thursday night hangovers, with doctor's orders for various stage aerobics and a number of crowd-pleasing sing-alongs.
Walking on to Bowie's 'Heroes' then proceeding into a chequered balance of the old and the new, made for an eventful setlist. From the off, commencing with 2005 hit 'Everyday I Love You Less And Less', then new track 'Ruffians on Parade', then second album classic 'Never miss a beat', the Chiefs were out to demonstrate how the new material holds up against their host of already established festival anthems. Live, this worked a treat, however on the record and despite 'Education, Education, Education & War''s No.1 chart success, the new, more theatrical approach to songwriting doesn't seem to be winning over much of an audience as much as Ricky Wilson's 'The Voice' has been.
With the Chiefs' founding member and drummer Nick Hodgson departing the line-up after more than 10 years' service, it's been all but cool runnings for the group to maintain the steady pace that Hodgson possessed both onstage and on record. Their new album 'began out of frustration', states the band. With Hodgson being replaced by former Club Smith drummer Vijay Mistry, the band's live dynamic has altered dramatically, taking to the stage on Friday with a much heavier feel than ever before, perhaps even a little racy and fast at times, although winning much appreciation from the early bird crowd. Of course, when one goes to a Chiefs gig, it is not expected to have your mood lighting at the ready, or your Baileys on the bar. Friday's Concorde 2 saw rafts of beer, crowd surfing cross-dressers and of course, Ricky Wilson's famous stage antics.
Continue reading: Kaiser Chiefs - The Great Escape Festival 2014 Live Review
Whosampled.com's 'Samplethon' is one of the more innovative events set for The Great Escape Festival 2014.
WhoSampled.com, a website that explores the DNA of music by discovering direct connections among thousands of songs across multiple genres, will host the first ever 'Samplethon' at The Great Escape Festival in Brighton on Saturday May 10, 2014. The event will give up-and-coming producers access to rare sample material, with the challenge to produce a brand new track against the clock.
Though winners of the Samplethon could see their tracks included on a forthcoming album release, all those entering will get the rare opportunity to call on a team of esteemed mentors for help and assistance from, as well creating new music without the legal shackles often associated with sampling.
Continue reading: WhoSampled's First Ever 'Samplethon' Set For Great Escape Festival 2014
Festival fun in London! Highlights include Jabberwocky, Camden Crawl and Wireless...
If you want a unique festival experience this year, London could be the place for you. Featuring a diverse range of events from the independent ethics of Jabberwocky to the mainstream attitude of Wireless, 2014 is not all about the States.
The UK is home to some incredible, highly respected music festivals such as Isle of Wight Festival, Leeds and Reading Festival and, of course, Glastonbury - but just what do we have in store from the nation's capital? London is unquestionably the UK's most vibrant city and, when it comes to music, there's really no denying that. The rest of the world may have SXSW, Coachella, Ultra and Exit (to name but a very small few), but London has a plethora of unique local events with line-ups and atmospheres that really prove their worth - and we're here to share them with you.
Jabberwocky (August 15th-16th)
All Tomorrow's Parties present this brand new festival for 2014, co-hosted by Pitchfork and Primavera Sound and set to take place at The Excel Centre this August. For its inaugural event, Jabberwocky will see headline acts from Neutral Milk Hotel, James Blake, Darkside and Caribou, not to mention support from Kurt Vile & The Violators, Hookworms and Electric Wizard. Like many of the best festivals, it's not all about the music as Jabberwocky will be hosting some film events and, as the name suggests, there'll be plenty of art to enjoy too. Tickets are priced at £38.50 per day.
Continue reading: Keep Calm And Party On! London's Ten Most Exciting Festivals For 2014
As the UK hub of all things liberal, Brighton's status as the undisputed city of culture shows shows no sign of coming under threat just yet. With its quirky boutiques, countless bars and venues, picturesque lanes and refreshing seaside location, it's easy to see why so many of London's media and music industry bods have chosen to relocate to the South East coast en masse. That it also hosts The Great Escape, now the biggest multi-venue industry showcase in Europe, being second only to Austin's South-By-Southwest speaks volumes. This year's event exceeding that of previous years, with twenty-seven participating venues playing host to over 300 artists across the festival's three days. On the down side, what that also means is even more clashes, venues not always running to schedule, and occasionally the hectic rush to get bands on and off stage in double quick time meaning technical issues such as soundchecks became secondary. And then of course there are the queues. Lots of them. This year, it seemed as though over half of The Great Escape's attendees were on delegate passes - normally the guaranteed way to gain entry to every venue - meaning even those of us with industry sanctioned accreditation experienced difficulty gaining entry to several showcase events.
Continue reading: The Great Escape, 2012 Live Review
As the UK's answer to South-By-Southwest, The Great Escape has firmly established itself as the most distinguished festival for new music in the whole of Europe. Situated across numerous venues in the quaintly picturesque seaside town of Brighton, it's the one event where the entire music industry converges for three days, while the rumour mill spins in overdrive with secret gigs being the talk of the weekend, some of which happen, many of which don't. Of course the most enjoyable feature of festival such as The Great Escape is being able to discover a host of new bands before they've broken through pretty much anywhere outside of their hometowns, and while a smattering of more established artists also take to the stages here, it's a treasure trove of undiscovered gems.
Continue reading: The Great Escape, The Great Escape Live Review