If you love new music and are based in the UK, then Brighton’s Great Escape is undoubtedly the festival to attend. The single wristband multi-venue event was established in 2006 and has grown and developed to become the largest of its sort in Europe. This year it encompasses performances by 350+ emerging national and international artists, as well as a full supporting music industry convention.
In past years Breaking More Waves has witnessed the likes of Adele playing in a small coffee shop to no more than 100 people, Mumford and Sons on a bill that also included Laura Marling, Noah and The Whale and Jay Jay Pistolet (Justin from The Vaccines former solo effort) and one of Haim’s first UK shows in a brutally sweaty nightclub basement. This festival provides a great opportunity to catch tomorrows stars today plus a small number of more established acts which this year include the likes of the Klaxons, Billy Bragg, Everything Everything and Bastille.
The Great Escape can for the uninitiated be a minefield. There are so many bands on the bill, many of whom even the most ardent new music enthusiast won’t have heard of. Then, because of the event's popularity there's the potential of getting stuck in the queues. Every year we hear moans of punters being left outside unable to get in to a venue as they reach capacity. However with a bit of advance planning these problems can be avoided.
Step 1 is to have a listen to as many bands as you can using this interactive poster.
Step 2 is to start planning. Unlike many festivals The Great Escape publish the timetable for all stages and well in advance. You can see the timetables here.
Bear in mind that with the exception of the Dome (for which an upgraded ticket is required) and the Corn Exchange many of the venues are small and once they are at capacity you’ll find yourself queuing until someone comes out. So if there is someone you particularly want to see and they’re an act that have had lots of media coverage and on line buzz, arrive in plenty of time. Last year for the likes of Grimes, Alabama Shakes and Friends if you weren’t in the queue for doors opening you risked missing them, left on the streets outside. This year we'd put money on the likes of Tom Odell and Chvrches being in the same position - don't say we didn't warn you if you are planning to see these acts. Also allow enough time for travelling from venue to venue. It can take 15-20 minutes to walk from the more northerly venues such as The Green Door Store to those on the seafront such as Digital.
We also recommend that you follow Great Escape on Twitter and set your phone to receive text notifications of their tweets during the course of the event. In previous years the Great Escape operates a text update system which is a useful tool to subscribe to, although this hasn’t been announced yet this year. It's one way of finding out last minute line-up changes and when venues are at capacity. There's also a free app which you can store your timetable on and share with your friends. We'll be updating our timetable as we get closer to the date but if you want to see what we're planning on seeing go to the friends section of the app and add Breaking More Waves. Alas the app doesn't include the Alt Escape acts only the core programme so you will see big gaps in our schedule!
For the rest of this week Breaking More Waves will be featuring some acts that are appearing at Great Escape that may be worthy of your attention. All of these acts haven’t featured on the blog before and hence will be the subject of one of our regular New Wave features. Of course there’s a plethora of bands playing the event that we have already featured and they all come recommended by us. These acts include Chvrches, Misty Miller, London Grammar, Curxes, Chasing Grace, Josh Record, Indiana, The Other Tribe, No Ceremony ///, Embers, IYES, Bear Cavalry, Fear Of Men, Deap Valley, Nina Nesbitt, Fight Like Apes, Wall, Luke Sital-Singh, Duologue, Eliza and the Bear, Halls, Chloe Howl, Sons & Lovers and Night Engine to name just a few.
Today’s recommendation comes from Scotland. Holy Esque is a Glaswegian four piece and stand out from the majority of the guitar toting crowd by virtue of Pat Hynes’ unique rasping vocal, majestic layered riffs and gargantuan sonically shattering tunes. They are playing at the ridiculously early time of 15.30 in the afternoon on the opening Thursday at the Dome Studio, or for late nighters 00.45 on the Saturday night at the Blind Tiger. What better way to start (or finish) your weekend? Goosebumps may come early (or late) depending on your situation.
The Great Escape takes place between 16th-18th May tickets are available here. We'll be tweeting from the event on our twitter and will be posting day by day reviews shortly after they've happened.
Holy Esque - St.
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