Monday 6 April 2015

The Great Escape Festival 2015 - Preview (Part 1 of 5 - Why We Love The Great Escape)

If there’s one music festival that we mark on our calendar every year for certain attendance it’s Brighton’s The Great Escape. A new music fan’s delight, The Great Escape (and it’s smaller brother The Alternative Escape, which runs alongside the main event ) is an urban festival that showcases emerging artists from all over the world with over 400 up and coming bands playing in 35 venues, accessible on one wristband. It’s the festival where we first saw Adele playing in a tiny coffee house, Haim play a ridiculously sweaty club show that involved one of the band stripping down to their underwear it was so hot and along the way we’ve caught the likes of Foals, Years & Years, London Grammar and Dan from Bastille (before he had formed Bastille) play sets whilst they were still developing as artists.

So what makes Great Escape so good? Here are 5 simple reasons:

1. It’s a music fan's festival. 

Other festivals are brilliant for the diverse and often rich range of entertainment and experiences they provide, from poetry to film to theatre, to fine food and drink, but Great Escape's focus is firmly on music and nothing else.

2. The imbecile factor is low.

Because of 1 above and the fact that virtually all the acts playing are relatively new, the lack of idiots in the audiences tends to be minimal. At the risk of sounding like gig snob, and generalising a little, as bands become more successful their audiences generally become more mainstream and with the mainstream comes more and more twats. You know the sort – the bloke who stands with a pint in his hand chatting to his mates all the way through a bands set, suddenly paying attention when they play ‘the hit’ shouting “I love this song,” and to record that he was there promptly takes a selfie of his stupid dumb ass face with the band behind him, recording what a 'great time' he had before continuing to chat for the rest of the song and then heading for the bar.

3. Sheer value for money. 

You can buy a super early bird 3 day ticket for just £39.50. Last year that allowed us to see 42 bands full performances over the course of the event.

4. Daytime gigs.

Daytime gigs are music lovers dreams come true, mainly because you can the whole day doing what you adore doing but can normally only do in the evening. All we need from the Great Escape now is a handful of breakfast gigs (in a cafe serving coffee and croissants perhaps - that would be perfect.) Also you’ll find it’s the more committed fans who will catch the shows earlier in the day, which once again reduces the imbecile factor.

5. Number Of Shows / Choice.

Of course there are plenty of other multi-venue festival’s in the UK now, but The Great Escape is the grandaddy of them all. Now in its 10th year (we’ve been to 9 of them – having missed the first) it boasts more bands, more venues and more choice than any other. Sure, some venues, particularly those with the more well-known / buzzy acts will reach capacity and you’ll have to get there early to get in, but if you find yourself in a queue, don’t hang around too long, there’s a huge amount of other brilliant talent waiting to be devoured in other venues.

Have you got your ticket yet? Have you got as excited as we have about it all? In that case grab one now by clicking here (it usually sells out so don't delay) and enjoy the thrills and spills down by the seaside at one of the musical weekends of the year. 

If you’re struggling with the idea of 400 acts and wondering which ones to take a punt on, Breaking More Waves has selected 20 which we think will be worth investing time with (programme clashes permitting). Unsurprisingly the vast majority have featured on these pages before.

We’ll be featuring 4 artists in each of the next 5 blog posts. All 4 posts will be published during the course of today, 1 post on the hour every hour between 9am and 1pm GMT.

Recommendations (Part 1)

1. Aquilo

Breaking More Waves gave them their Hype Machine debut in March 2013, in 2014 they played a daytime basement show for The Alternative Escape (which was rammed with music industry types) and now 2015 finds them on the main bill of Great Escape. Beautifully restrained but soulful keyboard based music.

2. Bully

"Indie / alternative guitar music is dead." Yawn. No it's not, it's just reached that stage where its become like folk music, a tradition, ideas handed down from generation to generation. Bully are just part of that lineage. The point is that they're one of the better and more exciting bands of that breed around right now. We introduced them to the blog just last month. Read more about them by clicking here.

3. Rag 'N' Bone Man

Big voice. Big tunes. Blues. Gospel. Soul. Rock. Hip-hop. This man does it all. One of our Ones to Watch for 2015 (here) playing in his home city. Everyone who catches him live is blown away by his incredible voice. If you haven't yet, it's about time, surely?

4. Jerry Williams

Another recent blog inductee and one of the more unknown names on the bill, 19 year old Jerry Williams hails from Breaking More Waves home city of Portsmouth and is pretty much the opposite of Rag 'N' Bone Man in terms of vocal tone; Jerry's is deliciously sweet and utterly adorable, as are her chirpy acoustic pop songs that she plays with a sense of joy and freedom. We understand that Jerry's playing more than 1 show in Brighton at the Great Escape - expect to see her somewhere on the Alt Escape bill as well.

Stay tuned for part 2 of our recommendations later today.

1 comment:

oldierob said...

Nice article Robin.

Agree on the 5 reasons and would add 6th. Variety of acts. There is something there to fit your tastes whatever they are. At the same time there are acts there that you would hate. It's our favorite festival for all 6 reasons.

As usual I both agree and disagree with the choices.Having said that mainly agree