Not long now until the Great Escape Festival rolls into town again. For those of you who have never been, it runs from the 10th to the 13th of May and is one of the best festivals in Brighton. It pretty much takes over the town with every pub, club, bar or church playing host to bands

A bit like Americas SxSW festival, it’s a showcase for bands from all around the world to get noticed. On the wednesday there is the conference strand with talks on how to get ahead in the biz. Then from Thursday to Saturday, the music starts. In the beginning, it had bands you had heard of, nowadays it is obscure up-and-coming acts. If you have signed up for Resident Records newsletters then you might have heard of some of them. Generally, though it’s you, their mates and their parents in the audience. Various countries have showcases and there is even a couple of big tents on the beach with stages in them. Finally, there are a couple of big names at the Dome. This year it’s Maisie Peters and Arlo Parks however they have already sold out.

When I went in 2019 new bands at the bottom of the bill included Black Midi, Black Country, New Road, Squid, Chai, Georgia and local girl Celeste. The amusing thing is you can be famous in another country and unknown here. I have seen huge Canadian stars at the Green Door Store and someone who won “Swedens Got Talent” playing in a basement to a dozen people who had wandered in off the street.

Are you going and who do you want to see?

Photos: The Great Escape

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