The Great Escape Festival is unlike any other UK Festival, whether you’re a booker, promoter, band wanting to be ‘found’, or if you want  to do some good old fashion networking this is as big a platform as it gets.   

The Great Escape gives delegates the chance to listen to over 100 speakers listed in the convention programme. The talks ranged from the PRS discussing The Battle of Legislation Reform, to the oversubscribed Great Festival Conversation (with Michael Eavis and Rob De Bank, joined by Jo Vidler, Simon Taff with moderator John Robb).  


The size of the festival and the sheer volume of emerging musical talent on show create a dilemma on who to see.  Should we go for those tipped for greatness and endure the long and winding queues, or put faith in the bookers and flit from one venue to another. 

During the three days of the festival we saw in the region of 30 artists, all of which were ranging from good to excellent.  Some of the highlights were:

Trippple Nippples from Japan 
As they walked on stage it felt that you were going back in time, they looked like Devo, with everyone wearing body stockings and head gear, but when the music kicked in and the three female vocalists burst into song it was like Bow Wow Wow in their heyday.  They went on to deliver a great high energy anarchic set that included throwing half eaten burgers into the audience, removing the top half of their jump suits to show there nipples covered in gaffa tape and walking around the crowd drinking the punters beer.

Farryl Purkiss from South Africa
Despite having just flown in from New York suffering with jet lag Faryl Purkiss’s performance oozed class.  His laid back approach was ideal for the small but appreciative crowd in the Komedia, the use of effects and a loop pedal on his acoustic guitar allowed for him to create textured layers that slowly built the song. Accompanying him was a bassist and drummer and this allowed for him to take his gentle acoustic songs to powerful rock songs.

Amatorski from Belgium
Amatorski gave us a lesson in how to make a crowd watch in silence, their use of both electronic and acoustic instruments created chillingly quiet and eerie ambient sounds before booming into huge dynamics. The Green Door Store fell silent for the entirety of their set and when it came to the end there was a buzz around the venue that the crowd were aware they had just witnessed something very rare!

King Charles from London
On Saturday afternoon summer arrived as we experienced the sun on our backs and great live music on a pop up stage outside The Green Door Store. Looking like a cross between Adam Ant & Prince, King Charles’s set of great ‘pop songs’ was a joy to behold.  It is clear that King Charles will become the darling of the festival season.

Lovepark from Brighton
Lovepark had a tough slot to fill, playing The Haunt at 3:15pm on Thursday whilst having to perform without 1 member, however this up and coming band had no issues dominating the huge stage. They ripped through their 30 minute set with a series of brilliantly written songs that would fit right in on an outdoor stage in the summer with a drink in hand!

Skinny Lister
Officially crowned the hardest working band in Britain by the PRS last year, Skinny Lister gave us a folky, barn dance sequel, feel good Friday performance that could only put a smile on your face.  They finished their set with a rendition Of Bellowhead’s New York Girls leaving us with a spring in our step as we wandered off to the next venue.

Mojo Fury from Northern Ireland
Concorde 2 hosted a night of rock on Saturday, from the moment that the three piece band, Mojo Fury walked on stage you got the impression that they wanted to put on a show, and they did not disappoint.  There set was made up of great blues inspired rock at the end of which you were left wanting more.

Amics Del Bosc from Catalonia
Performing on a bullet stage at The Hub, Amics Del Bosc brought a little Catalonian sun to Brighton. Their classic rock style mixed with traditional Spanish influences was ideal for a sunny afternoon, they proved, if proof was required, that music transcends language barriers, as they had the crowd eating out of their hands.

The decision to not follow the crowd certainly paid off, we saw some truly great bands and we didn’t queue once, hopefully some if not all will either tour or perform at festivals this year.  

If you want to see the future I would strongly recommend you visit The Great Escape next year.