The Great Escape Festival – Preview


By Ian Walker

Picture the euphoria surrounding the classic British music festival, minus the obligatory sight of scores of people bathing in endless fields of mud. Since 2006, Brighton has been home to a very unique and exclusive exhibit. A cornucopia of emerging and successful British and international acts unveiled in 30 different venues across Brighton and Hove. From stunning beach sets, to intricate coffee shop acoustic sessions, right back to empowering performances in the city’s top venues, The Great Escape has appropriately been slapped with the tag of “Europe’s leading Festival for new music”.

The festival takes a distinctive and incredibly ‘Brighton’ approach to the festival layout, with acts taking to all corners of the city to showcase an assortment of talent. Award winning artists on the musical spectrum have made their name over the years in our little corner of England such as: The Drums; Bon Iver; Kasabian; and Mumford & Sons. Oh, how could one forget the multi-award winning Adele playing a prolific set in a minute Kemp town coffee shop back in 2007?

With 2012’s full infectious line-up to be announced imminently, it’s sure to be quite the phenomenon. Over the weekend, you can expect to see a plethora of independent musical ability; including Africa Express Sound System, who are often described as a “beautiful cacophony” with their extraordinary mix of contemporary dance, soulful reggae vocals and staccato bass lines all conveyed by absurd aesthetics.

You can also expect to see the recently announced indie-heroes Maximo Park, who return to showcase their quirky take on alternative ‘Brit-pop’ to the Brighton crowds at The Dome.

Finally, former Festival conquerors The Mystery Jets are also Brighton bound to parade their wall of synth, superseded by that unique quivering voice of lead singer, Blaine Harrison.

This year sees scores of talent descending into Brighton to make up the 300 strong bill; Alabama Shakes, Spector, Grimes, Porcelain Raft, Howler and Dry the River all complementing a host of impromptu performances and eagerly anticipated returns.

Tickets can be purchased at an early bird price of just £45; whether you’re celebrating the abundance of talent on display, or attending the infamous educational seminars on contemporary music, which appear all over town over the duration of the weekend. The Great Escape really is a great way to access this year’s hottest new acts, get a taste of the fantastic venues we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep, or simply revel in the joys of audio while you enjoy a well earned drink at the various ‘pop up’ bars all over town!

The Great Escape – 10th May – 12st May 2012


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