It's nearly time for this seaside city to once again host Europe's largest new music festival, The Great Escape. Whether you're a Great Escape veteran or this is your very first escape, it is impossible to see all of the 400+ artists. To help guide your escape we've curated a list of our must see acts, with links to Brighton, performing at this years Official Great Escape Festival.
Make sure to check out the WaterBear stage at St. Nicholas Church, Dyke Road, Brighton. It's a free entry event. Sign up here.
Where:? Komedia Studio Bar 2:15am Friday 10th May
Debut album HiiDE is out on the 5th of July.
For fans of FKA Twigs, Grimes and James Blake.
Under management from Brighton label / promoters Love Thy Neighbour and signed to Death Waltz Originals, Babii burst onto the scene with her infectious debut single PHANTOM back in November 2018. Blending electronica, hushed vocals, with boundary pushing pop sensibilities, Babii has been championed by The 405, Fresh on the Net and The Line of Best Fit. After a run of hotly tipped SXSW shows Babii's debut Great Escape show is one not to miss.
Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church. 8:20pm Friday 10th May (Free Entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Unitarian Church 7:30pm Saturday 11th May
New Album: Light Repeated is out on 10th of May.
For fans of Joanna Newsom, Aldous Harding and Angel Olsen.
Harpist and songwriter Ellie Ford has become an icon of the Brighton music scene. Her debut album The Other Sun with it's orchestral folk arrangements and sultry vocals was the soundtrack to many Brighton cafe's and has received praise from BBC 6. Ford and her five piece band are preparing to launch their follow up, Light Repeated, recored in frankfurt with German studio / label Lotte Lindenberg. Dark orchestral folk at it's finest.
Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church 5:30pm Friday (Free entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Fabrica 9:15pm Friday
For fans of Bjork, Alt-J and Laura Marling.
AK Patterson has been dubbed ‘a woman possessed’, disappearing to a place of fierce enchantment when she sings. After releasing their debut single, Shadows, produced by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J) this Brighton based alt folk trio have seen a meteoritic rise, with stadium support slots with Alt-J and their own sell out headline UK tours.
Where?:Northlane Brewhouse. 9:30pm Thursday, 9th May Alternative Escape
For fans of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Stevie Wonder and Jamie Lidell.
Jazz neo-soul outfit have been delighting audiences with shows at the prestigious London Jazz Cafe and Love Supreme festival. Bringing their infectious groves and Stevie Wonder influenced keys, tied together by the smooth vocals of lead singer James Berkley.
Where?: The Arch. 6:15pm Friday, 9th May.
For fans of Kendrick Lamar, OutKast, FKA Twigs and Queen Latifah.
Brighton producer and rapper Bobbie Johnson combines hip hop, grime, garage, and glitch to form an amalgamation of sounds that showcase her conscious thought and social commentary. They have supported Children of Zeus, The Pharcyde and Roots Manuva as well as touring with Rag ’n’ Bone Man.
Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church 7.20pm Friday, 10th May (Free entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Marine Room (Harbour Hotel) 9:15pm Saturday, 11th May.
For fans of Bon Iver, Villagers and Father John Misty.
Brighton based Anglo-French singer songwriter Michael Baker is backed by a 6 piece band of multi-instrumentalists who provide soaring harmonies and stunning soundscapes to his intricate folk songs. His debut album ‘Dust & Bone’( released in November 2016) was produced by Dan Brown (Massive Attack) and received praise from The Independent, Mahogany, Tom Robinson and Clash.
Michael’s 2nd album ‘Salt’ is due 3rd quarter 2019, produced by Oliver Baldwin (Aldous Harding / First Aid Kit).
Where?: The Hope and Ruin 10:00pm Friday, 9th May.
For fans of MGMT, Syd Arthur and Jouis.
Now based in Bristol Psych-pop 6 piece Cousin Kula are a live act like no other. Interweaving synths, break beats, effected vocals and hook laden melodies all come together in one exhilarating package. The best live act we saw at last years TGE. Championed by NME, Line of best Fit, Clash, Fresh on the Net.
Where?: Prince Albert. 11:15pm Friday, 9th May.
For fans of Sharon Van Etten, Fleet Foxes and The National.
Two years on from her debut album, the former solo project has evolved into a full band sound soaked in four-part vocal harmony fulfilling Atwell’s desire to create a more dynamic live show, with traces of traditional folk music. Atwell’s latest single ‘Grace’ is the more restrained, intimate successor of her August offering ‘Swimming Pool’, both of which have been playlisted by BBC Radio 6 Music.
There are so many fantastic new bands performing over the weekend of TGE who didn't make the official line up this year. If you haven't got a TGE wristband then here's our top venues with free entry events:
Thursday, 9th May 12.00 – 22.00
Republic of music showcase @ Loading Brighton
11 Lower Promenade, Madiera Drive
Friday, 9th May 14.30 – 22.30
Back in the Woods Promotions + WaterBear | The College of Music
Present Alt Alt Escape @ St Nicholas Church
Dyke Road / Church St, Brighton BN1 3LJ
Saturday, 10th May 15:00-23:30
Fresh Lenins presents ALT ALT ESC. DAY 3.
Idle Hands, 59 Queens Road, BN1 3XD Brighton
Happy Great Escaping everyone, we'll see you on the other side.