Brighton’s multi-venue musical extravaganza, The Great Escape Festival, celebrated its 11th year back in May. Vulture Hound writer, Christine Alford was there…

The Great Escape Festival brings together over four hundred new bands from around the world to rock around 35 different venues. This year’s stand out headliners included Rag’n’Bone Man, The Charlatans and German electro-pop band Fuck Art, Let’s Dance.

The first day of the festival saw a varied show on the outdoor Fender Stage including folksters the Wandering Hearts. Despite the rain the crowd seemed to enjoy the true British Festival experience of drinking out of cheap tins in the wet weather. The evening took us to Brighton Museum, home of the Salvador Dali Lips sofa and some Picasso pottery. Here we indulged in some chilled out Canadian folk Americana courtesy of Port Cities.

Fuck Art, Let’s Dance launched their way onto the Latest Music Bar on Thursday night with an energetic performance that certainly achieved their aims. The unpretentious German electro synth band were not afraid to jump into the crowd and climb up onto the bar.


We awoke from the haze of our Malibu beer hangovers on Friday afternoon to wander down to the Fender Stage on New Road. Forest of Fools provided a slice of jump up folk, with bit of mind bending beat poetry thrown in. Afriquoi took to the stage next with their transcendental African beats. Horatio’s played host to some up and coming young indie bands, such as the four piece grunge rockers, Sorry; a band unapologetic about its frustrated teen angst.

In its 11 year history, The Great Escape has gradually become one of the highlights of the festival season. However, if you’re planning to make the trip to the south coast in 2018, we’ve got some advice for you; the incredibly popular ‘Spotlight Shows’ (which this year featured Rag’n’Bone Man, Slaves and Kano) often sell out, so you do have to book separate tickets, which leaves some gig goers disappointed. Unfortunately, the smaller venues nearer the station such as the Green Door Store, The Hope and Ruin and the Prince Albert do get quite packed out. If you are not a fan of queuing, check out the nearby Brighthelm centre instead; a nice venue, with good sound, good beer and indie vibes, and this year featured performances by the likes of Kamikaze Girls, Weirds and Happy Accidents. This year also featured an ‘Alternative Great Escape’, with The North Laine Brewhouse, the Black Lion and a host of other venues also putting on their own version of seaside indie heaven; there is always plenty to discover.


For More Great Escape visit the festival’s official site, here.

Early bird tickets for 2018’s even are on sale now.