Brighton’s sprawling multi-venue festival The Great Escape is back.
Taking place at different locations across the seaside city over May 19-21, TGE offers one of the UK’s most diverse lineups of breaking artists from across genres, as well as more established names in headline slots.
This year the lineup spans grime (Stormzy, Riko Dan, Lady Leshurr and more) and club music (Uniiqu3, Finn, Craig David) alongside the usual smorgasbord of indie and pop. We’ve even got our very own FACT stage on Saturday May 21, with Stormzy, WSTRN and MoStack & M.O.
We’ve picked 10 of the festival’s highlights to check out if you’re heading down – for more information and to grab tickets, head to The Great Escape’s official site.
Cakes Da Killa
Venue: The Arch
Jersey rapper Cakes Da Killa is set to bring his unique brand of twisted club music to Brighton, showing that he’s not just got an ear for unusual beats but he’s got the versatile flow to match.
Craig David’s TS5
Venue: Wagner Hall
Craig David’s comeback has been a joy to behold, and he’s set to bring his TS5 party (named after his Miami penthouse) to The Great Escape. In the last year, the party has moved from an exclusive pre-club blast to a worldwide concern – a touring concept, radio station and more – offering garage, bashment and classic R&B.
Venue: Paganini Ballroom / The Haunt
Thursday, 19:15 / Friday/Saturday, 00:30
Greta Kline’s jangly indie four-piece Frankie Cosmos are one of NY’s brightest hopes right now, twinning Kline’s witticisms with instrumentation that reminds of simpler times. If you only see one guitar band at The Great Escape, this is the one.
Venue: Komedia Studio Bar
If you’ve stumbled over young Brainfeeder signing Iglooghost before, you’ll know why he’s on this list. The UK producer blends the unpredictability of classic Rephlex material with a range of more contemporary tropes – those looking for something a bit off kilter will no doubt have their thirst slaked.
Venue: Prince Albert
The London talent is on a bill showcasing the very best of the new wave of grime MCs. He’ll be dropping tracks from his new mixtape Underdog Season alongside sets from AJ Tracey, Elf Kid and Riko Dan plus top DJ Finn.
Kero Kero Bonito
Venue: The Arch
The Anglo-Japanese trio have been perfecting their own topsy turvy brand of J-pop-infused joy for a couple of years now, and seem just on the cusp of breaking out PC Music style. If Danny L Harle’s bizarro pop floats your boat, you need to check KKB.
After years of low-key slog, Brummie force of nature Lady Leshurr is finally smashing into to the mainstream after racking up bazillions of YouTube views for her hilarious Queen’s Speech freestyle vids.
Venue: St George’s Church
Avant-cellist Oliver Coates has worked with everyone from Mica Levi (on her incredible Under The Skin soundtrack) and Massive Attack to Ben Frost, Jonny Greenwood and the artist Lawrence Lek, and his new LP, Upstepping, is set to cement his reputation as one of the country’s most unique talents.
Venue: Brighton Dome
It’s been a joy to watch Stormzy take over the charts and amass an army of rabid fans over the past 18 months, and it’s going to be an even bigger joy to watch him headline FACT’s very own stage at Brighton Dome, where he’ll be supported by WSTRN and MoStack & M.O.
Venue: Prince Albert / The Arch
Friday, 9:30PM / Saturday, 8:30PM
The Jersey club queen has been taking her regional sound to the masses through a non-stop touring schedule this past year, and after smashing it at FACT’s SXSW showcase last month we can guarantee UNIIQU3 is here to make you sweat.
The Great Escape takes place on May 19-21.