Category Archives: The Great Escape

TGE 2016 – January Festival Update

Hello fellow Brightonians (and those reading from further afield too of course!). Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last decade, there’s no ignoring The Great Escape, one of the UK’s leading new music inner-city festivals! Forget wellies, overpriced food stalls and camping in a cesspit. TGE is completely different festival experience, and as the name suggests, it truly is a great escape from reality. Find out more about the festival, apply to play and check out The Great Escape playlist in my TGE 2016 January Festival Update.

TGE 2016

As in previous years, the festival will be taking over almost every pub, venue and outside space suitable for hosting gigs, showcasing the very best of the very newest in unsigned and emerging acts, as well as a few well known names thrown in for good measure too! Taking place from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st May, TGE 2016 is the perfect escape in Brighton, particularly for all the industry big-wigs, A&R and musicians who will be in town for the Convention, taking the opportunity for the annual networking and conference events.

TGE 2016 Convention


For the complete experience of TGE16, you’ll want to get a Delegate Pass, granting you access to all the shows PLUS all of the industry events and networking sessions that go on throughout the festival. Last year’s included talks on songwriting, protecting your work, music photography and album artwork and a mini-conference on the future of music marketing. If you work in the industry or just want a chance to meet the right people, find out a bit more about the music industry or just keep up to speed with the latest developments on the music scene, a Delegate Pass is a must. The EARLY BIRD Delegate Pass is on sale now for just £150. Numbers are limited and they will sell out quick so snap one up now to save some money!


First 50 Artists Announced at TGE 2016


Whilst most festivals focus on the Main Stage headliners to attract the audience, TGE has managed to run for 10 years without relying on a few big names to sell tickets. It is the experience and the unknown which attracts people to Brighton for The Great Escape and the variety that it offers is unrivalled at any festival in the UK (even Glastonbury). This is due to the number of venues that are holding gigs throughout the three-day period. TGE 2016 will be a complete city takeover for 3 days and nights!

Recent additions to the line up include Mystery Jets and two artists recently showcased by Communion Records, Dan Owens and Jack Watts. More artists will be regularly added to the line up in the upcoming months. See the latest artists confirmed on

Jack Watts at TGE 2016



TGE 2016 - Apply To Play - Holy Holy at TGE 2015


In association with Music Glue, you can submit your application to play at TGE 2016 for free online. Entries will close February 2016 so don’t dilly-dally! Find out how to Apply Online for TGE 2016


Last but not least, try before you buy with the TGE 2016 Spotify Playlist below. Just don’t wait too long as tickets always sell fast!

Read my article on why you shouldn’t miss TGE from last  year –
10 Reasons To Not Miss TGE

Interview with Daudi Matsiko at TGE 2015
Interview with JP Cooper at TGE 2015

6 Top Music Festivals For 2016

If Glastonbury, Leeds and Reading, V Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival all seem a little oversized for your musical needs, then you will love these smaller, often independently run music festivals which will be returning for 2016. With individual event tickets, day tickets and weekend tickets, there will be something here to suit all preferences so read on to find out about some of the UK’s best lesser-known music festivals.

Cheltenham Jazz Festival – 27th Apr – 2nd  May

Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2016
Winning Photo Competition Entry by Lorea Sarobe

Where? – Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

Last Year’s Lineup? – Caro Emerald, Van Morrison, Friday Night is Music Night, Average White Band

Confirmed for 2016? – Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, Becca Stevens Band + more. Read more on the Cheltenham Jazz Festival Blog

Why?  – Cheltenham Jazz Festival is a lovely drop in Festival spread over the first May Bank Holiday weekend. With 3 main stages, a bandstand, an in the woods outdoor unplugged stage and a host of great food and drink stalls, it’s a great chance to see some of your jazz favourites and breakthrough contemporary artists in the modest surroundings of the square in Cheltenham. Events are individually priced. Find out more on

TGE – The Great Escape – 19-21st May

TGE2016 early bird

Where?  – Brighton, East Sussex

Last Year’s Lineup? – The Smiths, Alabama Shakes, Kate Tempest, The Maccabees

Confirmed for 2016?-  A new release of 50 artists for the first wave has just been released. Keep up to date with the 2016 lineup and have a listen in the playlist below.

Why? – TGE is a brilliant inner-city festival taking over the city of Brighton with pop-up venues, as well as utilising the city’s many music venues and pubs. As well at the main event, the Alt Escsape runs in parallel and is a free festival. To top it off, TGE offers a professional conference for people to attend talks about the music industry and participate in industry networking sessions and other private events. Tickets start around £50 + booking fee and can be bought online through See Tickets. Read my article on why you shouldn’t miss TGE from earlier this year – 10 Reasons To Not Miss TGE

Liverpool Sound City – 28-19th May

Liverpool Sound City - SIgn
Liverpool Sound City 2015 – Photo by Nicola Jackson

Where? – Liverpool, Lancashire

Last Year’s Lineup? Flaming Lips, Belle and Sebastian, Everything Everything, Gaz Coombes 

Confirmed for 2016? The Coral, Circa Waves, Dandy Warhols, Young Fathers

Why? – Moved to the Dockyards last year as a change from the TGE style city centre venue takeover, the idea behind Liverpool Sound City is quite an innovative one! With venues varying from an old warehouse to smaller indoors-ish tents and a main stage outside, the festival is a fun weekend -and as the music doesn’t start too early you have the mornings to peruse Liverpool and take in some of the touristy sights. Last year it was scorching there and there was the arrival of the Three Queens, so fingers crossed next year will feature something special too! Tickets from just £70 + booking fees from See Tickets.

Love Supreme – 1st -3rd July

Love Supreme 2016 Early Bird

Where? – Glynde, East Sussex

Last Year’s Lineup? – Chaka Khan, Van Morrison, Lisa Stansfield, Neneh Cherry

Confirmed for 2016? None yet  – keep your eyes peeled on and on twitter @lovesupremefest for updates.

Why? I’ve attended Love Supreme each year since it’s inception in 2013 and each year the festival has grown, refined and bettered itself. With a lot of people parking at the main stage all day to bask in the sun, and others tent-hopping to catch their favourite acts, the festival is small enough to easily get around, but big enough to have a variety of things to offer, from videos and live Q & A sessions in the Blue Note Room to a plethora of great food stalls, bandstand local jazz, big main stage headliners and night-time events to keep you going until the early hours. Early Bird Tickets were released last month and you can buy them through TicketLine on the Love Supreme Festival Website.

Ten Triumphs of Love Supreme 2015
Love Supreme 2014 – Six New Jazz Discoveries
Ten Artists Not To Miss At Love Supreme 2014

Citadel Festival 17th July


Where? – Victoria Park, London

Last Year’s Lineup? – Ben Howard, Bear’s Den, Nick Mulvey, Bombay Bicycle Club

Confirmed for 2016? Sigur Ros

Why? – A 1-day festival in the heart of London for around £50 a head? Yes that’s right! Last year’s Citadel had a great line-up, although the organisation was shambolic, there were far too few toilets and food stalls and the mess at the start of the festival all around the ground was really not at an acceptable level. Saying that, I came for great music from the likes of Ben Howard and Bombay Bicycle Club and they delivered. I’m hoping that this year’s Citadel will be a little smoother around the edges, but with the same high standards of music, which Sigur Ros are already setting the bar very high with. Tickets available from Ticketmaster.

EOTR – 2nd – 4th September

End of the Road 2015
My highlights from EOTR 2015

Where? – Larmer Tree Gardens, Dorset

Last Year’s Lineup? – Tame Impala, Sufjan Stevens, Laura Marling, Django Django

Confirmed for 2016? – None yet  – watch out on for updates.

Why? – EOTR is the largest festival on this list, but there’s something about it that just feels very homely. With 2 main outdoor stages, the Tipi tent and the Big Top, the festival is quite contained, but it offers so much more than just music. The comedy area in the woods was a highlight for me last year, seeing some great comedians and unexpectedly during one set Charlotte Church singing a stunning rendition of Hopelessly Devoted, accompanied by just a fella on acoustic guitar. There are activities for all the family, and the free-to-all piano stage, where I played a couple of times over the weekend, was a great place to relax. Regardless of the line-up, EOTR is a festival with the right attitude and even a spot of rain can’t dampen the spirits of those in attendance. Tier 2 tickets are available now for £170, but can be secured with a £45 deposit, with the balance payable in June 2016. Find out more on

Daudi Matsiko Interview

After Daudi Matsiko‘s fantastic performance in the dimly lit Paganini Lounge as part of The Great Escape Festival, I caught up with him the next day in the baking sun outside of the one-in-one-out Spiegeltent to find out a little more about the man behind the music. After a couple of hours and a few cans on the beach, it was clear to see that there was a lot more to this man than an acoustic guitar, effects board and a raspy voice.

After assessing the Spiegeltent as being too busy and with Patterns’ beer garden not yet open, we headed to a local supermarket to pick up a few cans to sit on the beach with on the sunny Sunday afternoon. The city was buzzing with The Great Escape in its final day and the fountain by the Old Steine was surrounded by people enjoying the sun and the acoustic covers of a busker who was at the time playing Paolo Nutini’s ‘Jenny Don’t Be Hasty’. In the supermarket I picked up some ciders and Daudi was over the moon to have found his favourite beer for sale, Crafty Dan’s 13 Guns IPA. “I’ve been looking everywhere for this since February” he told me. With his spirits already lifted before opening the can I knew that this would be a fruitful chat.

On the way to the beach he told me a little about himself. As a former BIMMer, he was happy to be back in his student town, noticing all of the little changes around the place since he was studying here. He remembered The Bees Mouth as being a great place for live music (it still is!) and talked about how he teaches guitar as well as playing shows and songwriting himself. He told me that he has “Musician” written on his passport and that means a lot to him after working a number of jobs before getting to where he is today.

Daudi Matsiko Interview -
Artwork by Stephen Teeuw.

The road to being a musician is always a tricky one. What is the worst job that you’ve ever had?

My worst job was working in a call centre for a telecoms company. It was clear that I was no good at sales so they put me on auditing, which basically meant that I had to listen back to other people’s sales calls and making sure that they were doing it properly. That was pretty grim. I don’t think I’d ever want to do that again. Some of the people were great though. I became good friends with one of the guys years later and together we pieced together this jokey book of stupid ‘your mum’ jokes. It probably doesn’t even make sense to anyone else but it’s great to work with others on projects like that.

Do you have any all-time favourite songs?

All of the music that I like is music that you can feel. That’s what I try to make. One of my favourite songs is an old Ugandan church hymn that has been passed down through the generations. It’s so ominous and reverent.

Another important track for me is ‘All That You Give‘ by Cinematic Orchestra.” (T.S. I’d not heard it before but after giving it a listen I can see why.)

We moved onto talk about Death Cab For Cutie and started discussing the finer points of Ben Gibbard’s lyrics. I told Daudi about an article that I’d read about them where they said that when they were recording ‘We Looked Like Giants’, one of my favourite of their tracks, it was one of the moments when everything just merged together musically between the band.

“It’s a beautiful song. It’s got that line ‘And we learned how our bodies worked‘ which taken out of context could be nothing special, even quite corny, but within the song it just works and really means something. The track is similar to ‘We Laughed Indoors‘. (He plays me the track on his phone) It’s just got this really flat sound in the drums that I love. ‘Brothers on a hotel bed‘ is my favourite Death Cab song hands down.”

What sort of venues do you like to play?

I like playing shows with friends and other musicians. I recently played a lovely gig at the  Bodega in Nottingham, but I couldn’t really see the crowd. I really like the Jamcafe in Nottingham. I generally like playing in well-lit rooms. It’s nice to be able to see your audience and develop a relationship with them that way.

Daudi Matsiko Interview - Live at Bodega
Image by Daniel Whiston Photography.

What is your usual line-up?

I often play shows on my own because it is easier that way. It’s great to play with a band, but with that comes a stress of getting everything together, the costs and other practicalities. I’m using a new rig at the moment with a lot of effects pedals. It’s a lot of fun to use live. I feel like I’m 16 again. I think that my songs are quite malleable which gives me scope to play around with them when I’m performing live. One of my favourite pedals is the Fuzz Factory, which Matthew Bellamy (Muse) has built into his guitar.

I’m playing at Sunsplash Festival in Turkey in June, which is a week long dance music festival so I’m going to work a bit more weird stuff into my set, like using my pedal board, doing stuff that I’ve wanted to do since I was 15. I don’t think that I’ll fit in if I just sit down with my acoustic and play some songs. It’s good to challenge yourself to change your music too.

What do you listen to when you’re in a bad mood?

I remember my worst week in Brighton. Everyone had left and I was feeling really out of it and depressed. I listened to ‘Manners‘ by Passion Pit over and over and somehow it got me through.

Do you ever go back and change old songs?

I don’t often really change my songs. Rarely I’ll revisit older material from incomplete songs or songs that I didn’t release and if there is something that I really like something then I’ll steal it from myself to make a new track. The only song this that I’ve done that with is the ending of ‘Home’ which was originally in a song about an ex, Dr Who and Back To The Future that I wish I didn’t write (the ex bit), but I loved the chord structure and it fit perfectly with where Home needed to go…and that was that really.

Daudi Matsiko Interview - Artwork EP
Artwork by Stephen Teeuw.

What do you write about in your songs?

I write about life. Everything. I try no to write songs about girls as my friends and I have a loose rule to not do that, which we’ve lived by since we were kids, so it rarely ends up being about just that. I wrote a song about a friend’s mum dying once. That was a hard one, trying to give a bit of comfort to them without ignoring the brutal pain of the situation. I kind of see my songs as a chronological tale of the last 4 years. Sometimes I set myself challenges for songs, like for years I’ve been trying to write a song with a toilet reference in it. Finally I did that with my song “Take Me Old”, which is a pretty serious song. I like to do that. Combine the stupid with the serious.

Any goals by the this time next year?

I’d love to be a full-time musician. Technically I already am, but being able to write and gig full-time would be beyond perfect. I just want to make music – and having the opportunity to do that is just great.

Finally, what music have you got out there for people to hear?

My last EP is called ‘A Brief Introduction To Failure’ which is on Soundcloud and Bandcamp. I’m currently working on my new record which I think is going to be called ‘The Lingering Effects of Disconnection’.

Earlier this year I was a featured vocalist on this dance track called ‘Just Escape‘ by the artist Escape. That’s done pretty well online and a remix of it was premiered on mixcloud’s page as has had over 200k plays.

I’m also working on some collaborations with a London-based producer Adam Scrimpshire.

Hein Cooper Interview

I caught up with the tall blonde Australian Indie-pop singer-songwriter Hein Cooper after his performance at Liverpool Sound City to talk about touring,  UK culture and British Music Festivals.

Hey Hein. How are you enjoying things in the UK so far?

I’m really enjoying it in the UK. I arrived just before The Great Escape in Brighton and I’m heading back over in a few days. It’s my first trip to the UK, and to Europe.  I played a show in Paris last week and that was great. The weather here in Liverpool has been amazing today but yesterday it was really cold.

How does the UK music scene compare with Australia?

The music scene in the UK is great. You’ve got great radio coverage on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6, which give unsigned and unknown artists a good platform to share their music on. It definitely feels like everybody has an audience here. The people are willing to give new music a real chance, particularly at festivals, and coming over as an international artist that is really important to me.

Hein Cooper Interview
Hein Cooper and myself. Photo by Nicola Jackson.

How do you compare Brighton’s The Great Escape to Liverpool’s Sound City?

For the Great Escape I got to play in some really cool venues. (T.S. I pointed out how lucky he was to be playing at The Mesmerist and Speigelpub, both of which are known for good live music and appreciative audiences.) The sound was really good as well, whereas here there have been a few problems. (T.S It still sounded great from the audience). I’ve benefitted from both shows though, that is for sure, but as a performer I preferred The Great Escape just because I could hear myself better.

When is your next gig?

I’m playing at The Shacklewell Arms in London on 26th May and then I’m back of on tour in Australia. I’m back in July thought to do a tour of the west coast of the UK.

What was your latest release?

My latest release was a self-titled EP. It was played on BBC Introducing and has been going really well so far.

Anybody you’re looking to see at Sound City?

Unknown Mortal Orchestra. When are they on? (T.S 9:30pm in the Baltic Stage)

Do you have any UK festivals lined up?

I’m playing at Boardmasters in August and Somersault Festival in July.

For fans of…

Ben Howard, James Blake and Bon Iver

Finally, what is your preferred social network?

Instagram. That’s pretty big in Australia. Facebook is still very popular, and Twitter…nobody really knows what to do with it.

Hein Cooper Interview
Hein Cooper and myself. Photo by Nicola Jackson.

JP Cooper Interview @TGE15

After being blown away by his full band set in the Spiegeltent at TGE15, I had a chat with the recent Island Records signing, singer-songwriter JP Cooper about his new band, new album and upcoming summer festivals.

The lineup?

JP Cooper (Vocals/guitar), Adam Rust (Keys), Lenny Brown (Bass) and Sam Wade (Drums).

When did you start playing together?

About two weeks ago. I was playing with some different guys but it was hard to get them to commit as they were working on other projects so playing with this band is very new. We’re getting on really well. We just had 3 x 11 hour sessions to get ready for this show.

When did you start playing?

I was signed to Island Records about a year ago, and before that I was playing for about 3 years.

What was your road to TGE15?

It’s was just arranged through the label. Island Records are doing a showcase as part of the alt escape which I’m playing tomorrow with some of my label mates. We drove down here from London to get to TGE15. It’s quite an easy drive really.

When was your last gig?

The last gig was the end of a tour in February up in Scotland. Actually, I played a festival in Switzerland after that, but the Scotland gig was the last gig in the UK.

When is your next gig?

We’re off to Amsterdam on Saturday, and then we’ve got a UK tour lined up after that.

Latest release?

The last release was ‘When The Darkness Comes‘. We will be recording an album in June after we’ve finished the tour.

Next release?

The next release is going to be an album. We’ve booked a house in the countryside just outside of Bath in June and we’re just going to go away and record for 3-4 weeks. We have a couple of gigs that month too but apart from that we will just be working on the album before the summer.

Anybody you’d like to see at TGE15?

The timings worked out really badly this year as as the people that I really wanted to see were on at the same time as me: my label mates George The Poet, Nick Brewer and Dutch Uncles.

Any festivals lined up for the summer?

We’re opening the main stage on Saturday at Latitude Festival. That will be really good. We’re playing at Barn On The Farm, British Summer Time in Hyde Park (on the same day as Taylor Swift), Boardmasters in Newquay and a few others.

JP Cooper Interview

For fans of…

Soul music (I personally think he sounds like a cross between Ben Howard and Lemar, which he laughed at and said he could go with!)

Favourite social network?

Twitter – Follow JP Cooper on @JPCooperMusic

JP Cooper Interview


Listening to at . Should definitely be a bigger crowd! Embedded image permalink

7:50PM – 14 May 2015 – Fraser A Gorman @ The Haunt2015-05-14 19.50.22

8:32 PM – 14 May 2015 – JP Cooper @ Spiegeltent

Time for T Tom Tom – New Single Preview

Tonight at Green Door Store in Brighton, Brighton-based folk/world music fusion band Time for T will be launching their latest single ‘Tom Tom’.

With support from Yonaka and Bosco Rogers,  Time for T’s free single launch show will be kicking off at 7pm and is sure to be a busy one so make sure to get down early to you can get in!

With a string of European dates lined up later this month after a number of solo shows and a full band show for The Great Escape and the Alternative Escape, the band are also on the bill for a number of summer festivals this year including Larmer Tree, Kendal Calling, Forgotten Fields and Shambalaya. With these movers and shakers always moving and shaking, you have to catch them when you can in Brighton, as you never know where they will be playing next!

I caught up with the guys almost a year ago, just before the release of their self-titled EP – see the full interview for Brogue Magazine here.

Meanwhile, I am pleased to give all you fans a sneaky listen to their new track, named after either the Sat Nav or perhaps their favourite local music journalist? 😉

I present to you lovely people “Tom Tom”. Enjoy! And hopefully see you at the gig tonight!

The Alternative Escape – TGE15

For those of you who left it too late or were unable to afford a ticket for The Great Escape there is good news: the Alternative Escape is also happening in Brighton at the same time and it’s FREE.

As part of TGE15, the Alternative Escape features over 200 artists taking over 15 venues between Wednesday 13th May and Saturday 16th May 2015.

Venues for the Alt Escape include a number of great local bars and pubs such as:

  • The Black Lion
  • The Fishbowl
  • Latest Music Bar
  • The Mesmerist (upstairs and downstairs)
  • The North Laine
  • The Royal Standard
  • The Fiddler’s Elbow
  • The Joker
  • The Warren

As with the main TGE15 event there is simply too much to choose from, but here are a few of my highlights if you find yourself at a loss for where to go for the Alt Escape. Check out my playlist on soundcloud below:

Thursday 14th May

Inspired Artists Agency New Music Showcase @ Latest Music Bar
12pm – 9pm

A showcase of great up and coming talent from all over the country. Notable mentions from this all-dayer go to The Science of the Lamps (one of my favourite band names ever) and JJ Draper who I last saw at an open mic in Bangor, North Wales. Really looking forward to hearing both acts play in Brighton!

Blastbeat Rising & Blackthorn Music Festival @ Mesmerist

If you like cocktails, quirky decor and vintage attire then head on down to one of Brighton’s coolest bars for a full day of live music on two floors. Downstairs is the electric set-up, with the upstairs being Gigslutz Unplugged stage, where a lot of the downstairs artists will be playing exclusive acoustic sets. My ones to watch are Will Mussett, Phantom Runners and Garden City Movement, all of whom have caught my eye in the last few months.

Brighton Unsigned @ Royal Standard
7pm – 10:30pm

Local promoter Brighton Unsigned puts on some of their favourites over three days (Thursday – Saturday). My pick of the litter is Thursday’s line up, finished off with Your Garden Day and Chris Marsh & Edd Mann.

Friday 15th May


Island Records presents Island Life @ The North Laine
7pm – 11pm

Island Records have long been known for harbouring some of the superstars of the last 50 years, including in recent years Ben Howard, Bombay Bicycle Club, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Drake, Florence & The Machine, Hozier, Jack Johnson, Jamie Cullum, Keane, Mumford & Sons, Passenger, U2 and Weezer. Their showcase is GUARANTEED to be filled with talent and I certainly won’t be missing it! Special acoustic sets from JP Cooper and George The Poet should seal the deal. You’ll need to register for free to be on the guestlist and get there early so you don’t miss out.

Saturday 16th May

The Playground PR Presents @ Mesmerist
12pm – 4pm

London-based PR company and label The Playground PR will be showcasing some of their best and brightest, with artists representing folk, indie, rock and even drum&bass. Expect a real variety and particularly look out for Australian singer-songwriter Hein Cooper in the line-up.

Night House Presents local breaking acts @ Marwood

Brighton band Night House will be hosting a 2-day showcase at Marwood, the home of kick-arse coffee. I saw a great Alt Escape event there last year and am sure that this year’s will be just a promising with a very strong line up of local acts including Alex KP, Bella Spinks, Paul Murray and Warsaw Radio.


The Great Escape 2015 – 10 Reasons To Not Miss TGE15

For anybody who has been in a musical black hole for the last decade, I would like to introduce you to Brighton’s great metropolitan music festival – The Great Escape. This three-day inner-city festival and convention is held annually in May and this year is to be its tenth, so I thought I’d give you all a brief history of some of the great acts which have played at the Great Escape:

2006 – Bat For Lashes, Paolo Nutini, Rumble Strips, The Fratellis and The Kooks
2007 – Adele, Foals, Kate Nash, Laura Marling, Passenger and The Magic Numbers
2008 – Bombay Bicycle Club, Bon Iver, Iron & Wine, The Futureheads, The Wombats and Vampire Weekend
2009 – British Sea Power, Kasabian, Metronomy, Mumford & Sons, Noah & The Whale and The Maccabees
2010 – Chase and Status, Ellie Goulding, Ghost Poet, Michael Kiwanuka, Stornoway and Tinie Tempah
2011 – Bastille, Ben Howard, Daughter, Ed Sheeran, Foster The People, Frank Turner, Lucy Rose, Rizzle Kicks, Sufjan Stevens and Warpaint
2012 – Chet Faker, Django Django, Foxes, Jake Bugg, Mystery Jets, Slow Club and The Temper Trap
2013 – Chvrches, Klaxons, Kodaline, Kwabs, London Grammar, Luke Sital-Singh and Tom Odell
2014 – Alvvays, Clean Bandit, Dry The River, Fat White Family, East India Youth, George Ezra, Kiesza, Marika Hackman, Rae Morris and Royal Blood

(You can see more highlights from the earlier TGEs here – TGE HIGHLIGHTS)

If like me you were pleasantly surprised at how many names in the above list that you have heard of, seen performing locally or seen at a music festival, then you too will realise that The Great Escape is THE place to go to see and hear the latest and best music talent from across the country, often before the radio stations and your friends have even heard of them!

So here is my guide of 10 reasons why The Great Escape 2015 is a music festival not to miss!

1. The Bands

The Great Escape 2015 - Full Line Up
The Great Escape 2015 – Full Line Up

TGE15 will feature performances from over 400 bands and solo artists, with many giving more than one performance to help ease the inevitable problem of clashing sets. There is a huge variety of bands on display cross-sectioning most popular music genres and sub-genres, with an arsenal of formidable local acts and others from around the country and the rest of the world.

The main problem with so many bands is deciding on who it is that you really want to see, so I suggest heading over to The Great Escape Website to have a browse and see who your top festival picks this year are. You can then plan your festival using the handy online festival planner to see who is playing where and at what time. Aren’t they helpful?!

2. The Price

TGE2015 Tickets

With TGE15 tickets originally going on sale at just under £50 for a Super Early Bird 3-day pass (including all booking and transaction fees), the festival is fantastic value for money with over 400 bands playing at 35 venues, spread over the three days – Thursday 14th – Saturday 16th May 2015.

Please note that all super early bird, early bird and saver tickets are now SOLD OUT, but there are still a limited number of full price 3-day tickets available for only £66 (including all booking and transaction fees). There were also 1-day and 2-day tickets available but these have completely SOLD OUT.

3. The Venues

2013 TGE Venues Map
2013 TGE Venues Map – Some venues will have changed for TGE2015

As I have mentioned, there are around 35 venues being used for The Great Escape this year including a number of well-used music venues and a number of alternative venues including churches and pub takeovers. For a new visitor to the city, it is a great opportunity to discover many of the hidden coves that Brighton has to offer, and if you are a local, it will likely have you discovering some new venues away from your usual haunts.

4. Alternative Escape

Alternative Escape 2015

In addition to the main festival, The Alternative Escape is an official associated fringe festival, filled with showcases and with a particular emphasis on local artists. With over 200 artists performing at 15 different venues, it is safe to say that there won’t be a dull moment during The Great Escape weekend. TGE has lulls in the programming between 4pm and 6:30-7pm so this would be a great time to check out some of the local talent in the Alternative Escape which will be running throughout the festival.

Find out more about the line up for The Alternative Escape

5. The Convention

TGE Convention
TGE Convention

In addition to TGE15 festival there is also TGE Convention, a music conference which runs during the day times including talks on music marketing, branding, licensing and streaming. The Convention ticket grants the user access to TGE Convention, networking events and priority entry to all core venue gigs over the festival.

Find out more information on TGE Convention or to buy tickets.

6. The Location

The Great Escape Beachhuts

If you’ve not been to Brighton before, TGE15 is the perfect way to combine all the live music that you could want to see and hear with the sights and splendours of the city including The Royal Pavillion, Brighton seafront and Brighton Pier. The city is also filled with quirky shops, markets and boutiques in The Lanes and North Laine, as well as all of the major high street brands in Churchill Square Shopping Centre, so if you want to shop between the gigs there are plenty of places to do so!

7. No Transport? No Worries!

Brighton Fringe Festival Bus
Brighton Fringe Festival Bus

In short, you don’t really need to use any transport at The Great Escape, other than travelling to Brighton if you from outside the city. Brighton has a very compact city centre, with the majority of TGE venues being within a 10 minute walk of each other so you don’t need to spend time and money on public transport, but you should check where venues are if you haven’t been to them before and aim to arrive about 15-30 minutes before an act that you would like to see to make sure that you can get in and don’t miss them!

If you do want to explore the surround areas of Brighton and Hove, our bus service is very regular and is an easy way to get about. A day saver ticket is £4.70. Find out more about Brighton and Hove Buses.



8. Food and Drink

Eating Out In Brighton - Donatellos
Eating Out In Brighton – Donatellos

Brighton is renowned for being a culturally diverse city, with a high population of tourist visitors from overseas as well as a thriving population of students and locals from all walks of life. As such, the city caters for many cultures with a wide array of restaurants and take-aways to suit any palette. With a particular lean towards vegetarian and vegan food, Brighton has a lot to offer – and at reasonable prices unlike a lot of traditional festival food.

9. Accommodation

Accomodation at TGE
There are a number of seafront accommodation options for TGE2015.

Instead of sleeping on a hard floor in a questionably insulated sleeping bag inside a leaky tent during a gale force wind, as may be the case at a traditional music festival, why not treat yourself and sleep with a room over your head?

TGE15 offers a number of accommodation packages from luxury to basic, starting at just £82.50 for 3 nights including breakfast. Find out more about Accommodation Packages.

10. No Wellies Required!

Muddy wellies
Image by Anna Penrose.

Finally, for those of you who are put off of going to music festivals because of the inevitable slug through a large muddy field dragging behind you a broken tent and three times your bodyweight in ‘festival essentials’, TGE15 is definitely the festival for you.

Set in the city centre of Brighton, you won’t need a tent, wellies and the rest of the usual festival paraphernalia. Plus if you forget anything, there are shops all around to buy whatever you need!

For more information about TG15 visit or follow on the TGE Facebook and TGE Twitter #TGE15.

There will also be more updates on the festival here on my blog so keep your eyes peeled!