The Great Escape festival is back once again (17 to 19 May) for another jam-packed programme of new UK music. We’ve invited people from the music industry in every continent on the planet except Antarctica to make the trip to Brighton on the south coast of England to soak up the sounds on offer and discover the best new bands and emerging artists! Year after year, our guests make connections and discover artists that they later go on to work with at festivals around the world. So let's meet this year’s visitors ...
Maggie Collins, Australia
Executive Programmer, BIGSOUND
Maggie Collins is a Festival Programmer, Artist Manager and Radio Broadcaster. She is the Executive Programmer for BIGSOUND in Brisbane, she manages multi-ARIA Award winning party-thrash duo DZ Deathrays and with her radio hat on, she was Music Director at 4ZZZ before transitioning to triple j. Maggie was a presenter for 6 years at triple j and is now presenting and producing for various shows across triple j Unearthed and Double J.
Piyapong Muenprasertdee, Thailand
Co-founder & Community Director, Fungjai Co., Ltd
Piyapong Muenprasertdee holds an MS in Industrial Engineering and a MBA focused on entrepreneurship. In his past professional life he was a Sustainability and Climate Change consultant, specializing in carbon footprint accounting and LEED green building certification. However, his true passion was always in music - especially DIY and indie music. So, sustainable development in the music industry has now become his lifetime goal. Currently, he is the Co-founder and Community Director of FUNGJAI - a music-technology start-up based in Bangkok, Thailand that connects artists and fans via online and offline platforms: including a music streaming platform; an online magazine; a concert organizing unit; a music business seminar and workshop unit; a live musician booking platform for events and parties, and an artist management division. The goal of Fungjai is to help develop Thailand’s music industry and make the independent musician into a sustainable career.
Kemiyondo Coutinho, Uganda
Artist, A Ka Dope
Award winning artist, Kemiyondo Coutinho, believed in telling a story any way she knows how. A classically trained actress and writer, she has both written and performed her two one-woman shows on international stages. She was the artistic director and founder for NuVo Arts Festival in Uganda, an arts festival geared at social change, and is now the creator and curator for A Ka Dope, a collective of events aimed at showcasing Uganda's talent. She is also the founder of Kemistry Klass, a content company geared at producing content for film and TV content that changes the narrative of stories about the Continent. Keeping in line with the nature of all her work, she hopes to give a platform to silenced voices one event at a time. Be it through music, theater or film, Kemiyondo strives to tell the untold story.
Elif Cemal, Turkey
Senior Promoter, Pozitif Music
An incurable music enthusiast since childhood, Elif worked as a culture and arts journalist after graduating and started working at POZITIF MUZIK as a creative writer and PR person in 2002. She was then appointed by her directors to initiate the programming and booking department in 2004, which was the first separate creative department within the company and the only department involved from inception to final execution of an event. Elif left Pozitif for a 3 year break to follow her independent career as a music programmer and booker, where she had the opportunity to work with various partners, brands and promoters and returned to Pozitif as senior booker in 2014. She is now the director of the live entertainment and booking department.
Valeriia Perkova, Ukraine
Founder, producer, radio presenter, Radio Aristocrats
Valeriia Perkova is the managing partner of independent Media Studio, Radio Aristocrats. She has been managing professional radio since 2000 as a program director, producer, project manager and presenter. In 2014, along with three partners, Valeriia created a well-known new Ukrainian digital Media - Aristocrats Family, which covers 250,000 listeners every month around the Globe. For six years Valeriia produced the Ukrainian version of the British Council’s worldwide radio show, The Selector. Valeriia is a frequent speaker at Media, musical and event management events. Her recent activities include program consulting for the educational music forum Selector PRO, organized by the British Council. She has also been working on the conception of the Creative Industries Festival with Reklamaster and Cannes Lions and has been preparing the new Musical Prize for the best Ukrainian Album – (A) PRIZE. Valeriia participated in Open World Program for young leaders at 2016 and studied Business Administration at E-Y Academy.
Pau Corbalán, Spain
After several years of working for Atrapalo and being responsible for the artistic program at spaces such as the Café Cultural El Dau and Sala Privat in Mataró, made the leap and set up COONCERT in August 2014 - a social platform which responds to the fans desires to bring music bands/singers to Spain. Since then Cooncert have confirmed more than 200 concerts thanks to the active participation of fans in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid, Bilbao, Valencia, Seville, Lisbon and Paris among others. Cooncert has 60,000 registered users. Pau Corbalán has been the invited speaker at a number of round tables and conferences at festivals such as PrimaveraPro, Sónar+D, In-Edit Festival and the BIME. He also teaches at the UPF Barcelona School of Management, has taught at the SAE Institute and given classes for the Master of Cultural Management at Blanquerna University.
Basem Abuarab, Egypt
Agency Manager, Almoharek
Basem is the Executive Manager of ALMOHAREK, the first music booking agency in the Arab region, operating under Eka3. Since 2009, Almoharek has represented more than 50 artists regionally and internationally, and helped shed light early on many of today's most popular Arab artists and bands. In 2017, Almoharek booked more than 10 Arab artists regionally through international tours all over the Arab World and Europe. It has successfully overcome rigid conditions related to local music infrastructure and artist mobility challenges, doing so with full passion to cross borders in the near future, with more artists, through a local music export strategy. Basem has been involved in the local music scene since 2005 as a performer, writer, volunteer, juror and professional. He has worked with different musical groups from the heart of the underground, alternative and independent scene in Egypt, working across events of varying calibre from DIY to International festivals.
Jess White, Mozambique
Founder, Akum Agency
Jess White is a creative and dynamic event producer and booking agent of AKUM AGENCY providing a platform to music, the arts and creative expression in Mozambique, the Southern African region and beyond. He is touring musicians across the globe, creating a dialogue on the importance of developing the cultural industries and creative economy in Southern Africa, whilst producing diverse and exciting events within contemporary cross-cultural arenas.
Luís Montez, Portugal
Promoter (Radio and Festivals), Música no Coração
Luis Montez is the owner of several radio stations - SBSR and MEO Music in Lisbon and Oporto, Amália, Marginal in Lisbon and Nova Era and Festival in Oporto. Luis’ passion for radio began early in life when was responsible for the university radio station and he has since been the CEO of iconic radio stations such as Antena the 3 and XFM. Luis was also a member of the board of Media Capital media group that owns Radio Commercial Radio and Radio Nostalgia. Luis is also founder and owner of Musica no Coração, a 20yr old concert production and promotion company. Musica no Coração is responsible for festivals such as Super Bock Super Rock, MEO Sudoeste, Sumol Summer Fest, EDP Beach Party, Vodafone Mexefest and Caixa Alfama and is always looking for ways to achieve new audiences and innovative products. More recently, in 2013, Luis acquired a share of Altice Arena, also becoming President of the Board.
Sílvia Braga, Portugal
Contracts manager (artists), Música no Coração
Silvia Braga has been working in the music business for her whole life. She first started at a local radio station as a host, which she still does daily. She used to direct an electronic radio show which caused her to become an expert on EDM. These expertise are what led her to be invited to help with the electronic act booking for Musica no Coração and since then she has been doing the booking for the Música no Coração festivals.
Nguyen Quoc Trung, Vietnam
Director, Thanh Viet Production
Quoc Trung has been the most renowned music producer and composer in Vietnam for the last 25 years. He founded Thanh Viet Production in 2008 and has produced an enormous number of projects for the most prestigious singers in Vietnam, and made his own mark from his world-music project: The Road To Infinity, which was inspired by Vietnam’s traditional music. Since then, Quoc Trung has produced high-class concerts and music projects and collaborated and toured in many countries all over the world with other remarkable international artists. In 2014 he founded one of the first international multi-genre music festivals in Vietnam – Monsoon Music Festival, attracting an audience of 30,000, and it continues to grow every year.
Stefanos Papagkikas, Greece
Promoter, Event Manager, Booking Director of Plissken Festival, Plisskënlab
Stefanos has promoted and produced over 150 shows all over Greece, London and Berlin, including acts such as Rihanna, Jon Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Aerosmith, George Michael, Massive Attack, Sex Pistols, Pink, Avril Lavigne etc. He is responsible for the creation and planning of the internationally acclaimed music festival PLISSKEN , running since 2010, with puts on over 350 music acts, comedy stand up, food courts and pop up exhibitions etc. Stefanos also founded the first non-profit professional concert production institution, The Lab, in 2012. He was the Technical & Venue Director for Fly Beeyond Festival at OAKA's Wall of Nations for two consecutive years and was Human Resources Manager for all permanent and non-permanent personnel there. Stefanos has been Booking Assistant for acts such as Patti Smith, Twisted Sister, Slipknot, Korn etc and has worked as an Assistant Underwriter for clients such as Robbie Williams, Sting, Elton John and Oasis.
Paula Rivera, Argentina
Vice-Director, The National Institute for Music (Argentina)
Paula is the vice-director of INAMU, the National Institute for Music in Argentina. She founded the music agency PR Producciones Culturales in 2003) and has since produced more than 600 concerts in Argentina and the rest of the world. Since 2007 Paula has worked as a Road Manager, Manager, Producer, Curator, Programmer, Jury, Adviser and Speaker for different festivals and companies, actively participating in music markets such as Womex, Circulart and SXSW. She is the founding member of the Music Manager Forum of Latin America and the Music Managers Association of Argentina. Paula has also worked as manager of Cuban musician Yusa, with whom she founded the Yusa Records label. Since 2014 she has been carrying out a training project for independent musical entrepreneurs in Latin America, with a focus on the development of self-management and professionalization of the sector.
Diana Glusberg, Argentina
Artistic Director, Niceto Club
Diana has been the Artistic Director of Niceto Club, one of the most prestigious venues in Buenos Aires, since the year 2000. Diana is also a promoter of live shows, festivals and tours around Latin-America and a member of the first Cultural Council of the city of Buenos Aires, 2018.
Ana Garcia, Brazil
Festival Director, No Ar coquetel Molotov Festival
Ana Garcia Graduated in Communication and went on to work in cultural production for over 10 years. She is now the organizer of the festival No Ar Coquetel Molotov, founded in 2004 in Recife, which has gone on to have editions in Salvador, Belo Jardim and Belo Horizonte. Since 2006 Ana has worked in the executive production of Festival Virtuosi, in Recife, and its extended programmes in Garanhuns, Gravatá and Belo Jardim, in the countryside of Pernambuco. She has also coordinated the weekly project Ouvindo e Fazendo Música at the MEPE for 8 years, with diverse musical presentations. In addition to this Silvia has worked on the production of Palco Red Bull during SonarSP, the project Aurora Eco Fashion at the series of tours of Invasão Sueca project. And she has produced countless international artist tours, such as The Kills, Ibeyi, Sebastian Tellier, Dinosaur Jr., Teenage Fanclub, and Brazilian names such as Thiago Pethit, A Banda de Joseph Tourton, Barro and many others.
Fabiana Batistela, Brazil
Director, SIM SP - São Paulo's Music International Week
Fabiana Batistela holds a degree in Social Communication and started her professional life as a reporter for Bizz Magazine. In 2002, she founded Inker Agência Cultural, a company specializing in communication advice for artists and music events, as well as consulting, design and production of projects. With a vast curriculum, the agency has already held several events and projects dedicated to the new Brazilian music production and countless tours of international bands in Brazil. Fabiana is also general director of the São Paulo International Music Week (SIM São Paulo)
Pedro Seiler, Brazil
Director / co-founder of Queremos! and Queremos! Festival
Pedro Seiler is cultural producer and co founder of Queremos! - a platform and promoter that has promoted over 100 shows in Rio and other Brazilian cities for the last seven years. The acts promoted include LCD Soundsystem, The XX, The National, Phoenix, Feist, Wilco, etc. This year Queremos! is promoting their first Festival in Rio in August. Pedro has previously worked at the Biscoito Fino record label where he produced several national tours of acts like Maria Bethania, Simone and Zelia Duncan, besides the Chico Bastidores project, from Chico Buarque. He has also been the curator and musical director of various different festivals and events such as Invasão Paraense, Invasão Baiana, Sai da Rede, Rio Occupation (London), Open Air, Rider Weekends and the tv show Experimente (Multishow Channel). Last but not least, Pedro takes part as the Super Juri at Multishow Awards.
Marcelo Damaso, Brazil
Director / Programmer, Festival Se Rasgum and Festival Sonido
Marcelo is a music festival and venue programmer and a former journalist. Since 2006, he has been organizing the Se Rasgum Festival in Belém, where over 300 bands have played, including Brazilian and international groups. He plays bass in a band called The Baudelaires, plays guitar with the singer Ana Clara and is a partner-owner of Ziggy Hostel Club in Belém, a venue dedicated to music and arts. As a journalist, he has written and edited several articles about music and arts, and he was the editor of a magazine about the music from Amazonia.
Rizwan Ibrahim, Kenyam
Founder and Managing Director, Kenya Nights
Rizwan Ibrahim is the founder and Managing Director of Kenya Nights, the largest electronic music entertainment company in Kenya. Its focus is on hosting world class electronic music events, through both bringing international acts to the country and by nurturing local talent. Rizwan is a Kenyan entrepreneur music industry professional who has had full operational control of the company since its establishment. In addition to Kenya Nights shows within Kenya, Rizwan has collaborated with regional partners to host artists and contribute to music festivals and events in South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Nigeria, and Malawi. He has been asked to speak at the BBC Access Africa panel, Lake of Stars, Lagos Music Conference amongst other high-profile industry events.
Varun Patra, India
Co-Founder & Head of Marketing, Homegrown
Varun Patra is a digital entrepreneur and the co-founder of culture building and marketing company Homegrown - an online publication in contemporary youth culture, a content studio and an experiential arm. Over time, HG has dug its heels deep and stood steady as a trailblazer in presenting India's dynamic youth culture. Since the inception of HG, Varun has led his marketing on campaigns within the music and lifestyle space for brands such as Budweiser, Boiler Room Adidas, Nike, Smirnoff, Viacom, Levis, Vans, Johnny Walker, Airbnb and many others. Over the past few years Varun has spoken at various conferences and shared his insights in the youth/music marketing spaces and has been featured in the 2017 Forbes30u30 Asia list. Prior to Homegrown he has executed successful digital campaigns for Basscamp Music Festival and Major Lazer to name a few. He has also collaborated with brands like Red Bull, Puma and Superdry to craft their digital music strategies.
- Read more about the British Council at The Great Escape here
- Check out our Great Escape 2018 playlist here