The Great Escape 2019

The Great Escape in Brighton is renowned in the UK, and around the world, for being the place to discover emerging music talent. This year, the festival runs from 9 - 11 May and all corners of Brighton will be set to festival mode with music pouring out of venues wherever you turn. Unlike Glastonbury and other outdoor music festivals which set up home in fields and countryside, The Great Escape is based in the city itself at existing venues – pop your head into any pub, club or performance space during The Great Escape and the chances are you'll hear live music, much of it from British bands and artists. With over 400 acts performing, it's impossible to see everything that the festival has to offer but, with enough energy and the essential festival app in your back pocket, it is possible to run between most of the venues and fit in a lot of gigs each day.

The Great Escape offers a fantastic opportunity to see a huge range of British performers, however there is also a "country focus" each year – in 2019, this is Australia so expect a strong Antipodean contingent in the festival lineup. For many acts, travelling to Brighton from far and wide, their Great Escape performance can be a springboard to wider fame and critical acclaim. Audiences are watching acts and hoping to make some new discoveries and get a look at the next big thing.

There is also the TGE Convention – a series of talks and networking events for the 3,500 music industry visitors looking to connect with each other and keep on top of the latest trends and topics affecting the industry as a whole. It's perhaps this combination of talks, gigs and city backdrop that means The Great Escape is sometimes referred to as the UK's answer to South by Southwest in Texas, USA.


The British Council at The Great Escape 2019

The British Council's relationship with The Great Escape goes back several years. Each year we invite music industry people from around the world to come and see the festival for themselves, check out emerging British talent and connect with peers. Historically, this has led to a number of projects further down the line, such as Kero Kero Bonito's trip to Indonesia who were spotted by our overseas guests in 2016. Also in 2016, as part of The Great Escape conference series, we presented the results of research that we had commissioned, looking into the opportunities available overseas for UK musicians and UK music industry. You can read the full Going International report here, which is still relevant for anyone looking to get an idea of the various funding bodies and opportunities out there for musicians, bands and industry around the UK.


Our picks for The Great Escape 2019

With so much music to see at the festival, and so many venues to choose from, it can be difficult working out exactly who to go and see. Luckily, festival-goers are usually only too happy to share their tips for "ones to watch" ... and we're no different! Here's our pick of just some of the great British acts playing at this year's Great Escape together with where they are playing and when. Listen to them in our playlist further down the page.


Thursday 9 May at The Great Escape – our picks

  • Shae Universe – 14.30 at Ditto Stage (at The Beach) – R&B/Soul
  • 404 – 17.15 at The Deep End (at The Beach) – Grime
  • Jockstrap – 20.15 at Paganini Ballroom (Old Ship) – Alternative/Indie
  • Flohio – 21.15 at The Deep End (at The Beach) – Hip Hop/Rap
  • Apre – 21.15 at Komedia Studio Bar – Alternative Rock
  • Darkstar with London Contemporary Orchestra – 21.30 at St Mary's Church – Electronic/Orchestral
  • Annabel Allum – 21.30 at The Prince Albert – Rock
  • Little Simz – 22.15 at The Deep End (at The Beach) – Hip Hop
  • Children of Zeus – 22.30 at Komedia – R&B/Soul
  • Steam Down (Various) – 23.30 at Patterns (downstairs) – Jazz
  • Elder Island – 22.30 at Coalition – Dance/Electronic


Friday 10 May at The Great Escape – our picks

  • Rosie Lowe – 14.20 at The Dive Bar (at The Beach) – Electronic Soul
  • Apre – 14.30 at The Walrus – Alternative Rock
  • Kobi Onyame – 14.30 at One Church – Hip Hop/Rap
  • Westerman – 16.00 at Hideout – Alternative/Indie, Pop
  • Squid – 17.30 at Hideout – Psyche Rock
  • Greentea Peng – 18.45 – Patterns (downstairs) – R&B/Soul
  • Rina Mushonga – 19.00 at Hideout – Pop
  • Snapped Ankles – 19.15 at The Deep End (at The Beach) – Post Punk, Electronica, Punk Rock
  • Tiana Major9 – 19.30 at Patterns (downstairs) – Jazz/Soul
  • Pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs pigs – 20.15 at The Old Market – Precious Metal
  • Georgia – 20.15 at The Deep End (at The Beach) – Dance/Electronic
  • Kitt Philippa – 22.15 at Latest Music Bar – Alternative/Soul
  • The Ninth Wave – 23.15 at The Walrus – Rock
  • Future Bubblers (Various) – 00.30 (Saturday) at Komedia Studio Bar – Electronic/Jazz/Soul


Saturday 11 May at The Great Escape – our picks

  • The Ninth Wave – 13.30 at The Walrus – Rock
  • Black Midi – 14.30 at Komedia Studio Bar – Indie Rock
  • Wovoka Gentle – 15.30 at Horatios – Electronic/Folk
  • Awate – 16.00 at Queens Hotel – Rap/Soul
  • Olivia Nelson – 19.30 at The Arch – R&B/Soul
  • Celeste – 19.45 at Paganini Ballroom (Old Ship) – R&B/Soul
  • Nine8 Collective – 21.15 at Shooshh – Rap
  • Big Joanie – 21.15 at Green Door Store – Post Punk
  • Porridge Radio – 22.15 at Green Door Store – Post Punk
  • Fat White Family – 22.15 at The Deep End (at The Beach) – Post Punk/Experimental
  • Anna Calvi – 22.15 at The Old Market – Art Rock
  • Flamingods – 22.30 at One Church – Psychedelic Rock/Alternative
  • Kayla Painter – 23.45 at Komedia Studio Bar – Dance/Electronic


Our Great Escape playlist

Featuring all of the great British artists above, here's our playlist for this year's Great Escape.


Previous years with the British Council at The Great Escape

Great Escape 2018: International Delegation

















Great Escape 2018: Playlist


Great Escape 2017: International Delegation

EGYPT: Amina Abodoma

GREECE: Dionysios Tsonopoulos

COLOMBIA: Gustavo Garci

AUSTRALIA: Travis Banko

VENEZEULA: Maximiliano Manzano Wenzel


ALGERIA: Rachid Briki

INDONESIA: Madrim Djody, Rizka Maulita, Teguh Wicaksono, Sarah Deshita Affandi, Felix Dass

VIETNAM: Nguyen Quoc Trung

MOROCCO: Hind El Ouradi


Great Escape 2017: Playlist


Great Escape 2016: International Delegation

CHINA: Zhang Ran, Jef Vreys, Vincent Chen, Ni Bing, Li Ke, Archie Hamilton

INDONESIA: Robin Malau, Ratih Suryahutamy (Neonomora), Anton Wirjono, Michael Budiman

RUSSIA: Andrey Samorukov, Dmitry Zaretsky, Igor Tonkih

UKRAINE: Sergii Illin, Eugene Kibets, Vlad Malynovsky

VIETNAM: Mai Thang, Quoc-Trung Nguyen


Great Escape 2016: Panel Discussion

Cathy Graham (Director, Music, British Council) introduced the session "Going International" with Julia Payne from the Hub outlining research findings showing the state of play for UK music overseas. They were joined by a panel including Phil Patterson (UK Trade & Investment), Chris Tams (BPI), Paul Bonham (Arts Council England), Vanessa Reed (PRS For Music Foundation), Joel Mills (British Council) and Crispin Parry (British Underground).


Great Escape 2016: Playlist


Great Escape 2015: International Delegation

RUSSIA: Natasha Padabed, Agent, Festival Programer & Music Curator, Sergey Kurokhin International Festival (SKIF)

MALAYSIA: Jia Ping Lee, Program Director

MALAYSIA: Grey Yeoh, Head of Arts & Creative Industries, British Council Malaysia

SOUTH AFRICA: Sibongile Musundwa, Project Manager, Connect ZA


Great Escape 2015: Panel Discussion

We explored the topic of "Independent Music in the Middle East and North Africa" discussing the opportunities, challenges, audiences and how to bring talent through in the region. Journalist Arwa Haider was in conversation with some of the most pioneering, experienced and well-regarded independent music promoters in this region: 

EGYPT: Mahmoud Refat, Founder, 100 copies

MOROCCO: Hicham Bahou, Director, L'boulevard Festival

LEBANON: Amani Semaan, Festival Director, Beirut & Beyond


Great Escape 2015: Playlist



Great Escape 2014: International Delegation

BRAZIL: Bruno Natal, Queremos (YCE)

CHINA: Li Du, Deputy Manager, SACOO Culture Communications

CHINA: Karen Liu, City Newspaper Express

COLOMBIA: Manolo Arango, Owner, Breakfast Club (YCE)

INDONESIA: Indra Ameng, Programme Director, Ruang Rupa

INDONESIA: Robin Malau, Founder, Musikator (YCE)

MALAYSIA: Rahul Kukreja, Director, Livescape Asia

MALAYSIA: Adrian Yap, Director/Managing Director, Urbanscapes Festival/Freeform Sdn Bhd

RUSSIA: Gleb Lisichkin, Owner, Kometa Music Agency (YCE)

SOUTH AFRICA: Dominique Soma, Owner, The Unlearn Agency (YCE)

SPAIN: Alberto Ramírez-Soto Hijona, Owner, MUSIC´us (YCE)


Great Escape 2014: Playlist