The Great Escape. A time for music fans, industry figures, and artists galore to head down to the sunny seaside of Brighton for three days of musical discovery. Central to the whole festival's philosophy is showcasing artists, styles, and sounds that we can expect to hear more of in the months and years to come.
So as we prepare for our own trip to The Great Escape this week, we've picked out some of the artists that we're keen to see, and that we think you should look out for (whether you're going to the festival or not).
When/Where: Thursday, 17:15 @ Jubilee Square / Friday 10 May, 00:30 @ The Haunt
Picked up by Cult Records head Julian Casablancas, New York punk band Surfbort have already been touted as one of the most exciting new bands to come out of the city this decade. Shunning conventional beauty standards in favour of cultivating her trashy, wacky idiosyncrasies – which has seen her become the cover girl of Gucci’s latest campaign – snarling singer Dani Mitchell fronts the four-piece band who make one hell of a racket; abrasive, street-level punk that’s worthy of New York city’s illustrious punk lineage. TC
When/Where: Thursday 9 March, 21:15 @ The Deep End (Beach Site)
This hotly-tipped new rapper doesn't like to limit herself – in the styles she explores, her collaborators (Modeselektor and Clams Casino among them to date), and certainly not in terms of what she can achieve. Combining a take-no-prisoners attitude and fiery delivery with intelligence and charm, the South London MC drifts between flows and styles that straddle the worlds of grime, hip hop, and alternative rap. JK
When/Where: Thursday 9 May, 22:30 @ The pe Bar (Beach Site) / Saturday 11 May, 15:05 @ The Deep End (Beach Site)
This Aussie duo are as ‘90s kids’ as they come, embracing choreographed dance routines and big-beat era rhythms in equal measure. Admitting that they began writing dancier songs together as a bit of a joke, the infectious humour of Janet Planet and Sugar Bones (pseudonyms, of course) shines through, and will have you waving arms, shoulder-shimmying, and wailing along to each of their perfect, sun-kissed pop melodies. TC
When/Where: Friday 10 May, 13:45 @ Hideout and 21:15 @ Horatio's
With only a handful of officially released tracks, Brighton (via various cities) five-piece Squid have quite quickly become persons of interest – particularly in the scene that congregates around The Windmill in Brixton – and with good reason. Latest single ‘Houseplants’ recently found its way onto BBC Radio 6 Music’s main playlist, and the next few months are looking increasingly busy, taking in support shows with Wire and Viagra Boys and a whole host of festival appearances. JK
When/Where: Friday 10 May, 15:30 @ Horatio's / Saturday 11 May, 21:15 @ Horatio's
Last year New Zealanders The Beths charmed us enough to include their debut Future Me Hates Me on our Best Albums of 2018 list with their happy-go-lucky style of halcyon-era garage/pop rock. They've since moved to Europe and are about to embark on a summer tour around the continent, including two performances at Horatio's – a brilliantly antiquated boozer on the Pier. See you in the pit. JB
When/Where: Friday 9 May, 15:40 @ The pe Bar (Beach Site)
The brainchild of Paramore drummer Zac Farro, HALFNOISE has been a recurring project over the past for the multi-instrumentalist. Its most recent reincarnation has been tightly groove-driven psychedelic rock with a catchy pop sheen. Intricately textured and a lot of fun, HALFNOISE's Friday afternoon performance on the festival's new beach site will be the perfect pick-me-up. JB
When/Where: Friday 10 May, 20:15 @ The Deep End (Beach Site)
I first heard Georgia's breakout single 'Started Out' at a party last New Year's Eve and it's been my most played track since then. An absolute seismic pop wobbler built on top of a Chicago House beat and bass-line à la Mr Fingers with a crazy range of vocals filling up the space brilliantly. The other few tracks online go similarly hard, so the live translation should be pretty exciting. JB
When/Where: Friday 10 May, 21:30 @ Jubilee Square
A cosmic blend of The Flaming Lips and Sigur Rós, Isle of Wight-based Plastic Mermaids are a DIY-band in most senses of the term; having slowly cultivated an analog studio over some years, the five-piece impressively control their entire media output alongside writing and producing their own material. On stage, their mounds of analog equipment help to create intergalactic soundscapes as beautiful as the island vistas from which they reside. TC
When/Where: Saturday 11 May, 20:15 @ Patterns
The second he opens his mouth, there’s no mistaking where Kojaque comes from. The (strongly accented) Dublin rapper has a penchant for storytelling that befits the historic stereotype of his countrymen, delivering honest, humorous, and often biting lyrics. Taking stylistic cues 90s jazz rap and golden era hip-hop, the lyrical content is characterised by Kojaque’s ‘Soft Boy’ ethos (the name of his label), eschewing meaningless braggadocio and ego for a more honest exploration of identity and inner turmoil. JK
The Great Escape is held across Brighton from 9-11 May. Festicket will be taking a trip to Brighton as we cover the best moments from the festival and meet some of its most exciting artists – follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up-to-date.