Brighton’s new music festival, The Great Escape, returns on Thu 19 – Sat 21 May 2016 to transform the city into a mecca for emerging talent with an unparalleled showcase of international and local acts. The festival has just announced 150 new bands and its final Spotlight show featuring gutsy grime MC Stormzy who celebrated his highest-charted single ‘Shut Up’ last Christmas which instigated more pandemonium and rewinds than ever before. Best known for his mic-chomping and often politically-driven lyrics, Stormzy is very much at the forefront of the latest resurgence of his genre. He will be joined by Newham rapper J Hus, hip-hop collective WSTRN who made waves with ‘IN2’, and fierce R&B trio M.O described as “the only girl group you need to worry about”. For over a decade, The Great Escape has produced diverse line-ups flecked with the stars and sounds of the future, establishing this three-day festival as the ultimate destination of discovery for music-lovers.
Also joining the line-up is Brighton four-piece Black Honey blending girl-band pop with blurry shoegazing guitars, alongside indie-pop assembly Highasakite who will fly that Norwegian flag high with lead singer Ingrid’s enchanting melodies and serene soundscapes. Packing a whole lot of attitude is bitter post-punk Leeds collective Eagulls, whilst providing a dose of disco inferno are South London brothers Formation who merge funk, northern soul and liquid grooves.
Expect the unexpected with experimental songwriter Aaron Maine aka Porches who always strives to create genre-binding tracks, recently pulling away from his earlier rock rhythms in favour of homespun electro, wobbly basslines and polished pop. South London singer ESKA will deliver her critically-acclaimed arresting vocals that have won over the hearts of Jamie Cullum and Laura Mvula; sit tight for stripped-back soul and earnest folk.
Having teamed up with an urban and dance music laced station, noughties smooth crooner Craig David (pictured) is back with a bang with his exciting new DJ project TS5. Influenced by his Miami penthouse sessions, expect a hair-raising mix of old school anthems, garage, bashment and glossy vocals. Collaborating with grime heavyweight and humorous internet personality Big Narstie, ‘When The Bassline Drops’ is David’s highest charting single since 2007.
For a dose of psychedelic sludge pop and self-proclaimed ‘progressive weirdness’, watch out for multi-instrumentalists and best friends hailing from Norfolk Let’s Eat Grandma, as multi-talented composer-cum-DJ Tom Misch covers everything from powerful gospel chords to mellow jazz with a hefty collection of instrumental beat series already under his belt.
Alternative Welsh rockers The Joy Formidable have opened for both Foo Fighters and Paul McCartney, and now they’re set to storm the stage at The Great Escape. With outspoken music videos challenging sexist gender stereotypes, the band spread their talents far and wide and it has definitely not gone unnoticed. Growing up in rural North Wales, the trio have experienced incredible success recording a film score for Greg Jardin’s fantastical short film ‘Floating’ and covering the Twin Peaks theme tune.
Californian punk-band SWMRS, who made waves with their experimental loving tribute to Miley Cyrus, will deliver a slice of teenage angst whereas East London project Rationale promises to tug at the heartstrings of many with his genre-bending confessionals and Anglo-Japanese eclectic duo Kero Kero Bonito will blend new jack swing with bubble-gum pop.
The full list of artists announced today is:
Aisha Devi, Albin Lee Meldau, Aldous Harding, Alice Jemima, Amber Arcades, Anne-Marie, Ardyn, As Lions, Astroid Boys, Atlas Wynd, Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers, Black Foxxes, Black Honey, Bleeding Heart Pigeons, Bonzai, Boy Jumps Ship, Bry, Cadet, Charley Marley, Ciaran Lavery, Clean Cut Kid, Cloves, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Connie Constance, Craig David’s Ts5, Cullen Omori, Day Wave, Dbfc, D/C/ Dressmaker, Eagulls, Eera, Eska, Exmagician, Fai Baba, Fakear, Fews, Finn, Formation, Frances, Frankie Cosmos, Fufanu, Gaika, Get Inuit, Girl Friend, Go March, Good Foxy, Gordi, Greywind, Guy Andrews, Haiku Salut, Halo Tora, Haus, Highasakite, Holly Macve, Isaiah Dreads, It It Anita, Jalen N’gonda, Jambinai, James Tw, Jesse Mac Cormack, Jodie Abacus, Joe Nolan, John Metcalfe Band, Jones, Joy Again, Kero Kero Bonito, Kevin Garrett, Keziah, Klyne, Larkin Poe, Lawrence Taylor, Let’s Eat Grandma, Limb, Lisbon, Living Hour, Louis Mattrs, Ma Beat!, Mass Gothic, Me And My Drummer, Meilyr Jones, Mieux, Money, Monika, Mothers, Nadine Carina, Nap Eyes, Nessi, Nzca Lines, Oh Pep!, Oktoba, Pauw, Pixx, Porches, Queen City Stoop Kids, Rag’n’bone Man, Rationale, Reigning Days, Rhys Lewis, Riddles, Riko Dan, Riz La Teef, Rozelle, Shakka, Shvpes, Skinny Girl Diet, Skinny Living, Sly Johnson, Splurgeboys, Starling, Stephen Kellogg, Strong Asian Mothers, Surf Dads, Swmrs, Tangerines, Telegram, The Cult Of Dom Keller, The Heavytrackerz, The Hunna, The Invisible, The Island Club, The Joy Formidable, The K., The Rubens, The Sherlocks, The Shimmer Band, The Telermen, The Velveteins, The Wholls, The Wild Feathers, The Zolas, Tiggs Da Author, Tiny Ruins, Tom Misch, Trevor Sensor, Vodun, We Are The City, When ‘Airy Met Fairy, White Miles, White Room, Wyvern Lingo, Yes We Mystic, Yonaka, Yungen
The Great Escape, returns to venues across Brighton & Hove on Thu 19 – Sat 21 May 2016.tickets are on sale now.