The Great Escape 2017

Festival guide

The Great Escape isn’t just the first big UK festival of the summer; it’s arguably one of the world’s greatest showcases for new music. From 18th to 20th May, 30+ venues across Brighton will be bustling with more than 450 emerging artists, and we’ll be careering between them to catch the best of them. Check out our must-watch list, and delve deeper into that impressive line-up below.

Top picks

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    Ray Blk

    Catford’s Rita Ekwere recently became the first unsigned artist ever to top the BBC’s Sound Of poll, impressing industry-tastemakers with her streetwise soul. Judging by superb new material like ‘Patience (Freestyle)’, plus collaborations with Tinie Tempah and Gorillaz, a big commercial breakthrough looks imminent. Catch Ray Blizzy in an intimate venue while you still can.

    Ray Blk - Patience (Freestyle)
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    Shame

    If a brutal combo of snarled vocals and scuzzy guitars sounds appealing to you, South Londoners Shame could well be your new favourite band. Having cut their teeth on tour with Fat White Family, these Mica Levi-approved punks are picking up widespread acclaim for their visceral live shows and Ramones-meets-Mark E Smith attitude. Be sure to head to the front for Thursday's gig.

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    Aldous Harding

    Poised to release her exquisite debut for 4AD on May 19th, New Zealander Hannah “Aldous” Harding is already renowned for the hypnotic intensity of her live performances. Expect sinister, seductive folk songwriting and a spellbinding vocal range which extends from a Linda Perhacs-worthy vibrato to a smoky, Billie Holiday-esque croon.

Big names

Don't miss

More from the line-up

  • Ásgeir

    Interview

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    I put too much pressure on myself, spending 10 hours a day for many months just forcing songs out.

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  • Dagny

    Interview

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    I’m such a champion of people following their gut... It sounds like such a cliché, but staying true to yourself really is important.

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  • Douglas Dare

    Interview

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    It was one of those moments where I couldn’t believe anything around me anymore. I didn’t know who to trust.

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  • Denai Moore

    Interview

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    I want to look back on this album in five years time as something that represented that chapter of my life.

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  • Marika Hackman

    Interview

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    This industry is such a machine, just churning out stuff... I think we need artists to be allowed time.

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