The Great Escape: What to look forward to!

As the hordes (including us!) descend on Brighton for this years offering of The Great Escape Festival, we thought it only right we summarise some of the acts we are most excited to catch performing this week! Read on for Hermione and Pia’s top picks for the days ahead…

Pia: MICHELLE’s ‘SUNRISE’ featured on heavy rotation in my garden between heatwaves in the summer of 2020. It is carefree in every sense of the word. Since then, the pop collective has released a killer album comprised of candid reflections on life from the POV of six twenty-somethings still with the same breezy optimism. I can’t wait to soak it all up with a gin in hand.

Hermione: I have been a huge fan of Cassyette’s genre bending sound and powerful, emotive voice for a really long time now and cannot wait to catch her performance at this years The Great Escape!

Having steadily grown in profile over the last couple of years, tracks such as ‘Mayhem’ and ‘Dear Goth’ have helped cement her as an impressive prospect in the industry and personally, I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing her go absolutely wild sparking mosh pits this week.

Pia: I’ve been obsessed with alt rapper/singer Willow Kayne ever since Hermione dropped me a link to ‘Two Seater’.  She is just so incredibly cool. I’m so intrigued to see how the bad bitch energy she radiates on screen will translate on stage. She is set to play Brighton’s seafront nightclub ‘Coalition’ on Friday night.

Also playing the Coalition stage is Conor Albert. I came to know Conor’s music through frequent collaborations and funky jams with Guildhall jazzers and Brit school grads on Instagram. Leaning into the styles of fan favourites such as Tom Misch and Jordan Rakei, his chill grooves will be the perfect way to kick off our first night by the sea on Thursday.

Hermione: Another artist I have been waiting to catch live for some time now is alt-pop wunderkind Alfie Templeman. Since bursting onto the scene several years ago, 19 year old Templeman has solidly impressed with his unique vocals, catchy riffs and groove laden harmonies- all of which have made him a regular feature on my listening rotation! I’m really excited to see how his tracks translate on the stage and how this young but seasoned performer interacts with his ever-growing audience.

Pia: I can vividly remember being huddled together in and amongst a group of year 7s in the common room watching Rebecca Black’s music video Friday on a shiny 6th generation iPod touch for the first time, and thinking ~ this is surely the worst song ever written. Fast forward to now and Rebecca Black is back, and she’s a queer icon! Her current musical output has a cheeky, playful quality characteristic of hyperpop and not only that, but she’s actually jokes (evidence below)

Fresh off the back of Coachella, Black brings her UK/EU tour to the Gay Times stage at TGE and we can’t wait to see what she has in store for us.

Hermione: It will come as no surprise to many of you that I have a massive soft spot for the classic indie guitar outfit and there are some wonderful ones to keep an ear out for at this years festival.

Especially on my list are Leeds based group, Yard Act: a fun and frenetic group with an acid tongue and the anthemic, atmospheric up and comers, English Teacher.

Pia: Like many, I downloaded TikTok at the start of the pandemic and have been deep diving into salad recipes, conspiracy theories and riff challenges every night til 2am since. It has been emotional to see the two-year rise of honest songwriter and TikTok star Cat Burns, whose rich and incredibly distinctive alto voice is balm to the soul. I can’t wait to hear her perform break-up banger ‘Go’ live ~ and yes, I will be singing along with gusto.

I’m also super intrigued to check out fellow TikTok contemporary and beauty creator Abby Roberts, formerly Abby Artistry, who is perhaps the greenest of the whole line up. Established stars making the sideways move into music is a PR trick as old as time, but Abby seems to be fast establishing herself as a legitimate musical talent, releasing music at the start of this year with the help of Yungblud’s producer Mati Schwartz. With a debut EP expected later this year, it will be interesting to see how she is received at TGE.

That’s what we are looking forward to, how about you?! Drop us a comment and let us know who you are excited to watch this week!

Words by Hermione Kellow and Pia Rose Scattergood

Photo © The Great Escape Festival

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