Set up in 2006 as a project dedicated to opening ears to the more progressive end of the indie spectrum, The Great Escape has since trebled in size, these days attracting over 15,000 eager-eared enthusiasts to the seaside, compared to the 4,500 it enticed in year one.
Dubbed Britain's answer to SXSW and now occupying over 30 venues and featuring 300 acts (as opposed to 20 spaces and 180 bands first time around), the three-day festival has diversified with each sitting, witnessing an inevitable onslaught of electronic acts along the way, as dance-y sounds continue to inseminate a realm previously almost exclusively reserved for guitars, amps and boys with floppy hair styles.
This element will still be represented at the event, of course, with the likes of Django Django and Rolo Tomassi, Maximo Park and The Temper Trap no doubt coaxing the indie bods in their droves, but this year will stock more electronic acts than ever before. The Escape has been about pushing genre boundaries since day one, so it’s no surprise to see the shape-shifting sounds of Jimmy Edgar, Koreless and Disclosure on the line-up, alongside more immediately dancefloor-friendly acts such as Booka Shade and Maxxi Soundsystem when it lands again this May (10th -12th). Other acts worth checking out include one-girl dream-dance band Grimes, Drive movie soundtrack contributors College and Ghostly International's cosmic crusader Com Truise, alongside the likes of New Look, Tanlines and Shabazz Palaces.
“Although the festival's landscape evolves naturally in line with musical trends and developments in technology, we do make a conscious effort to expand every year further into contemporary styles such as classical, with the likes of Max Richter, Haushkca, Nils Fram and experimental or mainstream electronica, hosting the likes of John Talabot, The xx, SBTRKT, Adam Freeland, Greco Roman, Groove Armada and PNAU over the last few years,” Kat Morris, operations manager for Great Escape tells DJ Mag. “We also seek out artists from further afield globally, hosting artists from new countries every year.”
With the big events taking place at The Dome and Corn Exchange, the rest of the events will be peppered across venues of all sizes across the city, for which a weekend pass is £45 if bought early. Giving you access to all gigs apart from the main headline events (gigs at The Dome require a £7 top-up), it's your chance to escape to an unchecked world of music discovery.
Fancy winning a pair of wristbands giving you access to the Great Escape (except The Dome headline events, which require a £7 top-up)? Send the answer to this question to [email protected] before Wednesday 9th May.
Who starred in the film The Great Escape?
A) Michael Caine
B) Steve McQueen
C) Eddie Murphy
Read our Q&A with Booka Shade HERE