It’s nearly time for this small sea side town to once again to host Europe’s largest new music festival, The Great Escape. Whether you’re a Great Escape veteran or this is your very first escape, it is impossible to see all of the 400+ artists. To help guide your escape we’ve curated a list of our must see acts, with links to Brighton, performing at this years Official Great Escape Festival.

Make sure to check out the WaterBear stage at St. Nicholas Church, Dyke Road, Brighton. It’s a free entry event. Sign up here.



Komedia Studio Bar  2:15am Friday 10th May

Debut album HiiDE is out on the 5th of July.
For fans of FKA Twigs, Grimes, James Blake

Under management from Brighton label / promoters Love Thy Neighbour and signed to Death Waltz Originals, Babii burst onto the scene with her infectious debut single PHANTOM back in November 2018. Blending electronica, hushed vocals, with boundary pushing pop sensibilities, Babii has been championed by The 405, Fresh on the Net and The Line of Best Fit. After a run of hotly tipped SXSW shows Babii’s debut Great Escape show is one not to miss.


Ellie Ford

Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church. 8:20pm Friday 10th May (Free Entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Unitarian Church 7:30pm Saturday 11th May

New Album: Light Repeated is out on 10th of May.
For fans of Joanna Newsom, Aldous Harding, Angel Olsen

Harpist and songwriter Ellie Ford has become an icon of the Brighton music scene. Her debut album The Other Sun with it’s orchestral folk arrangements and sultry vocals was the soundtrack to many Brighton cafe’s and has received praise  from BBC 6. Ford and her five piece band are preparing to launch their follow up, Light Repeated, recored in frankfurt with German studio / label Lotte Lindenberg. Dark orchestral folk at it’s finest.


Ak Patterson

For fans of Bjork, Alt-J, Laura Marling

Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church 5:30pm Friday (Free entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Fabrica 9:15pm Friday

AK Patterson has been dubbed ‘a woman possessed’, disappearing to a place of fierce enchantment when she sings. After releasing their debut single, Shadows, produced by Charlie Andrew (Alt-J) this Brighton based alt folk trio have seen a meteoritic rise, with stadium support slots with Alt-J and their own sell out headline UK tours.


For fans of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Stevie Wonder, Jamie Lidell

Where?:Northlane Brewhouse. 9:30pm Thursday, 9th May Alternative Escape

Jazz neo-soul outfit have been delighting audiences with shows at the prestigious London Jazz Cafe and Love Supreme festival. Bringing their infectious groves and Stevie Wonder influenced keys, tied together by the smooth vocals of lead singer James Berkley.


Bobbie Johnson
For fans of Kendrick Lamar, OutKast, FKA Twigs, Queen Latifah,

Where?: The Arch. 6:15pm Friday, 9th May.

Brighton producer and rapper Bobbie Johnson combines hip hop, grime, garage, and glitch to form an amalgamation of sounds that showcase her conscious thought and social commentary. They have supported Children of Zeus, The Pharcyde and Roots Manuva as well as touring with Rag ’n’ Bone Man.


Michael Baker
For fans of Bon Iver, Villagers, Father John Misty

Where?: Back in the Woods at St Nicholas Church 7.20pm Friday, 10th May (Free entry, no TGE wristband needed) & Marine Room (Harbour Hotel) 9:15pm Saturday, 11th May.

Brighton based Anglo-French singer songwriter Michael Baker is  backed by  a 6 piece band of multi-instrumentalists who provide soaring harmonies and stunning soundscapes to his intricate folk songs. His debut album ‘Dust & Bone’( released in November 2016) was produced by Dan Brown (Massive Attack) and received praise from The Independent, Mahogany, Tom Robinson and Clash.

Michael’s 2nd album ‘Salt’ is due 3rd quarter 2019, produced by Oliver Baldwin (Aldous Harding / First Aid Kit).


Cousin Kula

For fans of MGMT, Syd Arthur, Jouis

Where?: The Hope and Ruin 10:00pm Friday, 9th May.

Now based in Bristol Psych-pop 6 piece Cousin Kula are a live act like no other. Interweaving synths, break beats, effected vocals and hook laden melodies all come together in one exhilarating package. The best live act we saw at last years TGE. Championed by NME, Line of best Fit, Clash, Fresh on the Net.


Bess Atwell

For fans of Sharon Van Etten, Fleet Foxes, and The National.

Where?: Prince Albert. 11:15pm Friday, 9th May.

Two years on from her debut album, the former solo project has evolved into a full band sound soaked in four-part vocal harmony fulfilling Atwell’s desire to create a more dynamic live show, with traces of traditional folk music. Atwell’s latest single ‘Grace’ is the more restrained, intimate successor of her August offering ‘Swimming Pool’, both of which have been playlisted by BBC Radio 6 Music.



Can’t afford a wristband?? Well don’t panic, we’ve got you covered.


There are so many fantastic new bands performing over the weekend of TGE who didn’t make the official line up this year. If you haven’t got a TGE wristband then here’s our top venues with free entry events:


Thursday, 9th May 12.00 – 22.00

Republic of music showcase @ Loading Brighton

11 Lower Promenade, Madiera Drive



Friday, 9th May 14.30 – 22.30

Back in the Woods Promotions + WaterBear | The College of Music
Present Alt Alt Escape @ St Nicholas Church

Dyke Road / Church St, Brighton BN1 3LJ


Saturday, 10th May 15:00-23:30

Fresh Lenins presents ALT ALT ESC. DAY 3.

Idle Hands, 59 Queens Road, BN1 3XD Brighton


Happy Great Escaping everyone, we’ll see you on the other side for a roast and a hangover curing Bloody Mary!.


By Nick Williams

Nick Williams is a songwriter, producer, multi-instrumentalist, sound engineer and live music promoter. He’s the lead singer and songwriter with electronic folk band Night House. Nick graduated from the commercial music course at Bath Spa University, specialising in Songwriting and Production. Nick has regularly toured Europe with Night House, with support slots for Ben Howard, Willy Mason, and The Magic Numbers. Recent Night House shows have seen them sell out the St Nicholas’ and Unitarian Churches in Brighton. They’ve performed at many prestigious venues from Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club to the Brighton Dome, with festival performances including The Great Escape, Isle of Wight, Celtic Connections and YNot.
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Why WaterBear?

Tardigrade (AKA Water Bear)

  • Micro-animal that is found everywhere, in all extreme climates
  • The most resilient creature known to humanity. Survives and adapts to its surroundings
  • This resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do