WORDS RACHEL EDWARDS - PHOTOGRAPHY LIZA MOLNAR
The first thing that sprung to mind when I heard whispers of The Great Escape festival making a comeback after a two year hiatus is... well, personally it’s the Wallace and Gromit film 'A Grand Day Out' but hey, I have ADHD. The second thing was that we’re lucky to live in a place that celebrates and nurtures new talent in a way that’s accessible for everyone.
There are many factors that make The Great Escape stand out from the others. Most festivals are in a fenced area with a ‘no exit until you’re leaving for good’ policy - a policy that has you scoffing at the £7 price tag on a portion of chips until you’re drunk enough to buy two. Someone once told me that in a relationship you’re in a room with a locked door but you don’t notice it and that once you’re married all you can focus on is the locked door (I’m sure their marriage lasted a long time). If you have commitment issues, fear not - The Great Escape allows you to dot around Brighton, entering different venues and dipping out when you want to go for a swim or buy a reasonably priced portion of chips.
Pubs and bars are turned into gig spaces for the weekend where musicians play and fans unite. We arrived on Saturday, just in time to have a chat with Cassyette - a musician whose lockdown sounds insanely productive (I am still coming to terms with the fact that anyone spent lockdown doing anything other than their daily walk but there we are). Having recently released her new single ‘Dear Goth’ and now touring with My Chemical Romance it’s safe to say that the year is going pretty well for the Essex born singer.
We also managed to grab hold of Naomi Banks who's speaking voice is just as soulful as her singing and Canadian twins Softcult who burst my bubble when asked if their name was inspired by creating a cult of cuddly toys (they later remedied this by informing me that twintuition is a real thing). Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was managing to get the lads from indie-punk band Bilk to sit still long enough for us to have a chat with them. Cheeky, rebellious and definitely not ones to play to the beat of anyone's drum but their own, their unpredictability is what makes them so entertaining to watch live.
We rounded off the day by seeing the phenomenal Crows, who came after the incredible three-piece PVA who had the whole room jumping up and down.
As far as a festival showcasing new talent goes, The Great Escape has it all. A huge variety in musicians and talent, great crowds and the backdrop of Brighton (a winning recipe if you ask me). One thing is for sure - we'll be back next year!