The Great Escape 2014 at its core, is a genuine sense of a mission to discover new bands, whilst getting day-drunk, battered by the wind and emotionally manipulated by venue security. Despite being a music industry piss-up, the music fans are its backbone and it’s all the better for being in Brighton, with the Alternative Escape and a stack of no ticket, free gigs and weekend parties. Experience shows its best not to plan these things too much, just fill your pockets with corner shop Red Stripe, stumble into its box of delights and try not to sleep for three days.
The mystical queues are a frustrating challenge. At Digital, security earnestly proceed down the line politely informing all to leave as Future Islands is at capacity. When 50 disappointed people cut their losses and depart to battle against the awesomely windy seafront, the rest of us get the nod and as one, we are let into the venue. It’s a hot, sweaty, enthusiastic highlight of a show.
Other gems include seeing Theo Verney play two great sets, one at the HateHateHate showcase, but its Wytches that really steal the evening. Peace pulled a massive crowd at Haunt as ‘secret guests’ and Gnarwolves tore a hole in Bermuda Triangle. Charli XCX struggled in the huge Corn Exchange. Zambian born Bite the Buffalo, at Sticky Mikes showed fresh blood excitement, and played a scuzzy and infectious blues rock. Best Friends packed out the Queens Hotel. To be honest it’s a bit of a blur, but that’s the only way to experience this gem of a music festival. Just pay the extra for a delegate pass in 2015 and make friends with security and you’ll have a ball.
MONEY FOR ROPE
Words and Photography: Kevin Mason