By Camelia Harahap, Arts Programme Manager, British Council

29 June 2016 - 21:36

Brighton, The Great Escape Festival 2016 location
Brighton, a seaside resort in England was the location of The Great Escape Festival 2016.  ©

Camelia Harahap

In May 2016, Arts Programme Manager Camelia Harahap visited Brighton, UK to attend The Great Escape Festival (TGE). Here she shares her experience of the festival and her top music recommendations.

A leading festival for new music

The Great Escape Festival in Brighton has cemented itself as one of the leading festival platforms for showcasing new artists and new music from all over the world, from shoe gaze, to synth pop, to Israeli alternative rock.

Add in the conferences, the showcases and the networking lunches…it is already quite overwhelming for the industry-goers who head over to Brighton year after year, so imagine what it was like for someone who went there for the first time!

There is so much to discover and to explore at TGE, that three days really isn’t enough."

I went to Brighton with our brilliant team of music delegates from Indonesia. You might know some of them already:

  • Robin Malau, founder of Musikator and now leading some of the major Music Cities programmes across Indonesia
  • Anton Wirjono, seasoned DJ from Future 10 but also the force behind the creative dynasty known as the Goods Dept
  • Ratih Suryahutamy or Neonomora, the female songstress with a powerful voice that won Rolling Stone’s best Indonesian album award and NET TV’s new breakthrough artists awards last year
  • Ryan Novianto – co-founder of Frisson Entertainment who is leading the way for developing some of the exciting new talents in Indonesia’s music ecosystem
  • Michael Budiman, a young composer and music critic who writes for ‘MusicalProm’ and currently doing his masters at Goldsmiths, University of London. 
Vallis Alps at The Great Escape Festival 2016
Vallis Alps at The Great Escape Festival 2016 ©

Camelia Harahap

Chiara Hunter at The Great Escape Festival 2016
Feisty Chiara Hunter, hailing from down under but currently based in London, a definite one to watch!  ©

Camelia Harahap

Ciaran Lavery got me in a spellbinding trance and made me feel emotions I didn't know I have. ©

Camelia Harahap

Thank god for the #TGE16 app and our delegate passes, we managed to get special access into this secret Jake Bugg gig!  ©

Camelia Harahap

All of us come from a breadth of different musical interests. We took turns recommending the acts and gigs we wanted to see – some of them we would see together, others we’d split up and convene afterwards to share and explain what we saw over a garlic naan and tandoori chicken dinner. It wasn’t a very sophisticated system but it worked well for us.

With over 400 artists and gigs all over Brighton, going through the line-up list is bound to be a daunting task. Therefore, we have curated a selection of personal favourites from the festival, all British artists or based in the UK, who we think are some of the most exciting acts of the moment.

Here is a selection of personal favourites from the festival:

Special mentions: