Critics love it. Fans adore it. The Times calls it ‘…the best place in Europe to discover new bands’.
We are, of course, talking about Brighton’s Great Escape: a music festival that showcases the best and brightest emerging talent the world has to offer.
Over 400 acts descend on the seaside town, playing across 35 local venues to thousands of revellers, who all gain access through one sacred wristband.
So if you fancy a look into music’s future and want to make a weekend of it, just book a room in our Brighton Travelodge and follow our handy guide.
1. The acts
There are too many great artists to mention all of them (this isn’t considered a hotbed of up and coming talent for nothing you know!). But this year, organisers really have excelled themselves.
The Brighton Dome hosts one of a number of headline acts, with southern rockers Alabama Shakes returning to Brighton after a life-changing set back in 2002. You can get into other performances at the Dome just by topping up your wristband once you’ve got your festival pass.
Elsewhere, the venues and bars will be rammed with genres, from the provocative guitar-driven sounds of Slaves, to electronic soulman Dan Bodan, and emotional power pop from Ivy and Gold to Swedish songstress Seinabo Sey.
If you’re into music, TGE has got you covered.
2. The venues
Where do we start?
Komedia on Gardner Street is a local music and theatre hotspot, and their Studio Bar is an intimate room perfect for small gigs.
The Brighton Museum, on the other hand, puts you bang in the cultural centre of town, in the Royal Pavilion garden. Prepare to be wowed by the scenery as well as the sounds.
While those who can’t drag themselves away from the pier will want to hang at Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar. Bright colours, a supercool bar and opening hours till about 3am make this a festival hotspot.
Having said all that, which venues of the 35 you pick depends on who you want to see. But if you’re really stuck for time, our choices would be the sweaty, house party-esque Green Door Store or Digital, a club on the seafront with impressively arched ceilings.
3. Best of the rest
There’s plenty more to see and do throughout the festival, including a convention for people in the music business (while they’re out talent spotting), The Alternative Escape (at its own underground venues) and even secret gigs.
But when it comes to keeping yourself fed and watered, there are two places we recommend.
The Hare and Hounds offers craft beer, margaritas and fantastic Mexican food courtesy of La Choza, all sound-tracked by DJs that play well into the night.
Just over the road, The Joker has a similarly impressive array of booze, but mixes it up with the best chicken wings on the south coast thanks to street-food stars The Orange Buffalo.
So, what are you waiting for? If you want the party of a lifetime while making music moments to remember (‘I liked them before they were big’), then book yourself a room in a Brighton Travelodge now.
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