The Great Escape Festival: Escaping to Greatness

DJ Shannon

KEXP's DJ Shannon is heading to The Great Escape Festival in Brighton, UK next month, Thursday, May 17th through Saturday, May 19th, championing unsigned and underground artists with shows across 35 walkable venues. We asked Shannon to share some of her top picks of the festival so far:

I’m super excited to return to Brighton and Hove, UK, after a 6-year absence so I can attend The Great Escape Festival. I fell in love with Brighton in 2005 and returned the next year for the very first run of the new music festival. 

Imagine an energetic yet lowkey SXSW set in England, where you walk around 30+ venues to witness your new favorite bands play. The quaint seaside town, located an hour south of London, hosts the festival of the best new artists from around the world. It’s not as chaotic as CMJ or SXSW and it’s super convenient to bounce around from venue to venue. The last time I was there, I interviewed alt-J in the back of their van before their debut album came out.

The latest bands were announced last week, adding to the ever-evolving lineup for the May 17-19 festival. So far my top picks are:

The Go! Team

The Brighton/London-based band whose recent high-energy sets in KEXP’s Gathering Space and at Neumos renewed my 13-year-love of the band.

Insecure Men


Bristol-based band whose debut full-length album, “Brutalism”, came out last year and should have been on my Top 10.

BC Camplight

The Orielles

Sisters from Halifax originally who met guitarist at a house party.

You never know what new favorite band will emerge but I know many bands will win me over before my three days come to an end.

Stay tuned for a special radio preview of my adventure on May 3rd at 9 PM and then I’ll highlight all my new faves once I’m back on May 24th.

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