30 May 2018 Great Escape Festival 2018 continues showcase of next-up talent with Suspect, Ms Banks and Octavian shutting it down
GreatEscape festival is best known for showcasing fresh, upcoming talent from around the UK. There are big names on the billing each year too, but it has the feel of a festival that aims to showcase artists who will become festival mainstays in years to come, rather than those who have been doing the rounds for many years already.
Despite my legs being tired out from all the walking between venues and not knowing if your cold or not because the breeze from the open sea provides the occasional chill, this was my first ever festival and I think it set off my summer just right. I was actually meant to go to GreatEscape last year but it never happened – but everything happens for a reason, right?
The festival eased into action on Thursday, setting the tone for what would follow. The Notion stage saw Big Tobz, Benny Mails & Flohio perform. All different acts and types of energy that was spread across the room, with Tobz delivering an energetic set while also dropping some exclusives too. Ms Banks lit up the crowd with tracks like ‘Get Loose and the Loski-assisted ‘R.I.P’, and Novelist did his thing too, with tracks from his new self-titled, self-written and self-produced debut album.
Friday was the day in where I was geared up to go to every performance and I arrived in Brighton just in time for Suspect’s set. Because the venue wasn’t big enough (it was super packed inside) it was ‘one in one out’ rule and the queue was super long even for the delegates so I thought I wasn’t able to get in.
But after finding a way to sneak in on the sly, I was able to catch Suspect doing what he does best. Anthems like ‘FBG’ and ‘Say It With Your Chest’, the latter track fresh from his recent Still Loading project. S-pect brought that energy and finesse he’s carving a niche for and this was another reminder of his growing arsenal of bangers, with Taya taking to the stage before hand.
Somehow, I ended up in the front of a mosh-pit at Octavian’s set afterwards. I had to keep my hood up throughout because water was flying from all angles, but despite that, it was a very good show. Octavian has style and grace which captures the attention of the fans by the way he moves down to his engagement with the audience. Slowthai’s performance shortly after was also another complete madness. Two newer artists shelling down with ease.
Rushing to watch Mahalia on the VEVO stage which took around 10 minutes to get to – I managed to just catch her sing her heart out to the nations most modern heart felt song ‘Sober’, while Lotto Boyz also provided highlights throughout with performances of ‘No Don’ and ‘Birmingham’.
The final day of the festival, Saturday, was also the hottest, and it felt like I was getting into the motion of knowing where everything was and how to get to the venues in the quickest way possible. With the prices sky high for a small fish and chips, I finally gave in and had some by the rocky shore.
Mist, Fredo and MoStack rounded of proceedings with a bang. Fredo was the first performer to come on stage and he wasted no time in lighting the place up with hits like ‘Change’, ‘Like That’ and ‘Rappin & Trappin’, before MoStack and Mist entered, with Steel Banglez hosting GRM stage throughout.
MoStack delivered what I considered to be the best performance of any performer at the festival, because not only was he simply rapping his songs, he made sure every fan was engaged too, dancing and providing a comical edge to his performance, mirroring his ‘gangster with banter’ flow to a tee.
Having all the stage lights turned off the audience lit up the dome with their camera lights. They both performed ‘Moshpit’ from Mist’s recent Diamond in the Dirt EP and no words can describe what happened next. Just pure madness.
Great Escape Festival 2018 was a great way to finally overcome my festival drought. The festival is known for showcasing the next wave of next-up talent and that’s exactly what we saw, energetic sets from great artists who will surely be festival mainstays in years to come.
Enjoy these photos of the event below. All photographs by Zek Snaps.