The Great Escape kicks off its debut online edition

Posted On 14 May 2021 at 3:32 pm


The Great Escape, the festival for new music, yesterday kicked off its debut online edition, taking place 13-14 May 2021, with an unrivalled line-up of some of the most exciting new talent and breakout artists from across the world. The first day of the festival featured more than 75 artists across seven stages with performances from artists’ living rooms, home studios, rehearsal spaces, empty shops and clubs, a port on the Faroe Island, lakes, a hospital set, as well as venues, including the Olympia in Dublin and Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, plus many more. Catch up on today’s performances via The Great Escape website.

Yesterday, three of the six The Great Escape Online’s Spotlight artists took to the stage with phenomenal performances by rising star Priya Ragu, who brought a slice of her dazzling and uplifting R&B fusion from India/Switzerland, including the addictive Good Love 2.0, striking new single Forgot About released this week, and joyful Chicken Lemon Rice. Californian funky soul pop sensation Remi Wolf performed Disco Man, fizzing and colourful Hello Hello Hello, funk-pop infused Photo ID and debuted new song Liz from a studio in LA, plus Bradford’s Bad Boy Chiller Crew brought along their bassline bangers from West Yorkshire.

Hosted by music photographer Phoebe Fox, Day 1 of the Great Escape Online featured more than 20 showcases, bringing a true festival feel and the hottest-tipped artists from across the globe, including the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, Montreal, the Faroe Islands, Spain and Sweden.

Opening Stage 1 and truly setting the tone for yesterday’s festival, Geese, who recorded their set at The Nest in New York, showed why they’re one of the buzziest new bands around. Mysie, the south-east London-based Ivor Novello ‘Rising Star Award’ winner, showcased her intimate indie soul music with a raw and soul-stirring performance, taking fans on an emotional journey, while Billie Marten’s performance included a dreamy rendition of her latest single and Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record In The World’ Creature of Mine from her upcoming album.

21-year-old singer songwriter Aby Coulibaly’s set oozed with sublime modern R&B and soul, head-bobbing rhythms and 90s flow, while singer-songwriter Bess Atwell gave a serene, lush and fresh performance of her single Co-op. Other highlights included an experimental neo-soul set by Iman Houssein, a powerful performance by Candian rock star in the making JJ Wilde, a special collaboration by Irish MC Hazey Haze, who was joined by Limerick rapper Strange Boy for part of his sets, punk poet Sinead O’Brien, Robert Grace gave a special performance of 2020 hit Fake Fine, and more.

The Great Escape Online continues today, 14 May 2021, with sets by indie-pop sensation Alfie Templeman, BBC Sound of 2021 runner up Holly Humberstone, critically-acclaimed, bold and daring rapper Genesis Owusu, plus a line-up of more than 70 up and coming artists. Find a timetable of all artists performing HERE.

The Music Channel of The Great Escape Online is available for free via the The Great Escape website, running from 6pm to 8pm. Register HERE.


Ahead of the evening’s electric and eclectic shows, the industry’s key players and trend setters came together across multiple panels and sessions to discuss the hot topics facing the music biz today.

Kicking off the conference’s in-conversation series, Wendy Ong and Anna Neville of TaP Music spoke to CMU’s Chris Cook about their careers to date, TaP’s artist-first approach and working with the likes of Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, Ellie Goulding and Hailee Steinfeld. The pair also discussed the evolving role of modern artist managers, the broad spectrum of deals that are now available to artists and the tech-powered opportunities for artists today, such as live-streaming and NFTs.

Lorna Clark joined TGE Online for a conversation discussing her incredible career and her role as Controller of Pop at the BBC, across TV and radio. Lorna also spoke on her involvement with Glastonbury Festival and creating a digital version of the festival last year, in lieu of the physical event. Finishing off her chat with TGE Online, Lorna spoke about the popularity of radio and the ever increasing demand for audio across the BBC.

As part of yesterday’s line-up of Partner Panels, the team from Ditto Music discussed all things independence. The session featured rapper Kamakaze on his career as an independent artist and Ditto’s Joe Mason and Huge Livesy on building an effective music campaign.

Rounding off the day’s in-conversation sessions, Hipgnosis Songs Fund CEO Merck Mecuridias gave a fascinating insight into his company’s much-discussed acquisition strategy. Giving a detailed overview into the inspiration behind the company, Mecurdiadis discussed the issues around songwriting remuneration and the nuances of his game-changing approach to song economics.

Elsewhere during the inaugural day of the conference, there were fascinating panels from the likes of Julie’s Bicycle and Music Declares Emergency on creating a sustainable business, discussions on meta-data and the future of touring and ticketing as well as a special session with Mercury Prize nominated artist Ghostpoet, who talked about his evolving creative journey during his 11-year career.

You can now purchase your Early Bird Delegate Passes for The Great Escape 2022 – Click HERE for further details!

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