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A Guide to The Great Escape Festival

Do you love heading to music festivals every summer? Are you always looking to discover acts completely under the radar? If intimate gigs with an eye for new talent are your thing, head to Brighton for The Great Escape. Every year, thousands of music fans flock to Brighton to see their emerging artists or to discover a new favourite band. Smaller events like The Great Escape are a great alternative to large-scale music festivals like Glastonbury - not just because most gigs are held indoors and you dont need your wellingtons! The Great Escape is a place to see an artist before they blow up in smaller venues. Still, the line-up hosts over 500 artists. Theres always a wide variety of eclectic performers at The Great Escape. If its your first time to the fest, and especially if its your first time to Brighton, check out the following information to plan for your trip in May.

What to Know

Tickets: Like most music festivals, you can secure early bird passes far in advance, almost a full year before the event. Super early bird tickets run out fast. If youre not lucky enough to get tickets at the lowest price, early bird is your best bet. After that, regular ticket sales are available to the public until the festival dates. Cost: Early bird tickets average about 60. For all the acts on the line-up, this is a great deal, especially in comparison to many other international music festivals. Venues: Unlike festivals that take place on campgrounds, The Great Escape happens in indoor venues across Brighton! An average of 35 venues participate in the fest. Its easy to jump from one show to another! Schedule: Set times are announced by the programmers shortly before the fest. Pro tip: Print out each days lineup so you can plan which acts to see.

Where to Stay

Locals anticipate The Great Escape every May and expect reservations at their hotels, hostels, and Airbnbs. However, options will fill up fast. Its always best to book ahead. May is a busy month for Brighton. Its when the Fringe Festival takes place as well, so you might find yourself competing for reservations among theatregoers. Its definitely worth it to buy early bird and book your hotel as soon as possible. 5 places to check out:
  • Hotel Ibis Brighton City Centre

  • The Old Ship Hotel

  • YHA Brighton Hostel

  • HAPPY Brighton

  • Kipps Hostel

What Else to Do in Brighton

The festival will keep you busy, but youre bound to have some downtime. Use it to explore what else the city has to offer! If its your first time in Brighton, definitely dont miss out on:
  • Brighton Palace Pier: One of the citys most popular attractions, this pier has plenty of amusement rides, games, and eateries with a great view of the ocean.

  • Brighton Museum & Art Gallery: Within the Royal Pavillion Gardens is a public art gallery that includes decorative art, surrealist art, as well as mixed media.

  • Brighton Marina: Come here to lounge in the sun for lunch and take pictures by the water.

  • The Lanes: Home to many unique shops along Brightons signature narrow streets.

  • British Airways i360: See the city from above in this glass ascending viewing pod!

Other things to do, eat, and drink can be found in our complete Brighton To-Do Guide!

How to Get There

If youre flying to London first, take a rental car from London Gatwick. This way, youll be able to easily transport all your belongings to Brighton and get around the town quickly. You might need to hop from one venue to another and not have time to walk, so a rental car will come in handy. Heathrow also offers rental car transportation. Once you arrive, there is street parking throughout the city and at most venues. Most people wont be driving between venues, so beware of pedestrians everywhere. Otherwise, you can park your car in town for the day, then walk around and come back. Brighton is small, so walking is manageable. Otherwise, you can take a train from Heathrow or Gatwick to Brighton. If youre coming to London via train, its easy to make a switch over to Brighton at the airports. You can also board buses from the airports via National Express. This will be the cheapest, but your trip will be much longer. If youre coming from France, by chance, you can even take a ferry from Newhaven Dieppe port! This is the longest way to get to Brighton, but if you have an extra to travel, this is also the most scenic and peaceful transportation.
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