Our Favourite Memories of The Great Escape

Tina and her TGE besties relive some of their top TGE moments over the years

It’s the week that The Great Escape should have been and many music industry mates are gutted not to be part of the usual merriment and mayhem. I’ve got together a few of my best TGE buddies to re-live their most memorable moments and rustle up some feel-good nostalgia vibes. See you in Brighton in 2021…

Brighton Beach looking gorgeous at sundown

Jessica, founder of This Must Be Pop

In the 14 years The Great Escape has taken place, I’ve only missed two of them and even worked there in my student days, so hearing that the 2020 event was cancelled was certainly a sad moment.

For me, The Great Escape is about three things:

1 Deciding whether the ‘next big thing’ is worth the hype or not.

2 Discovering new faves (usually Scandi or Australian)

3 Catching up with all those people that I haven’t seen since the last TGE – which somehow just feels like yesterday!

Top Tip
Some of my favourite discoveries from recent years include Haiku Hands, Confidence Man and Delta Rae, so my top tip for our lost TGE weekend is for everyone to check them out and have a little bop around the living room.

Follow Jess on Twitter @Poptastic and visit ThisMusicBePop.com


Lara Baker, Director of Business Development, UK & IE, Songtrust

My TGE vibe
Please let there be sunshine.

At TGE, I hosted…
…the AIM hardrock and metal showcase in 2015 in 2016. At the time TGE wasn’t booking much heavy music and AIM’s members wanted us to address this, so we stepped in and put on an amazing show with some great metal bands. It was packed!

Epic TGE gig I attended
Phoebe Bridgers in 2018 was pretty special.

An enduring TGE connection I made
It’s hard to recall meeting anyone for the first time at TGE, but the special thing about it is more that everyone you know in music is there. As well as the scheduled meetings it’s the unexpected bumping into people that is brilliant. In 2018 and 2019 I was part of the TGE programming team, and it was fantastic to work with Lynds, Nat and the team to help bring it all to life. I’m so sad for them all that the hard work they put into planning 2020 was in vain.

Best food spot
Don’t tell anyone as it’s a small place and I won’t be able to get a table next time if everyone turns up, but Purezza is the best pizza in Brighton. Maybe the best pizza in Britain. It’s vegan too – although you can’t tell! YUM.

A random memory
At the end of a brilliant TGE 2017 I had a few Saturday day drinks with my pal Renae (Renae Brown, then of AIF) and I ended up with an ice cream tattoo. Whoops.

Follow Lara on Twitter @LaraKBaker


Leo O’Brien, Co-founder Say Something Records and Only You Publishing

My TGE vibe
Being on a school trip and letting loose with no teachers to hold you back!

At TGE, I hosted…
… PPL drinks, always one of the busiest networking events with a queue out of the door. This always allows me to see a number of my friends and industry colleagues in one place before the afternoon gets a bit manic.

Epic TGE gig I attended
My favourite all-time gig was seeing two of my favourite bands, Tellison and Crash of Rhinos at The Prince Albert. This gig was part of The Alternative Escape and the venue had a pub vibe, with no stage and small PA speakers. I remember there being constant crowd-surfing and people swinging from the chandeliers.

Best food spot
Buddies Fish & Chips. It’s open all hours, perfect for when you’re leaving Queens Hotel at 5am and craving a saveloy, chips and curry sauce.

A random memory
Being downstairs in Komedia and approaching a new contact I had made for her to then run off. Four years later she’s taken over my flat!

Follow Leo on Twitter @LeopoldOBrien and visit SaySomethingRecords.com


Tina Hart, Communications Consultant x Tina Hart Media

My TGE vibe
I made a schedule with every 30 mins blocked out but I will end up following half of it.

At TGE, I hosted…
…the infamous Wide Days party – I joined the team for 2019 and it was a busy one as per. Brilliant to see so many faces as I was on the door for the duration and in the whisky cellar for the after party, of course. This year, in their absence, our favourite Scots have been kind enough to show you how to make a deep-fried Mars Bar at home.

Epic TGE gigs I attended
Confidence Man were hotly-tipped, they were so entertaining and I saw them in one of the pubs with the colourful stained glass looking ceilings. Having a tequila shot with Slaves and their girlfriends at The Vaults before they let loose on stage and crowd surfed was also a memorable one – such great energy. Chiara Hunter at 2am in one of the churchy venues was a bop! So many epic ones over the years I have forgotten.

An enduring TGE connection I made
It’s as much about the hanging out as the music – PRS, PPL and AIM parties were always the ‘family gatherings’ to look forward to. The couple of specific standouts for me though, are:
1. Meeting the director of a PR firm and wangling a contract at their leading agency.
2. Being introduced to Leo on day one, running away from him towards a round of shots on night two and four years later I’m living with him. 

Best spot
Carousels – open-air, beer, chips, beach.

A random memory
Hanging at one of the most fun brunches, on one of my most terrible hangovers and having a photo with a hilariously dressed stag do across the bar.

Follow Tina on Twitter @TinieTinah, @TinaHartMedia and visit TinaHartMedia.com

During a TGE brunch, Karma, Tina and Lara grabbed a snap with an interestingly dressed stag do
Leo at the Wide Days showcase

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