Best Festival Line-up of This Decade: The Great Escape Festival 2016


The Great Escape Festival is based in Brighton and is hosted each year in May across 35 different venues, and each year their line-up satisfies many with their combination of big names alongside some up-and-coming artists. Despite the greatness each year, I think it is clear that 2016 stands out in particular as being one of the greatest line-ups of this decade.

Firstly, 2016’s line-up had a little something for everyone. Stormzy, Dave and AJ Tracey all in one line-up is great to see, alongside pop favourites Anne-Marie and Rag n Bone Man. Band of Skulls also featured, who are probably the most distinct artist from those just listed, due to their heavier sound. And, of course, no festival nowadays is complete without some indie names like Mystery Jets and Blossoms.

There are some particular artists that stand out to me in particular, one of these being Let’s Eat Grandma. After witnessing their performance at End of The Road Festival this year, I was fascinated at how two young women put on such an eclectic show. Alongside this duo, Michael Kiwanuka featured on the line-up in 2016, who is another artist I was lucky enough to see at EOTR, and was completely blown away by. Seeing him in the beautiful place of Brighton would have been incredible.

One interesting artist who I would have been excited to see, up until attending Reading Festival this year, is Blossoms. I am a fan of their music and their general indie vibe, however I found their performance at Reading this year to be a little bland, lacking energy (although this may have been due to the scorching heat and the fact they had to fill the spot after Billie Eillish on the main stage…). Nonetheless, perhaps seeing them in a smaller capacity to Reading would’ve been great as I’m sure they put on a great show at a more intimate size.

Another band I saw at Reading this year was The Hunna, who also feature on this incredible Great Escape line-up. The Hunna definitely are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I found them incredible live and I’m sure witnessing them perform at a slightly smaller capacity would have been just as amazing and energy-filled.

Edge favourites YONAKA also feature on this 2016 line-up. After gaining a 5-star review for their show in Portsmouth last month, it’s clear they deserve a mention for their seemingly endless talent, and their performance in such an amazing place would have surely been incredible.

Perhaps the artist I was most intrigued to find on the Great Escape 2016 line-up was Ry X. After putting on an incredible performance in the Brighton Dome earlier this year, I was blown away by his talents and believe he would be incredible to witness live at a festival. Along with acts so different to his, his talents surely would have shone through and I am extremely jealous of everyone who got to witness his performance in 2016.

All in all, it’s safe to say that this decade has hosted numerous incredible line-ups, and there are definitely many more which deserve a mention. However, for the purposes of this article, I decided to choose The Great Escape Festival’s 2016 line-up, purely for its eclectic range and the fact that it is hosted in one of the greatest cities in the UK.


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Live Editor 2019/20 & third year English student. Probably watching Gilmore Girls

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