The Great Escape 2018 – Top picks & playlist

Among the popular artists performing at The Great Escape this year including Tom Grennan, IDLES, Tom Walker, Ten Tonnes, Pale Waves, Joel Baker, Soccer Mommy and Yellow Days – we’ve highlighted our top picks for the 2018 seaside festival.

These include Alma, Dermot Kennedy, Grace Carter, Hockey Dad, Hatchie, Moss Kena, Au/Ra, Ross From Friends, Nao, Nilufer Yanya, Sophie And The Giants, Superorganism, and Tom Tripp.


Every so often a new pop star explodes out of nowhere, re-shaping people’s expectations and creating a new page in the rulebook in the process. ALMA – a 20-year old with bright neon green hair, a magnetic attitude and a voice that could demolish buildings –is that new pop star.

WAGNER HALL 11:00pm Thursday

Dermot Kennedy

Equal parts rustic folk and soulful grit, Ireland’s Dermot Kennedy offers his own blend of passionate, introspective songwriting. Dermot found viral success with his single “After Rain,” and has continued pushing his artistic boundaries. Latest project “Mike Dean Presents Dermot Kennedy” is a 5-track EP featuring a chilling Drake cover. He will break your heart and fix it at the same time. You will feel every lyric.

WAGNER HALL 9:00pm Thursday, BEACH CLUB 4:00pm Friday, SALLIS BENNEY THEATRE 10:00pm Friday

Grace Carter

Powerful and pure, with a remarkable ability to convey weighty emotions well beyond her 19 years, Carter’s singing relies not on excess but restraint. She commands your attention with subtlety at first, drawing you in with a whisper rather than a shout. There are no showy vocal pyrotechnics here, no over-processed productions, just a raw, intimate truthfulness. With the release of her debut single, “Silence,” Grace is ready to share her emotions on the stage.

SALLIS BENNEY THEATRE 9:30pm Thursday, BEACH CLUB 6:00pm Friday

Hockey Dad

Childhood friends Zach Stephenson and Billy Fleming parlayed their love of surfing, skating, and rock & roll into the jangly fuzz-pop duo Hockey Dad. Formed in 2013 in the coastal town of Windang in New South Wales, Australia, Hockey Dad emerged a year later with the five-song Dreamin’ EP, a sunny, melodic affair that projects a laid-back attitude even at its most raucous.

VOLKS 8:15pm Thursday, DR. MARTENS STAGE 2:00pm Saturday


Hailing from Brisbane, Australian indie singer/songwriter Hatchie infuses her dreamy synth pop with fuzzy shoe-gaze guitars in a style reminiscent of early-’90s output by acts like Natalie Imbruglia. To hear Hatchie’s music is to step inside her mind; a dreamy landscape where cascading synths, jangling guitars, propulsive rhythms and white noise undulate beneath irresistible pop melodies.

KOMEDIA 12:50pm Thursday, HORATIOS 1:00pm Friday, THE ARCH 6:00pm Friday

Moss Kena

After capturing the attention of Kendrick Lamar with his funk-infused soul rendition of ‘These Walls’, Moss Kena returns with his debut EP, ‘Found You In 06’. With live shows and more new music planned in 2018, The Great Escape festival is the perfect time to get acquainted with the artist being praised as “the future” of R&B.

BEACH CLUB 4:30pm Thursday


For fans of Banks. Growing up in Antigua, Au/Ra is providing a kind of space where misfits feel at home and where the listener gets to peer for a minute through the lens of an artist who has simultaneously grown up outside the system but who speaks with the zeitgeist of her generation. Latest single ‘Panic Room’ recently got a Camelphat remix and it might just be the song of the summer.

THE ARCH 7:00pm Friday

Ross From Friends

The Great Escape festival is finally giving us the late night session we deserve, and Ross From Friends is providing the soundtrack. Inspiration for Ross From Friends comes from all corners of the musical milieu. From early experimental music to hip-hop sampling – even 80s Eurobeat and Hi-NRG helps to make up the comprehensive sound palette that Ross has the liberty of drawing from. Fashioning these wide-ranging influences into cleverly compressed and effervescent pieces of music, the output you hear from Ross is just as certain to make you move, as it is to make you feel.



The last three years has seen NAO’s talents bloom. Her first release “So Good” came in 2014, and was the first indicator that here was a new and unique talent. More recently NAO has performed at Coachella, both her own amazing set and alongside Bon Iver and Mura Masa.

BEACH CLUB 10:00pm Friday

Nilufer Yanya

A stolen bike. A golden cage. The coral reef where a lonely flower shop employee swims away her woes. Nilüfer Yanya has always begun tracks with intriguing mental images like these, letting her imagination run away till a hazy, dream-like story surfaces and a sparse, arresting song is born.

BEACH CLUB 7:15pm Friday, KOMEDIA 10:15pm Friday

Sophie And The Giants

Still very new to the music scene, Sophie and The Giants have made significant strides since their formation less than a year ago. Infectious pop-rock songs with a DIY attitude, Sophie Scott is steering her Giants in a bold and brave direction.

BEACH HOUSE 7:15pm Friday


Quirky pop outfit Superorganism are one of the most interesting bands of 2018. Half formed in New Zealand, based in London and fronted by a 17 year old Orono Noguchi who was raised in Japan. Like their backstory, their music is similarly eclectic and not exactly genre specific. They have been compared to Gorillaz with a sound that encompasses funk, hip-hop, indie, house, pop. Their live sets are a vibe from start to finish.

THE OLD MARKET 10:15pm Friday

Tom Tripp

Tom Tripp is an English Singer, songwriter and record producer from Caledonian Road, North London. Tom’s self-produced RED EP is a soulful slice of wonky pop and his live set is not to be missed at The Great Escape festival this year. You may already know Tom from his collaboration with Mura Masa. ‘Helpline’ is a banger.