The UK’s Great Escape Takes Shape, Launches Steve Strange Award

The Great Escape last went down in 2019.
Lorne Thomson/Redferns
– The Great Escape last went down in 2019.
This picture shows Erica Dunn of Tropical Fuck Storm performing at Coalition in Brighton, May 10, 2019.

The Great Escape (TGE) showcase festival and music business conference finally returns to Brighton, England, May 11-14, after two years of forced downtime. It will mark TGE’s 15th anniversary.

Promoters recently added 100 new acts to the bill, including American queer hyperpop artist Rebecca Black, Reading-based rockers The Amazons, Gen Z grunge pop singer Baby Queen, observational and acerbic post punk from Leeds’ Yard Act, post-punk poet Sinead O’Brien, TikTok star-turned-solo musician Abby Roberts, Scottish singer-songwriter Dylan Fraser, rising star Lola Young, American singer-songwriter Indigo De Souza, Liverpool alt rockers Crawlers, Irish rapper Malaki, Belfast post-punk rockers Enola Gay, folk-rock singer-songwriter Madison Cunningham and many more.
The full list of TGE’s latest additions can be found below. More than 250 acts are still to be announced.
The TGE Conference has been curated by the music business experts at Complete Music Update (CMU), led by CMU co-founder and MD Chris Cooke. The three full-day conference strands at this year’s TGE are Music+Education, Music+Data, and Music+Video.
Sophie Mccomish of Body Type performs at The Haunt during TGE 2019.
Lorne Thomson/Redferns
– Sophie Mccomish of Body Type performs at The Haunt during TGE 2019.
Brighton’s venues will finally see live music and live audiences again.

The initial list of speakers confirmed for the TGE Conference 2022 includes Ameena Badley (Artist Manager, The Ko-Lab), Becky Brook (music rights consultant), Jenn Egan (Music Supervisor, Eyeline Music), Lauren Roth De Wolf (Founder, Wolves Management), Mark Adams (CEO & Founder, Blinding Talent), Olivia Hobbs (Founder & Director, Blackstar Agency), and many more.

The Great Escape’s professional development programme TGE Elevate also returns in 2022 with the support of Arts Council England: 30 early-career music business professionals – including artists, managers, promoters, and people working at venues and labels – will get an enhanced, curated TGE experience, allowing them to grow their personal professional networks, expand their knowledge of the music business, and join the conversation about the future of the industry.
TGE also announced the launch of The Steve Strange Award, in honour of the late live agent and co-founder of X-Ray Touring Steve Strange, who passed away in September 2021.
The legedary Steve Strange.
– The legedary Steve Strange.
The late agent and longtime supporter of The Great Escape will be honored with a new annual award.

The award, which will happen annually, will recognise a music act that is breaking through creative boundaries in the music industry. The first recipient will receive a cash prize of £5,000, and will be announced after the festival on May 16.

The winner will be voted on by the thousands of industry delegates that attend the event every year. They’ll choose from new or existing acts from The Great Escape line-up.
Widely respected as one of the greatest live agents and legendary figures in the music industry, Steve Strange was responsible for developing the careers of some of music’s greatest acts. Strange’s artist roster included the likes of Eminem, Coldplay, Queens of the Stone Age, Phoebe Bridgers and more.
Rory Bett, CEO at Live Nation’s Mama Group, the promoting company behind TGE, commented: “Steve Strange has a long history with The Great Escape and championed hundreds of artists over the years. It is a great honour for us to launch this award for creativity in his name, so that he can continue to influence the industry he loved”.
Josh Javor, agent at X-Ray Touring, said: “Steve was a huge supporter of The Great Escape and would be deeply honoured by this award being launched in his name. He was first and foremost a passionate music fan and creativity was at the heart of his business. We are delighted his name will live on through this award and inspire many artists into lifelong careers in the industry Steve loved so much.”
Steve Strange was also honored at this year’s Pollstar Awards, where he posthumously won International Booking Agent of the Year. In an emotional tribute, manager Andy Gould said: “This guy wasn’t just my friend, he was all of our friends; he wasn’t my agent, he was kind of all of our agent. I miss him so fucking much, I really do. And I think I speak for everyone in the room: We need more Steve Stranges.”
All 100 new acts to perform at The Great Escape 2022:
Abby Roberts / Alex Amor / Baby Queen / Bad Waitress / Balimaya Project / Balming Tiger / Banks Arcade / Blair Davie / Bleach Lab /  Bonnie Kemplay / Bryan’s Magic Tears / Budjerah / Cat Burns / Christian Lee Huston / Coach Party / Coco And The Lost / Crawlers / Damos Room / Dead Pony / Downtown Kayoto / Dylan Fraser / Eli Smart / English Teacher / Enola Gay / Fitzroy Holt / Frankie Beetlestone / Gen & The Degenerates / Grace Cummings / Grove / Hmd / Honeyglaze / Illuminati Hotties / Indigo De Souza/ Iris Gold / Joe & The Shitboys / Joy Anonymous / Kathleen Frances / Kathryn Joseph / Katy J Peason / Kiddus / Kings Elliot / Kynsy / L’objectif / Little Quirks / Lock-In / Lokoy / Lucy Gooch / Lucy Mcwilliams / Madi Saskia /Madison Cunningham / Malaki /  Margo Cilker / Maria Bc / Mark Cake / Mattiel / Megan Wyn / Memes / Mickey Casllisto / Murman Tsuladze / Neone The Wonderer / Nutribe / Orions Belte / Panic Shack / Phoebe Green / Piri & Tommy / Pixey / Plumm / Porches / Porchlight / Portron Portron Lopez / Poutyface / Prima Queen / Quinzequinze / Rebecca Black / Rolla / Sad Boys Club / Shakira Alleyne / Sinead O’brien / Soft Cult / Sofy / Sprints / Swim School / Taahliah / Tamzene / Team Picture / The Amazons / The Bobby Tenderloin Universe / The Byker Grove Fan Club / The Goa Express / The Let Go / The Shakes / The Vanns / Tommy Lefroy / Ultra Q / Vlure / Yard Act