For the last 4 years, mid May has always meant The Great Escape; 3 days of the most promising of newcomers to the music business playing their hearts out in the clubs and pubs of Brighton hoping to get spotted.
As an Entertainment and Music photographer it's important to research beforehand, seeing who has a 'buzz' sounding them and then make sure these are the guys I shoot as well as making sure I see as many others as possible. This involves a great deal of jiggling to the timetable as venues run late and times are changed.
I'm fairly pleased with the acts I managed to cover and shot, only time will tell if they were who I should have…
One of the most talked about acts were Deap Vally, a pair of young women, one playing guitar, the other drums. I think they ended up playing 3 or 4 sets at various venues across the festival; probably more than any other act. A couple of their shows were reviewed in UK national newspapers (with photos) so I can only assume that they will go far.
Another band that played a couple of sets (and whom I was told in no uncertain terms I should photograph) was The Strypes; a four-piece rhythm and blues band from Ireland. They have already appeared on Jools Holland's BBC show so again, probably on a firm trajectory now.
There were quite a few singer-songwriter types on either guitar or keyboard. Lauren Aquilina played the "BBC Introducing" Stage in Blind Tiger. This venue is a bar with a stage, the angle of which makes it particularly difficult to get nicely composed images. Add a keyboard and….
For me, Jake Issac was the singer-songwriter of the moment, his songs really did seem to come from the heart.
The weekend is not only filled with the acts performing, there is also a convention running alonside with industry matters discussed as well as Q&A sessions with some of the more established acts. Here Alex Robertshaw of Everything Everything pauses for thought.
One of my favourite acts were Kodaline. I have seen them a few times and I always enjoy their set. The light in The Dome (where they were on one of the headline shows) was quite tricky.
Overall a good 3 days with a few issues along the way (I ended the festival with a different iPhone and SIM as well as having a battery tray in a camera die - but thats why professionals carry spares and have insurance).
The full gallery may be found here: http://www.julieedwardsphotography.co.uk/tge2013