The Netherlands at The Great Escape

Don’t worry it’s nearly summer! And what better way to kick off the festival season than heading down to Brighton to see the best new acts who are sure to be permanent fixtures on your stereo within the next few years. The Great Escape returns on the 17th-19th May and every year the festival highlights it’s lead country partnership showcasing the best talent they have to offer in front of industry professionals and music lovers, as well as strengthening our global reach. Previous partnerships include Canada (2006), France (2007) and Switzerland (2017) amongst many others which have each been very successful and given us the honour of hosting the likes of Christine and the Queens, Broods and Alvvays.

For 2018, our lead country partner is none other than The Netherlands, a country of rich, vibrant and diverse culture, in association with Dutch Music Export to highlight the brilliant Dutch music scene by featuring their brightest rising stars of the moment at the festival.

And there is an amazing array of Dutch artists who will provoke a range of emotions with their diverse and innovative sounds. They are quite reflective of the country they originate from in that on one side there is the beauty and uniqueness of 18 year old Kurdish/Dutch singer Naaz who has already played FIRST FIFTY back in November and wowed the audiences then with her pairing of soulful vocals with lo-fi anthemic pop, Pitou whose intelligent lyricism and folk sound produces intriguing and powerful results (Pitou said of the partnership: “With The Netherlands being the lead country at The Great Escape 2018 it’s very exciting to have this opportunity which enables me to represent my home at this wonderful event by simply playing my music.”) and Rosemary & Garlic- a duo whose enchantingly tender songs will move even the most hardened person (I’m Here is a beautiful reflection of young, epic love). On the other side we have the crazy, stay-awake-until-sunrise parties of Brass Rave Unit (ackin to the wild fun of Amsterdam’s nightlife) who have played Glastonbury and are notorious in the Amsterdam club scene, as well as scuzzy, in-your-face punk with Charlie and the Lesbians, Iguana Death Cult, winner of the ‘Best Band Name of 2018’ award, who are full of trippy and youthful energy, the murky grunge of Pacemakers and the dreamy, experimental pop of The Homesick who were nominated for ‘Album Of the Year’ in their native country.

Rudd Berends, who is producer for Dutch Music Export, said “Dutch Music Export is proud to be the focus country at TGE 2018. The UK is one of the most important countries for us to present the best the Lowlands has to offer and The Great Escape provides the best platform to showcase, support and promote Dutch musical talent to not only the UK but international music industries and audiences.”

Dutch Music Export has always been a great supporter of TGE so it gives us great pleasure to be working closely with them this year.

Get to know the artists from The Netherlands with our dedicated Spotify playlist

Words by William Craigie