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Showcasing Scotland at The Great Escape 2018

Published: 25 May 2018

Over 3,500 international music delegates descended on Brighton last week for The Great Escape, Europe’s leading festival of new and emerging music.

A mecca for music lovers and key figures in the UK and international industry the festival attracts bookers, agents, managers, labels and programmers on the hunt to discover the next big thing.

Among the emerging artists looking to take their career to the next level were nine of Scotland’s best up-and-coming acts - Bossy Love, Colonel Mustard & The Dijon 5, Declan Welsh & The Decadent West, Free Love, LUCIA, Rascalton, The Ninth Wave, The Spook School and The Vegan Leather – who performed at two packed Showcasing Scotland gigs, hosted by broadcaster Vic Galloway.

The festival provides a spotlight for Scotland’s talent and offers a unique range of business opportunities for those working in the music industry. With that in mind, Creative Scotland and Born to be Wide hosted an international networking reception attracting over 400 international delegates from over 25 countries.  In addition to delegates from most European countries, there were guests from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA and Korea who made connections, shared music tips, debated the future of the industry and sampled some of Scotland’s finest malt whisky, over haggis and deep-fried Mars bars!  

Alan Morrison, Head of Music at Creative Scotland commented: “This year Showcasing Scotland started out with an end-of-the-pier show and finished up in a stained-glass church, with an apt sense of fun and adoration spilling over between the two. This was a fantastic, game-changing year for all the Scottish bands who took part. Individually they unveiled their talents to industry audiences from across the world and collectively they raised the status of Scottish music for all to see. The sheer number of international industry delegates attending our network reception is hard evidence that there’s a real hunger for the music that’s currently coming out of Scotland.”

    “In 2017 we hosted one of the busiest receptions in the history of The Great Escape and this year even more delegates took part,” says Born To Be Wide director and Wide Days founderOlaf Furniss. “The Scottish party has established itself as an invaluable opportunity for our industry and amazing musicians to connect with their peers from abroad. Its success is a testament to what can be achieved when everyone in the music community –commercial, public sector and artistic – works together

    Scotland was well represented with attendance from Scotland’s key music industry insiders including the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) who recently received Regular Funding from Creative Scotland. The funding will enable the SMIA to roll out a pioneering innovation-led development programme, designed to help nurture business talent and build infrastructure in the Scottish music industry – find out more about the forthcoming programme of activity.

    Robert Kilpatrick, General Manager at the SMIA commented: “I’m so incredibly proud of how well Scotland was represented at this year’s festival. Truly amazing performances from some of our best emerging acts, and an overwhelmingly special community of people involved in making the whole thing such a success.  This year’s showcases really highlighted the strength of our country’s output – what an exciting time for Scottish music.”

    The festival also saw performances from other Scottish emerging talent including West Lothian singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi, Dunfermline indie pop quintet Dancing on Tables, raucous Clackmannanshire gang VIDA, melodic Edinburgh indie rockers Vistas, Glaswegian pop duo Love Sick, Dumfries’ONR and Edinburgh’s Nina Nesbit.  Find out more about the artists at creativescotland.com/the-great-escape.


    “…Horatio’s is the ideal venue to kick off the weekend – and, as it turns out, LUCIA are the ideal band. It’s hard to believe that the eponymous frontwoman started out writing indie-folk, singer-songwriter fair, because today’s set gives every impression that she came into the world already clutching a fuzz pedal and a bottle of bleach… It’s a perfect set-up for The Ninth Wave, who’ve been attracting a lot of buzz with their own brand of post-punk noir… But it’s Glasgow’s mobile party machine Bossy Love who perhaps steal the first day…” – Clash Music

    “Famed for giving high-energy immersive performances, Glaswegian duo Bossy Love bring their punchy synth vocals and groove-laden basslines to the small upstairs room of Komedia for a proper pre-midnight party hosted by Creative Scotland.” – Dummy

    “Rascalton, A 4-piece indie rock outfit from Glasgow, are part of a new wave of Scottish acts who are reclaiming the word “band”, bringing it back to its roots of self-expression within a community, of like-minded individuals sharing art as not only a means of enjoyment but of survival. - The Line of Best Fit

    “Artist wise Scotland continues to be in rude health when looking at the diversity represented across the festival.  No better was this emphasised than by the contrast between Happy Meals' glacial and haunting electro pop performance in the New Church, and then Colonel Mustard and the Dijon 5’s rowdy genre traversing madness, both in the same venue and also in Jubilee Square.” – Skiddle  

    “…put simply, this year’s events were a thrilling showcase of thriving Scottish talent that shook you at your core. This year’s festival had a sunshine filled sky and a thread of Scottish-passion running through the line-up and hearts of Brighton’s spectators. TENEMENT TV have never been more proud to be part of the Scottish music industry.” – Tenement TV.