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5 Takeaways From TGE

No, it isn’t a list of our five favourite chippys (though there are some decent ones in Brighton) but The Gen’s five hot takes from across The Great Escape last weekend just before we collapse like the pier almost did under the weight of expectation surrounding the Slaves pier party.

1. The drugs don’t work

While it was interesting to hear about the impact of drugs on the industry and various approaches to welfare in clubs, there were some notable omissions to this strand of the conference. What about drugs trends across Europe or emerging marketplaces including apps, the dark web and cryptocurrencies? Or the harm reduction work undertaken by several festivals with MAST (multi agency safety testing) onsite in 2016- a measure headed up by The Loop that saw over 300 forensic tests take place at festivals and one in five users hand their substances in once they found out what was in them. There is more to this conversation.

2. Guitars remain on the margins.

The Gen witnessed no shortage of generic, plodding guitar bands over the three days in Brighton and admittedly, also some very good ones- the sheer energy of Blackwaters blew the cobwebs away while October Drift could very well be the next great white hope for guitar music if anyone outside of the industry were seeking such a thing. The fact is, guitars are now on the periphery of a conversation dominated by hip hop, R & B and all out pop- will this change in the next couple of years? Don’t bet the farm on it. Our tip? If you must pick up the guitars then at least take a leaf out of the Moonlangdingz’ book and be incredibly weird and a bit dangerous with it.

3. The cream still rises.

At showcases like The Great Escape featuring scores of emerging artists, quality will always shine through and Bryde was a great example of this- Their set at Generator’s Tipping Point Showcase on Saturday (The Gen is nothing if not ‘on brand’) proved this beyond doubt- a great talent and one set to transcend the trends mentioned above. Also, Childhood sounded good from outside of Horatios on the pier but we couldn’t get into the venue, which brings us to…

4. My name is on the list.

Yes, it’s a perpetual bugbear and The Gen doesn’t expect to be able to march into everything like Martin Mills but when you’re turned away from multiple gigs due to them being at capacity, something is awry and we imagine it is ten times more frustrating for those who have bought a festival ticket and are not there in a work related capacity. It is admittedly a difficult nut to crack for the organisers, to balance the changing profile and hype surrounding an act with venue capacity but they need to try a bit harder.

5. The queens is dead?

Seriously Brighton, find a new and better place for this event to culminate- The Queens Hotel, with its overcrowded bar, lack of music, stark lighting and general ‘social club meets old guard music industry’ vibe has simply become an untenable place to end the night for many. We can do better than this

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