The Great Escape cancel 2021 festival, to be replaced with a virtual event

The full-scale festival will return in May 2022

Brighton’s new music festival The Great Escape has cancelled its 2021 event, with a virtual festival taking its place. The full-scale festival is now eyeing a full return in May 2022.

The event was aiming to return this year after its 2020 edition was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but ongoing restrictions mean the 2021 festival will now be unable to take place in its usual guise.

“We can now confirm that The Great Escape 2021 will no longer be taking place in Brighton this year, however, we will be taking The Great Escape online for the first time.


On 13th-14th May 2021 you can expect a huge snapshot of the best new artists showcasing their talents, plus The Great Escape Conference featuring the CMU conference strands, keynote speakers, panels, talks and debates as well as dedicated facilities for the industry to come together and network – just without the sea air and dashing between our beloved venues into the early hours…”

Going on to salute the efforts of the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival shared its new dates for 2022 – The Great Escape will return between May 11-14 next year.

The return of live music in 2021 following the coronavirus crisis took an extra step this week, as the government outlined plans for England to gradually exit lockdown by the end of June.

Since the announcement, a number of festivals including Reading & LeedsGreen Man and 2000 Trees have all revealed that they now hope to go ahead as usual in 2021, with Reading & Leeds selling out of tickets just two days after the announcement.

Festival Republic boss Melvin Benn, who runs R&L, Wireless and Latitude, has cited the UK’s successful vaccination programme as the key to unlocking large-scale music events this summer.


Sacha Lord, co-founder of Manchester’s Parklife, told NME this week that he’s “confident” about the Manchester festival’s return in September, hailing the NHS’ “phenomenal” vaccine rollout. “For once, we can say that we have got something that’s world-beating,” he said.

Last November, the line-up for The Great Escape 2021 was revealed, including the likes of Arlo Parks, Holly Humberstone, Pa SalieuBree Runway and KennyHoopla.

No details on the line-up for the festival’s virtual edition have yet been revealed.

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