Brighton Lights Up For The Great Escape Festival 2023

Harvey Marwood

By Harvey Marwood

Harvey Marwood

17 May 2023

Last weekend, Brighton hosted 2023’s ‘The Great Escape’, a worldwide idolised festival that takes place across the whole of the City, showcasing over 500 up and coming artists from all over the world across 35 walk-able venues.

The festival as a whole was unbelievable; a perfect spectacle for everything the worldwide scene has to offer – with something to cater for everyones taste and live music showcased until the early hours of the morning, it’s the perfect ‘escape’ for any music lover.

One of the most industry-orientated events in the whole world, people from all over the globe caught flights to congregate on the South Coast, which treated us to a couple of incredibly sunny days over the course of the event. Mixtape Madness attended the full weekend festival, and we managed to catch some amazing sets – and below are some of the stand out sets we managed to catch.

Tay Iwar

Hailing from Nigeria, Tay Iwar is without a doubt gearing up for a huge year. Creating an innovative fusion between afro-beats, R&B, hip-hop and future sounds, Iwar has developed an ever growing fan base of those inquisitive of his soundscape and having collaborated with influential afro-beats artist Wizkid, the navigating talent has all the promise to reach exactly the same heights.

Having played at the Jubilee Square stage on Friday afternoon, the talent showed exactly why his name has been up there with some of the greats already. Showcasing his exceptional vocal control amidst excellent selection of beats, his heritage and culture is broadcasted excellently through his creation.


Hailing from West London, KiLLOWEN is an artist who has created waves within the UK scene over the past year. Having blown up on TikTok with his singles ‘Bar Fights and Poetry’ and ‘Sober’, the 24 year old has culminated a dedicated audience and fanbase, many of which took the trip down to Brighton for his set which may I add, was on his birthday.

Showcasing a diverse set at The Arch venue, KiLLOWEN certainly didn’t disappoint. Playing a broad variety of mellow introspective tracks, as well as clever bouncy garage infused heaters, the rapper had something for everyone, in any mood. That speaks volumes for his studio recorded discography as well, which now finds itself in the hands of more than 230,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone.

Nix Northwest

Nix Northwest’s set stood out for many reasons; one of these being that he was the only alternative rap act I saw to play the venue with a live band. At The Arch venue on Friday afternoon, the talented artist showcased a wide discography for true music; longevity and showmanship are the two words that come to mind.

Nix Northwest is a true showman, who’s energy and raw passion for music is tangible when he performs. The band were all excellent, and the set showcased elements of jazz and hip-hop in the most creative way. Definitely a must see on his next tour.

Unknown T

Having become one of the most idolised names within the UK drill scene, Unknown T headlined the Brighton Concorde2 on Friday night for UTA’s showcase of fast rising talent. Alongside a packed out roster of talent including Gyakie, Cristale, Ms. Banks, Tiggs Da Author, the ever rising Unknown T took to the stage at 9:30.

Playing a packed setlist to a completely filled up wall-to-wall room, the North London talent showcased his charisma and energetic stage presence amongst an amazing curation of his discography, giving Brighton a taste of London culture and music. Entering the stage to ‘Fresh Home’, Unknown T is a talent like no other.


Another one of the leading figures within the UK drill music scene, and proud creator of UK anthem ‘Warm’, K-Trap played the closing set at the Amazon Music stage on Saturday evening to an eagerly awaiting crowd.

Turning up the audience for one last time, K-Trap proved why he has been such an influential figure over the past 5 year within the UK industry. This set in particular was a good reminiscent for me; my first drill concert I went to was at Patterns in Brighton back in 2019, which was in fact K-Trap – 4 and a half years on marks his return to the South Coast.

Rio Rainz

Taking to the Patterns stage on Friday afternoon, Rio Rainz made his debut performance not only in Brighton, but the first of his whole career.

Hailing from London, Rio Rainz is an artist who encapsulates everything amazing about the alternative; the multi-talented creative showcased his dynamic vocality through luscious melodies and energetic rap verses. His performance was filled with confidence, and people came down in their numbers to check out the rising talent for a set that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

What a weekend it was, and what a great set of talent on show. Early bird tickets for next years ‘The Great Escape’ have gone live now here :