The Independent becomes The Great Escape festival’s exclusive news partner for 2023

  • The Independent presents The Pretenders on 12 May at The Independent Stage, The Old Market, Brighton
  • The Independent to run special The Great Escape editorial with announcements, competitions, interviews and exclusives
  • Roisin O’Connor, The Independent’s Culture & Lifestyle News Editor, to appear at the festival’s conference, hosting an In Conversation with… session


The Independent announces today that it will be the exclusive news partner of The Great Escape music festival.

In a sign of the title’s enduring commitment to championing emerging talent, the multi-faceted relationship will include the launch of The Independent Stage at The Old Market, Brighton. On 12 May, The Independent Stage will feature The Pretenders, one of the most legendary acts in music, with TBA support from some of today’s most exciting new artists.

The Independent will run extensive editorial around The Great Escape with announcements, competitions, interviews and exclusives. Meanwhile, Roisin O’ Connor, The Independent’s Culture & Lifestyle News Editor, will appear at the festival’s conference, hosting an In Conversation with… session.

Formed in 1978 by Chrissie Hynde, The Pretenders remain one of the world’s most influential rock bands and are a huge addition to the stellar The Great Escape line up. The festival will be playing host to more than 450 up-and-coming artists and hotly tipped talent across over 35 venues, alongside the music industry-led The Great Escape conference. It will take place from 10 to 13 May 2023 in Brighton.

The partnership continues The Independent’s tradition of supporting music and cultural initiatives, such as partnering with the Black Deer Festival, an Americana music event, that will take place in Eridge Park in Kent on 16-18 June 2023. And just last week, the eighth series of Independent TV’s Music Box dropped, featuring artists such as singer-songwriter Billie Marten, Grammy-nominated US artist Andrew Bird, UK rapper Che Lingo, Nell Mescal, James Vickery, Dolores Forever and Irish rock band Touts.  The Music Box platform gives emerging artists the opportunity to perform three of their original songs to The Independent’s huge audience. 

The Independent’s Culture & Lifestyle News Editor, Roisin O’Connor, says: “The Great Escape festival is one of the go-to events for anyone looking to discover just how much the UK music scene is thriving. From rappers to rock bands, experimental jazz to lively pop-punk, TGE never fails to send you away with at least one favourite new act. With The Independent being such a huge champion of new music over the years, partnering with TGE felt like an obvious choice!”

She continues: “Chrissie Hynde is one of the most iconic rock stars of all time and continues to influence generation after generation of musicians, many of whom will be playing the same stage as her this year. It’s the biggest thrill to have The Pretenders headlining The Independent’s stage at The Great Escape festival; we can’t wait to see what will undoubtedly be a typically visceral live show from one of the most fearless and respected bands around.” 

Adam Ryan, Head of Programming, The Great Escape comments: “We’re delighted to partner with The Independent for the first time. As a festival devoted to championing emerging artists, there is huge synergy between the new music fans of The Great Escape and The Independent’s culturally discerning readership. The partnership will help both our renowned festival and its industry-leading conference engage with new audiences this year via an exciting programme of activity.” 




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