Now that The Great Escape 2017 has drawn to a close, AfterDark takes a moment to share some of our top tips, to offer the discerning music listener our 10 stage survival guide to help you get through next year's festival.
Roaming around the city with so much going on, a mobile phone with internet capabilities is very helpful indeed for finding your way around, deciding who to see next and arranging to meet up with any friends who have gone off to see other shows - it will happen. Don't just stick together if you have different interests. It's every person for themselves at TGE.
This year's TGE would have been so different without the TGE App. Admittedly, it did have some issues and kept crashing, but overall it did everything required: it was a gig planner, schedule and artist directory for the festival. For TGE Delegates, it also features all the extra events, socials and networking sessions so it is the easiest way to know where you need to be.
To do TGE properly, you need to dot around town like a bit of a nutter, trying to get from place to place in time to see the acts on your hit list. As such, a pair of comfortable shoes is essential to make sure that by the third day of roaming and standing for most of the day, you are still able to enjoy the music and not be finding a quiet spot to sit down and recover.
As could be expected, the big headline shows with already well-known artists are usually pretty packed so be sure to get there at least 30 minutes before their stage time to ensure that you get in, as a number of venues will have a '1 in 1 out' policy when reaching capacity.
With unpredictable weather in the UK all year round, May is by no means a sunny picnic throughout. 2015 was a good one for TGE weather but TGE17 was less than pleasant at times. A waterproof jacket and a brolly will go a long way to helping you stay comfortable during the seasonal monsoons if and when they hit and will keep you smiling through the rainy weather.
When darting from place to place, you may find that you don't have many gaps in your schedule to find something to eat from many of the city's pubs, cafes and restaurants. Carrying a bottle of water and some crisps/nuts/sweets with you will help to keep you sane.
It can be easy to forget, but sometimes live music can be a little louder than is comfortable. Whilst venues should have limiters to keep levels down, it is an open secret that this is not always enforced. Get yourself a decent pair of earplugs to keep your ears safe. As a last resort, most venues should provide you with a pair of disposable ear plug free of charge - just ask at the bar.
With adrenaline pumping through your veins after a whole day of fantastic live music, it can be hard to get to sleep, but be sure to get some good quality sleep between each day of TGE. If you need an afternoon nap, and it is practical to do so, give yourself a break back at your hotel/hostel. Otherwise, coffee or tea will be a good way to keep you awake.
There is nothing worse than missing out on seeing one of your favourite artists live because you've gotten lost on the way to a venue, or it's not where you thought it was. If possible, get to Brighton to pick up your tickets before the first day of the festival - this year tickets were available to pick up from Wednesday evening, before the main events began on Thursday. The queues are much quieter on Wednesday and it will give you a bit of a lie in on Thursday, as well as a chance to walk the city to find where the key venues are.
It's good to be prepared, of course, but don't let a rigid schedule get in the way of going with the flow if it feels right. Give yourself a few gaps to see what is going on and don't worry if you don't see everybody on your list - the greatest artists out there probably aren't even on it - that's why it is such a Great Escape.
We hope that this will help you next year and we look forward to seeing you at The Great Escape 2018!
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