Pop up stage at The Great Escape 2017

QM Records x The Roadee

Pop up stage at The Great Escape 2017

May 2017
With no response from the organisers of The Great Escape we took matters into our own hands and linked up with QM Records to put on an unofficial and highly illegal pop up stage in the middle of Brighton with some of our favourite artists. Bobbie Johnson‘s manager Cara Laurice Topping and Ned from Normanton Street got the brief (“you bring the talent and we’ll bring the sound”) and we all set about to make it happen.
The first day saw a torrential downpour two hours before we were due to go live and it was decided to push the sets back by half an hour or so. We parked up in the chosen spot on Ship Street alongside some bollards signifying a pedestrianised zone where the crowds would gather. Ned from Normanton Street got in the truck and it suddenly dawned on us the scale of the operation. At 3pm a police car drove past as we tentatively started unloading the pop up stage, just as the sun peeped through the clouds. Things were looking up and at 4.15pm we were ready to rock and roll so it was time for a steadying beer across the road at the Seven Stars before Phonetic took to the stage to deliver a blistering set in the blazing sunshine. After a quick turnaround up stepped Chloe Bodur to regale Brighton with her dulcet sounds. Then it was Bobbie Johnson‘s turn to hold court on The Roadee stage to growing and adoring crowds. BANG went off and it was at this point the council turned up and informed us that The Roadee stage was totally illegal and if we didn’t shut down immediately we would be prosecuted. After five minutes of blagging and begging the council kindly let us carry on until 6.30pm at the absolute latest and up jumped Francesca Filmini and her astonishing band to play out the day with sundowners in hand. Day one done.
Day two and more glorious sunshine in Brighton town but the immediate challenge was where the hell to set up the stage to avoid prosecution and thus ruin our relationship with Brighton council forever. Cancelling was not an option – Rum Committee were booked to perform their first show in ages and this was going to be big. Step up Cara who suggested a sweet little spot at the top of Church street and super close to the Jack Daniels stage at the Hope & Ruin. Only problem was the steep incline of the road = no stage today. No matter, SouthWestSiide kicked things off with their loveable blend of funky old school hop hop classics before local don Mrisi teamed up with Mwetcha to almost steal the show. However things escalated when Rag’N’Bone Man‘s crew the Rum Committee tipped up and burnt the house down. Liz Ikamba and Tafanda played us out to the setting sun and huge relief we had got away with it.
Check out the highlights video here.

Huge thanks to Cara, Ned and all the artists that graced The Roadee stage on this wonderful weekend – here’s to next year!