Women are chronically underrepresented on festival line-ups. Anyone who’s seen a festival bill in their life and isn’t a men’s rights activist knows this. Naturally then, when we were handed a stage for three days over The Great Escape we wanted to help redress the balance by not only making our overall line-up female-heavy but handing over a full day of our stage to female-identifying artists.
Kicking off the evening was London’s Suzi Wu. Bringing things to life with her unique take on post-punk she ran through a set of high-octane tracks including breakout single ‘Teenage Witch’. Throwing herself about the stage she came off like 2018’s answer to Siouxie Sioux, only with ski-goggles and better taste in streetwear.
Stripping things back a notch, Nadia Nair came all the way from Sweden to grace the stage with her ethereal, poetic tracks. Captivating the audience with her electronic soul constructions and ever-so off-kilter vocal she had Shooshh in silence for the duration of her bustling set, the quiet only breaking for rounds of applause between songs.
Of course, it was still a Saturday night and as things started to get a bit darker outside, we needed things to get a bit bassier inside the venue and our penultimate act Mina Rose did the job perfectly. Bringing some London soundsystem vibes down to Brighton she pushed Shoosh’s speakers to the limit with her catchy, reconstructed take on dub and reggae. Joined as ever by hypeman and MC Shisko Bob, Rose had the whole of Shooshh skanking and shouting along to tracks like ‘Lemons and Limes’ and ‘Kingdom’.
Playing the headline slot on the final night of a festival can be an intimidating challenge but Saturday’s bill-topper Flohio stepped up effortless. Whipping up the crowd with her lightening-fast bars and grime-inspired tracks she floored a crowd that were already expecting big things from the SE16 MC. Tracks like breakout ‘Bands’ and new single ‘Watchout’ prompted the biggest reactions as well as some much-deserved reloads, sending the crowd spinning onto Brighton beach as her set came to a riotous close.