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480,000 register for Big Weekend

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James McLaren James McLaren | 12:01 UK time, Thursday, 6 May 2010

Back in 1996, 2.6 million people applied for tickets to Oasis' Knebworth shows. It was - and still is - the largest ever registering of interest in a UK concert. Four fifths of those people were unsuccessful and they never got to see their dadrock idols from half a mile away.

It's been reported today in the North Wales Daily Post that 480,000 people registered for tickets for Radio 1's Big Weekend, with just 40,000 of those being successful.

This represents fewer than one in 10 people being successful. That figure is crazy, and it's difficult to imagine many concerts having that level of interest (or disappointment).

It really shows that there is a huge appetite for live music in north Wales - albeit free of course - and the line-up shows that music fans are up for an eclectic bill.

Radio 1's last Big Weekend in Wales was in 2002 in Swansea, featuring Basement Jaxx, Destiny's Child, Hear'Say, Will Young, Gareth Gates and Lostprophets among others. The latter are making an appearance at this year's event too, providing a nice Welsh and historical link across the years.

They're also the hardest rocking of all the acts on the bill and it'll be interesting to see how Justin Bieber's fans take to the Ponty boys.

That pop/rock relationship was thrown into sharp relief today as The Western Mail examined a report that pop music is now outstripping rock in sales terms for the first time in five years.

"Sales of pop singles as a share of the overall sales increased by 5% to 33.5% in 2009, out-performing rock music sales which only managed a 24.9% share, according to figures released by music industry body the BPI," they report.

In the albums market, rock is also dropping, to 31% from 35.7% in 2004. Claims about 'the death of rock' are, of course, premature. Music is incredibly cyclical and a few short years ago the press were up in arms about the first time that decks outsold guitars. No doubt in a few years the likes of Lady Gaga and Cheryl Cole - currently boosting the pop market - will have given way to another round of grunters and gurners riffing and shredding.

None of this is going to make any difference whatsoever to the 40,000 people going to Bangor in a fortnight or so for music, sun and fun at the Faenol Estate. Whether it's rock, pop, garage or jazz flugelghorn, in the right context music is just music, innit?

What do you think about the falling of rock's popularity?

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