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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Radio 1 celebrates 500th DJ to take part in Essential Mix with special live broadcast

On Friday 23 April, BBC Radio 1 celebrates the 500th DJ, artist or group to feature on the Essential Mix, with a special extended live broadcast between 1.00-5.00am (on the morning of Saturday 24) from Circus in Liverpool.

The four hour show will also include sets from Richie Hawtin, Sasha and Pete Tong.

The identity of the landmark 500th mix, voted for by an expert panel of dance music figures will be unveiled earlier on in the night at 9.00pm on Pete Tong's show, the host of the Essential Mix since its conception and also its first performer.

On reaching this monumental 500th mix Pete Tong said: "Bringing the Essential Mix to the nation on Radio 1 has always and continues to excite me. It's always been a platform to showcase the best DJ talent and new music from around the world, whether it be legends of dance music or future stars. The thing that excites me most is introducing new genres and breaking artists to a wider audience. There have been 500 fantastic essential mixes – here's to another 500!"

First broadcast on Radio 1 on 10 October 1993, the Essential Mix has continuously offered a platform for the ever-changing British dance music scene to flourish. The show's massive success and originality has stemmed from its open-door music policy, inviting the world best DJs, artists and producers across various styles to play a two-hour mix on radio uninterrupted. This has led to the show regularly being touted as a "two-hour musical journey" widely recognised and respected in the dance music community for breaking "under the radar" artists alongside the more established.

Ben Cooper, Deputy Controller, BBC Radio 1, says: "The list of contributors to the Essential Mix reads like a who's who of dance music and underlines the programme's significant part in popularising the genre. The list also highlights the show's unique ability to inform listeners every week of dance music's many musical shifts and trends from 1993 to the present day."

Over the years mixes have included: Danny Rampling; Laurent Garnier; Xpress 2; Paul Oakenfold; Sasha, Lisa Lashes; Hot Chip; Portishead; Norman Jay; John Digweed; Goldie; Armand Van Helden; Norman Cook; Daft Punk; Frankie Knuckles; David Morales; Basement Jaxx; Groove Armada; Death In Vegas; Erol Alkan; Soulwax; The Stanton Warriors; Shy FX; Pendulum; Lottie; DJ Hell; Flying Lotus; Diplo; BT; and Switch.

One of the key initiatives of the Essential Mix has been going on the road to bring listeners live broadcasts from clubs and festivals in the UK and around the world. Over the years destinations have included Germany; Hawaii; Brazil; North America; Sydney and Ibiza where since 1995 the Essential Mix has had a presence in the isle's biggest clubs as part of the infamous BBC Radio 1 Ibiza Weekend – now firmly established in the network's annual live music calendar.

Broadcast details:

Friday 23 April

9.00-11.00pm – Pete Tong show from BBC Radio Merseyside

Saturday 24 April

Essential Mix live from Circus nightclub in Liverpool

1.00-2.00am - Pete Introduces the 500th DJ to feature on the Essential Mix: 2.00-3.00am; Pete Tong 3.00-4.00am; Sasha 4.00-5.00am Richie Hawtin

Notes to Editors

The original candidates for the 500th DJ were nominated by former Essential Mix DJs, including Carl Cox, Paul Van Dyk and Tiestso. From that a shortlist the 500th DJ was chosen by a panel of dance music industry experts including Pete Tong, Annie Mac, Judge Jules, James Barton (Cream), Ralph Moore (Mixmag) and Nick Sabine (Resident Advisor.net).

The Essential Mix programme was originally produced by Radio 1 producer Eddie Gordon, who held the post from 1993 to 2001. After receiving weekly mix shows from DJs Tony Humphries and Frankie Knuckles on two-hour cassettes from New York's Hot 96 and KISS 100 respectively in the early Nineties Eddie felt that a Radio 1 weekly show with DJs of different styles of music would offer more variety and the chance for the ever burgeoning UK dance music scene to flourish.

The Essential Mix was the first British radio show to broadcast live from Ibiza.

JM5

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