The BBC today announces its plans for broadcasting The Biggest Weekend across TV, radio and online on the late May bank holiday weekend.
The Biggest Weekend is the BBC’s biggest ever popular live music event, taking place at four sites, in four nations, over four days, with performances from over 100 artists across nine different stages and with over 175,000 tickets available to the public.
It has the most broad-ranging and diverse musical line-up of the summer, and is a once-in-a-lifetime event for anyone who loves music; whether attending the concerts in Belfast, Coventry, Perth or Swansea or enjoying a whole number of performances on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3, 6 Music and the live and on-demand stream on BBC iPlayer.
On BBC TV, there will be spectacular live performances across BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four featuring sets from Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, Jess Glynne, Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Paloma Faith, Orbital, Beck, Nigel Kennedy and many, many more.
With over 20 hours of live TV coverage across the weekend, The Biggest Weekend will be hosted by some of the BBC's most popular presenters including Graham Norton, Alex Jones, Claudia Winkleman, Jo Whiley, Trevor Nelson, Lauren Laverne, Nick Grimshaw, Clara Amfo, Huw Stephens, Alice Levine and others.
Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will all host live shows from the four cities bringing listeners the most memorable moments from the big headliners performing at each site to showcasing brand new talent on the BBC Music Introducing stage.
The BBC will also be streaming 120 hours of music with performances from all nine stages across all in HD, available to watch on BBC iPlayer on computers, mobiles, tablets and connected TVs, both live and on demand throughout the weekend and beyond.
Bob Shennan, Director BBC Radio and Music, says: “No one does music like the BBC - across TV, radio and online we’re bringing the UK nations together to enjoy a musical celebration unprecedented in its scope, scale and range of artists.”
BBC TV will be broadcasting from four locations in four nations, providing audiences with front-row seats on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four to watch some of the biggest artists in the world performing in Belfast, Coventry, Perth and Swansea.
BBC One will be in Swansea hosting performances from Ed Sheeran and Jess Glynne on Saturday evening, presented by Graham Norton. On Sunday evening there will be performances from Taylor Swift, Rita Ora and Paloma Faith, hosted by Alex Jones, Nick Grimshaw and Clara Amfo.
BBC Two will feature headliners Florence & The Machine and Sam Smith in Swansea, Emile Sandé and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds in Perth and Liam Gallagher in Coventry. BBC Two will also host a Sunday afternoon teatime slot that celebrates the female pop stars on the line-up in Swansea including Camilla Cabello, Demi Lovato, Stefflon Don and Jessie Ware.
On BBC Four, there will be coverage across all four days and four locations starting off in Belfast with a 6 Music-curated evening featuring Beck, The Breeders, Manic Street Preachers and Orbital, while Saturday’s featured artists include Neneh Cherry, First Aid Kit, Franz Ferdinand and Underworld.
BBC Four will also have highlight performances from Chvrches and Wolf Alice in Swansea and Simple Minds in Perth. On Sunday BBC Four features some of the classic heritage artists performing in Coventry including Billy Ocean, Snow Patrol and local legends The Selecter, while Monday night has a classical flavour with Nigel Kennedy.
The BBC TV presenting team across the four locations include Graham Norton, Alex Jones, Nick Grimshaw, Clara Amfo, Alice Levine and Huw Stephens in Swansea; Edith Bowman and Claudia Winkleman in Perth; Lauren Laverne, Colin Murray and Joe Lindsay in Belfast and finally Jo Whiley, Trevor Nelson, Suzy Klein and Lloyd Coleman in Coventry.
The Biggest Weekend TV coverage is being produced by BBC Studios. It is commissioned for television by Jan Younghusband, Head of Commissioning BBC Music TV overseen by Mark Cooper, Head of Music Television for BBC Studios and Alison Howe, Executive Producer.
Listeners will be able to choose from a wide range of live shows and performance highlights from The Biggest Weekend across all the BBC’s radio stations.
Radio 1 On Saturday and Sunday, Radio 1 is live from Swansea bringing you performances from the biggest names in music including Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Florence + The Machine, Sam Smith, Shawn Mendes, Liam Payne, Camila Cabello, Craig David, George Ezra, Demi Lovato, Thirty Seconds to Mars plus loads more.
Maya Jama and Jordan North are kicking off the backstage action with Radio 1’s Greatest Hits on the grounds of Singleton Park as the artists prepare to entertain the crowds for a weekend of incredible live music. Throughout the weekend, Radio 1 DJs will pair up to broadcast special shows live from the Swansea event, bringing the inside scoop from the artists as they hit the Main Stage to perform in front of thousands of music fans. Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson, Mollie King, Scott Mills, Chris Stark, Clara Amfo, MistaJam, Greg James, Katie Thistleton, Dev, Alice Levine, Cel Spellman, Annie Mac, Nick Grimshaw and Charlie Sloth will take listeners on an access-all-areas tour of The Biggest Weekend with exclusive artist interviews on the day as well as live performances, musical highlights from the Main Stage, Radio 1’s Other Stage and BBC Music Introducing Stage.
Radio 2 Ken Bruce, Claudia Winkleman and Sara Cox will be live backstage in the grounds of Scone Palace from 3pm-10pm on Saturday. They’ll be bringing listeners live music from across the day, along with interviews with all the stars performing including Amy Macdonald, Emeli Sande, Squeeze, The Shires, Julie Fowlis and The Beat starring Dave Wakeling. Ken, Claudia and Sara will also learn more about the incredible history of Scone Palace before the presenters cross to the main stage for full headline sets from legendary Scottish rock band Simple Minds and the phenomenal multi-platinum selling Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.
Jo Whiley, Simon Mayo and Trevor Nelson will be broadcasting live from backstage at the War Memorial Park between 3pm-10pm on Sunday. They’ll be bringing you live music from across the day, along with interviews with acts including local 2-Tone pioneers The Selector, Stereophonics, Jamie Cullum, Billy Ocean, Snow Patrol, Paloma Faith and UB40 featuring Ali, Astro and Mickey. Jo, Simon and Trevor will also be learning more about the area, as Coventry prepares to be the UK City of Culture in 2021. The presenters cross to the stage to introduce full headline performances from Paloma Faith and Liam Gallagher.
Radio 3 Sean Rafferty will present coverage for Radio 3’s popular drive time programme In Tune from 5pm-7pm on Friday and Monday. The programme will include highlights and interviews with artists from the Radio 3 stage in Perth, including jazzer Jamie Callum, singer-songwriter Eddi Reader, percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra; as well giving listeners the opportunity to hear from artists performing on the Radio 3 stage in Coventry.
The Verb will also present an entirely Scottish edition from 10pm-10.45pm, followed by Music Planet at 11pm-1am, where Kathryn Tickell will present recordings from Radio 3’s stage in Perth. Live music comes from folk band Breabach, Zambian-Scottish singer Namvula and the eclectic klezmer-based outfit Moishe’s Bagel.
Katie Derham will present Radio 3 Concert live from the Radio 3 stages at Perth and Coventry from 7.30pm-10pm. On Friday, Katie presents a concert from the iconic and historic Scone Palace underpinned by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Martyn Brabbins. She introduces a host of performances, from artists including Edinburgh-born folk singer Karin Polwart, Scottish virtuoso percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, star soprano Danielle de Niese and violinist Nigel Kennedy.
On Monday, listeners will hear from the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland, live from War Memorial Park, as they are joined by stars from Strictly Come Dancing for a spectacular ballroom performance introduced by Katie, before Nigel Kennedy takes to the stage once more to play excerpts from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons as well as his own unique tribute to Jimi Hendrix.
6 Music On Friday, Lauren Laverne kicks off the live coverage on-site from 10am-1pm before handing over to Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie at 1pm-4pm, who will be bringing listeners the first live performances from the Main Stage. Then Steve Lamacq at 4pm-7pm, Mary Anne Hobbs at 7pm-9pm and Tom Ravenscroft at 9pm-midnight, will each be introducing more live music from the Friday line up from both the Main Stage featuring Beck, Orbital, Lykke Li, Manic Street Preachers, Courtney Barnett, Father John Misty with the Ulster Orchestra and the 6 Music Recommends Stage.
On Saturday, Lauren Laverne from 10am-1pm, Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie from 1-4pm followed by Mary Anne Hobbs at 4-7pm and Tom Robinson at 7-9pm, are bringing live music from the Main Stage including Franz Ferdinand, Neneh Cherry, Goldie, First Aid Kit, Ash, Young Fathers, Little Dragon as well as highlights from the 6 Music Recommends Stage.
Plus on Sunday 27 May from 10am-1pm, Cerys Matthews will be presenting her show live from the city, followed by Soundscapes presented by Stephen McCauley at 1pm-2pm, which will feature a piece of music about the Titanic - specially-commissioned by the BBC from Public Service Broadcasting.
At 2pm-3pm, Great Vibrations - Peel, Punk, Belfast and Beyond will be featuring conversation from a Fringe panel taking place as part of the festival; plus Ash's 6 Music Playlist at 3-4pm with frontman Tim Wheeler sharing a selection of his favourite records.
The BBC will be streaming 120 hours of music with performances from every stage across The Biggest Weekend all in HD, available to watch on BBC iPlayer on computers, mobiles, tablets and connected TVs, both live and on demand throughout the weekend and beyond.
All weekend there will be highlight performances from the Main Stages and the Other Stages from across all four cities and fans will be able to enjoy the best of the funniest, most breath-taking and magnificent moments in exclusively curated videos on website. The website will also offer festival photography, exclusive interviews and features, bringing The Biggest Weekend direct to audiences at home.
And the BBC’s coverage doesn’t end when the last artist closes the main stage on Monday- there will be an exclusive highlights programme which will be available to watch on BBC Red Button.
Nick Grimshaw says: "Soooooo excited to go to Swansea, see everybody there, have fun and witness Florence’s return to the festival stage. I can’t wait!"
Clara Amfo says: "I am all for the female force at The Biggest Weekend this year, I can't wait to see Florence, Christine And The Queens, and Mabel smash it!"
Greg James says: “The listeners are the most important thing about Radio 1 and we love turning up on their doorstep with an enormous festival featuring the world’s biggest artists. It’s sort of a thank you to them for being such a big part of our shows every day.”
Scott Mills says: "I can hardly believe how good the line-up is for The Biggest Weekend! To have Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith all in the same place at the same time is just incredible. But to also have Rita Ora, Liam Payne, Craig David, Camila Cabello and loads more literally makes it my dream line-up. The Welsh crowd are always amazing; it really is going to be the biggest weekend of the year!"
Huw Stephens says: “Wales loves a Big Weekend, and it’s brilliant that The Biggest Weekend is in Swansea. It’s a great city which is going through an exciting time and Swansea loves its music! The line-up for The Biggest Weekend is astonishing and the Radio 1 Academy and Fringe this year brings once in a lifetime opportunities in the run up. It’s going to be a great one.”
Katie Thistleton says: “I’m so excited for The Biggest Weekend - this is the first time I’ll actually be broadcasting from a Radio 1 festival and I can’t wait. I’m so excited to see Taylor Swift and the whole line-up is amazing. I’m hoping for some Swansea sun!”
Claudia Winkleman says: “I’m so excited to be part of the Biggest Weekend. I’m going to be in Perth chatting to the people who have come to watch the brilliant bands. If you’re there, come find me. I’ll have snacks.”
Ken Bruce says: “I’m delighted to be in beautiful Perthshire for this fabulous weekend of brilliant music. It promises to be the event of the year!”
Trevor Nelson says: “I’m so excited to be presenting from the home of 2 Tone, Coventry, over The Biggest Weekend and to be bringing fantastic artists like The Selecter, UB40 Featuring Ali, Astro & Mickey, Billy Ocean and so many more to Radio 2 listeners at home. I can’t wait!”
Lauren Laverne says: “The incredible line-up coming to Titanic Slipways in Belfast really captures 6 Music’s alternative spirit.”
Tom Ravenscroft says: "I'm most looking forward to seeing fresh-faced local lads Touts - they're meant to be fab live, super noisy, a right old din."
Mary Anne Hobbs says: “I am thrilled we’re bringing one of my favourite emerging modern soul artists Jordan Rakei to Belfast. I’ve championed him on my shows but this will be my first opportunity to see him play live.”
Katie Derham says: "From Jamie Cullum to Danielle de Niese, we're presenting a taster of the fantastic range of music that you'll find on Radio 3 - so come and join us for the perfect bank holiday treat!"
Kathryn Tickell says: “I’m a great admirer of Karine Polwart’s work, Eddi Reader always brings something new and fresh to her performances and there are lots of artists I can’t wait to discover. We’re spoilt for choice at Perth!”
Locations and Dates
Titanic Slipways, Belfast, Northern Ireland Friday 25 May - 6 Music Saturday 26 May - 6 Music
Scone Palace, Perth, Scotland Friday 25 May - Radio 3 Saturday 26 May - Radio 2
Singleton Park, Swansea, Wales Saturday 26 May - Radio 1 Sunday 27 May - Radio 1
War Memorial Park, Coventry, England Sunday 27 May - Radio 2 Monday 28 May - Radio 3